Debatable Lies

This wouldn’t be a proper theology and culture blog without a comment about the cultural event of the evening, the presidential debates. Before commenting on those, however, I thought I should say something in response to the gauntlet thrown down by my esteemed colleague in blogging, the right Rev Kimberly Hyatt. On Monday she asked [Read More...]

Art and Faithful Presence

  Mako Fujimura’s new studio, Princeton, New Jersey. Photo courtesy Robert Puglisi Artists must make decisions all the time. Even before an artist paints on a canvas, it is already the result of a decision to make the painting surface that size and not another. Every brushstroke is the result of a decision to put [Read More...]

Homecoming Prank Turns Positive

Bullying is a major problem. At least we’re hearing more about it–and talking more about it–now. I love this CNN story about a sophomore girl nominated–as a prank–to the homecoming court. By embracing her nomination, when she was tempted to pull out, she had a positive experience. I imagine the experience of garnering courage and [Read More...]

Original Innocence? Children, Race, and the Kingdom of God

One of the highlights of my summer and early fall  has been regular trips to the neighborhood park, with our two-year old daughter, Ella. Just yesterday, she had a great time playing with her best friend at the park, Sharlene (Ella calls her “Sha-Lee”). Sharlene is a fun, African-American girl who lives a few blocks [Read More...]

Good Work

Humans may be a disobedient lot by and large, but “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:24) is actually one command we’ve obeyed pretty well. The earth’s population currently numbers seven billion plus souls; and we’re being fruitful and multiplying by the minute. On the other hand, once you go a little further into the Old [Read More...]

Luther, Evangelicals, and Modern Art

Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Wittenberg Altarpiece, 1547, Wittenberg, Germany Modern and contemporary painting is the heart of my theology of culture. It is not the kind of cultural practice, however, that receives any positive attention from evangelical cultural theologians and critics, for whom art is irrelevant at best and harmful at worst. But painting [Read More...]

Words

 Today’s guest blogger is John Cuyler, Pastor of Storrs Community Church in Coventry, Connecticut since 1994. He has a Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian Spirituality from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts.  John and his wife Carmel have three grown children. I listened attentively as President Obama and Governor Romney sought to inspire American voters and last week we were sobered [Read More...]

Did God “Create” Death? Reflections on the Abrupt Demise of a Squirrel

The other day, Auggie, my six-year old Springer Spaniel, scored a major victory. After chasing squirrels his entire life, to no avail (Coyote-Road Runner style) he finally caught one–in our backyard. The squirrel didn’t have a limp or anything. When Auggie nabbed him, he instinctively and abruptly ended the poor little guy’s life. It was [Read More...]

Politics as Religion

OK, so this is nothing especially new, but I liked the way that Ross Douthat, in his book Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, tied the decline in American church attendance not to the loss of religion, but to its redirection. Jesus can’t save me the way I want to be saved, but maybe [Read More...]

Hope Amidst the Ruins in Charlottesville

At the end of the month I’ll be speaking at the Mockingbird Ministries fall conference at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, September 28-29. The theme is High, Low & In Between: Hope Amidst the Ruins, and if you happen to be in the area, consider spending the weekend with us. Through on-line articles, publications, conferences, and [Read More...]

Melville’s Epilogue

  In 1857 an exhausted and depressed Herman Melville travelled to Jerusalem in an effort to recover his Christian faith. He returned bitterly disappointed with what he apparently didn’t find. Unfortunately, Melville’s life-long struggle with faith is not the exception in the history of modern art and literature. This history is characterized by loss, brokenness, [Read More...]

Kierkegaard on the Bible’s “Carefully Contrived Discrepancies”

Here’s a little reflection, from Kierkegaard, for those of you interested in the issue of biblical inerrancy: Like a good, theologically orthodox Lutheran, Kierkegaard accepted the Bible’s authority as the divinely inspired “Word of God.” But he refused to ground the Bible’s authority, the legitimacy of Christian faith, and the epistemological truth of Christianity, in [Read More...]


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