Authorized Jesus Dealer

My pastor used the phrase “Authorized Jesus Dealer” in his sermon this past Sunday, and it seemed to me to be worth sharing, and turning into a sign (as I did below). The sermon, as you might have guessed, was about Mark 9:38-41. It is a passage which most people who claim to have a [Read More...]

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God Has a Wonderful Cafeteria Plan for Your Life

I’ve shared the above image before. But I came across it again, and it struck me in new ways, as I had recently been reading discussions about where the life of the church actually unfolds in our time. I’m not sure how it was that it was once possible to have people join together with [Read More...]

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The Canon was Decided at the Council of Orlando

IO9 reported that Disney is apparently holding a meeting to determine what will be considered part of the Star Wars canon and what won’t. It is as though we have entered a parallel universe in which Dan Brown is right about the formation of the canon, only his timing is off and the canon is [Read More...]

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God with No Strings Attached?

David Hayward has created another thought-provoking cartoon. It illustrates the difficulties inherent in speaking about God. God, as the ultimate reality, transcends our understanding. For that very reason, those who desire certainty regularly fall prey to those who offer them substitutes, the less than ultimate, who claim to being God closer to them and to [Read More...]

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How Christmas Shopping is Like Going to Church

David Hayward shared this cartoon: I think it is hilarious. But it makes some serious points. The oddity of giving people a certain time and saying that this will be “fellowship” time or “worship” is distinctly odd, and that oddity is only missed when we have be ome accustomed to this way of doing things. [Read More...]

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Bread and Bullying

Zainab Khan has a guest post on the Patheos blog AltMuslim, about a bullying volunteer at a mosque school. If you read the post, I think you will recognize the situation, whether from a mosque, church, or secular setting. Often we allow our institutions to be held hostage by volunteers and donors – we become [Read More...]

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Reverse the Conveyor Belt

David Hayward shared the cartoon below: I don't see the church as a place that should convert humble questioners into confident (and, if the cartoon is accurate, rather grumpy-looking) exclaimers. I used to see it that way, but now my view is essentially the opposite. If anything, the church should be a place that brings [Read More...]

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Pub Theology

A news article recently drew attention to the phenomenon of people gathering to drink beer and sing hymns. And then my pastor mentioned “Pub Theology” in his sermon on Sunday, which is apparently a popular phenomenon not just here in Indianapolis but in many other places. ┬áThis is their logo: It sounds more like the [Read More...]

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Growth of the Jedi

Tomorrow in my class on religion and science fiction, we’ll be talking about non-theistic religion depicted in science fiction, in movies like Star Wars and Avatar. Today Religion Nerd brought two links to my attention. One is a Fox News interview about Jediism. The second is Benjamin Svetkey’s article “Church of the Jedi” about spending [Read More...]

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Favorite Part of Church?

Jeremy Myers shared this drawing a child made on a bulletin, which asked them to draw their favorite part of the mass: I consider it a real privilege to attend a church, Crooked Creek Baptist Church, where the only reason I am glad it is over is because by that point I am starting to [Read More...]

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Churches and Intellectuals

Stephen Mattson has written a piece for Sojourners, “Do Churches Alienate Intellectuals?” Here is a sample: By their very nature, intellectuals are curious. They analyze, theorize, and love to ask questions. These attributes are often criticized by church leaders and seen as an attack on traditional and established institutionalized beliefs. Innocent inquires are often met [Read More...]

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