ACT for Ignorance

Recent Anti-Shari’a demonstrations hosted by ACT for America have shown us once again that there is a highly mobilized and extremely ignorant and fearful group of Islamophobes. They are ever ready to sling their manhood over their shoulders, and come when their masters whistle and promise to feed them lies. So maybe some truth is [Read More…]

Binary BS and PC Politics

When the choices seem simple its probably because you’ve already stepped in it and just need to get out. Recently Jeff Greenway of the Wesleyan Covenant Association posted a short historical rational for their work. In a recent blog Professor Steven Tuell sought to explain why the Wesleyan Covenant Association claims about the “clear [Read More…]

The Death of Civil Discourse or a New Civilization

A recent Wall Street Journal editorial declared that civil discourse is in decline, with dire consequences.( I wonder what they are really mourning. In his book Airborne William Buckley tells a story of sailing in (I believe) the Bahamas when he comes into an anchorage where he sees the yacht of Dr. Benjamin Spock, one of [Read More…]

Everything Dies Baby That’s a Fact

The “Dr.” on my calling card represents a PhD in history from the University of Malaya, focusing on Southeast Asia. When you are historian of non-Western cultures working in a non-Western university there are a couple of things you should recognize early. First that different cultures are really different. Reading primary sources, even in translation [Read More…]

Singing our Faith, or Undermining it?

Who can object to an effort to affirm both faith and learning! We sang Praise the Source of Faith and Learning  in our graduation services at Perkins School of Theology. Perfect for university related theology school, right? (Complete lyrics below) Except. Except that last section of the third verse. “May our learning curb the error, which unthinking faith can [Read More…]

Christian Theology: a Congenital Defect

Am I fearfully and wonderfully made? I learned at age 59 that I had possessed all those years a congenital defect in the aortic valve. My identical twin brother had a normal aortic valve. Why me? Don’t think this isn’t consequential. My special valve will inevitably fail faster than a normal valve, and in failing [Read More…]

Political Correctness or Political Culture?

You have your ups and downs. Years ago a professor (Stanley Hauerwas) at the Duke Divinity School made it to the cover of Time Magazine. More recently DDS students managed to get their school on national TV by holding up a banner behind the commentators booth in the NCAA Basketball finals. Priceless. Now Duke is [Read More…]

INRI – An Insult at the Heart of Christian Symbolism

As I turned into a parking lot I saw something on the van in front of me. It was a large sticker we’ve all seen. It had an empty cross draped by a robe. Beneath it were the words “He Has Risen!” On the cross was a placard with the initials, INRI. The story of the [Read More…]

Cross-Talk in the UMC

With the United Methodist Judicial Council meeting next week to consider several cases related to human sexuality the interwebs are abuzz with debate, particularly about Bishop Oliveto, who was an acting leader and was consecrated as bishop while married to another woman. As I read the various blogs and multiple responses one thing becomes clear. [Read More…]

The Fear Factor in Texas Politics

As she stretched my muscles until a tear rolled dripped into the bowl of rose water beneath my face the massage therapist said, “You never find comfort being comfortable,” and proceeded with a little lecture on posture while working. She was right in many ways. And I thought of all the people who seek comfort by making [Read More…]