Why I Believe in “Creatio ex nihilo” (Creation out of Nothing) (Even Though the Bible Doesn’t Directly Teach It)

Why I Believe in Creatio ex nihilo (Even Though the Bible Doesn’t Directly Teach It) Every once in a while I meet someone who, while exhibiting every sign of being a true Christian, denies the traditional Christian doctrine of “creatio ex nihilo”—creation out of nothing. This belief, the “prior actuality of God” (Austin Farrer’s term), combined with the idea that God created in the beginning out of nothing (not “Nothingness”—Greek philosophy’s me ōn), is not directly taught in Script … [Read more...]

Good Male Characters and Religion in Popular Culture: An Invitation to Contribute

So, following up on my recent post about Downton Abbey--Here is a challenge. Identify good male characters in recent/contemporary popular culture. They must be "real men" (not overly feminized like Phil in Modern Family) but also truly virtuous even if flawed. By virtuous I mean: wise, compassionate, selfless, other-focused, constructive (even if also critical where appropriate), and humble (without being totally self-effacing). In a word: admirable.I will start. Matthew Crawley in the early … [Read more...]

Some Thoughts about “Downton Abbey” as Guilty Pleasure and Propaganda

Some Thoughts about “Downton Abbey” as Guilty Pleasure and Propaganda I confess it reluctantly: I am addicted to the British television series “Downton Abbey” which I watch weekly (Sunday evenings) on “Masterpiece Theatre” on “public television.” One thing I like about it is—no commercials interruptions of the program itself. I also enjoy the stunningly beautiful scenery—inside the castle and outside in the English countryside and villages. I also watch now to find out about more abo … [Read more...]

A Brief Guest Post by a Woman Pastor and Author (and Former Student of Mine)

The following blog post is written by my former students and always friend Kyndall Rothaus, pastor of Covenant Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas. I am so proud of students who have gone on to publish books. Preacher Breath is newly published by Smyth & Helwys, a (moderate) Baptist-related publisher. Kyndall is brilliant, articulate, insightful and contemplative. She’s also a feminist in the best sense of the word and wrote a guest post for this blog some back ago about feminism. Here is h … [Read more...]

A Major Reason for “Failure to Communicate”–Even Among Christians

A Major Reason for “Failure to Communicate”—Even Among ChristiansUnlike many of my contemporaries, whether religious or irreligious, I always assume a very real distinction between what is objectively real and true and what is merely subjectively felt and perceived. I do not claim that the line between them is clearly visible; it often is not. And the “objectively real and true” is often inaccessible to me and to everyone. I admit that there is no “view from nowhere”—a basic axiom of postmode … [Read more...]

The Problem with Men and Why We Ignore It/Them at Our Own Risk

The Problem with Men and Why We Ignore It/Them at Our Own RiskMany observers of contemporary Western societies are observing and occasionally commenting on the increasing “man problem” possibly fed by the “boy crisis.” In a nutshell the “man problem” is that very many young men are simply dropping out of the social order and electing to live dependently on parents or others. “Failure to launch” is one term for this. While women are forging ahead in business, politics, journalism, education, m … [Read more...]

Private Sector Redistribution of Wealth?

Just today I learned the name for something I've been noticing but only recently becoming more aware of: "Mather pricing." Go ahead; google it. In today's corporatism (capitalism dominated by huge corporations that also have virtually controlling power over governments) increasingly prices are being set based on sophisticated algorithms that are computer-driven that take individuals' perceived ability to pay into account.For example, many city newspapers are basing subscription rates on: … [Read more...]