Self-confidence persuades us that he is a saint


A few things, including: ReaganBook a victim of limited government; remembering the potato patch mayor; the Benhams' "religious liberty" to disrupt worship services; amplifying smaller blogs; "all flesh" means all flesh; and what I have in common with David Koch.• ReaganBook is a thing (NSFW), but perhaps not the thing its creators imagined when they set out to create a conservative alternative to Facebook. The hundreds of users who have signed up so far include Abortia Clinique, Adam N. St … [Read more...]

On justice vs. ‘righteousness’


"Quaerite autem primum regnum et iustitiam eius et omnia haec adicientur vobis." -- Matthew 6:33, Vulgate Nicholas Wolsterstorff, in Justice: Rights and Wrongs (pp. 110-113) Those who approach the New Testament solely through English translations face a serious linguistic obstacle to apprehending what these writings say about justice. In most English translations, the word "justice" occurs relatively infrequently. It is no surprise, then, that most English-speaking people think the New … [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (7.29)

David Simon on theodicy and the Yankees; Dahlia Lithwick on execution by torture; Nick Hanauer on why plutocrats should support a new New Deal; Bethany Stolle on being marked in ministry; and "The Seven Types of Modern American Bigots."David Simon, "A quantum of Oriole" Well, for one thing, there is no God. There is only science. If there were a God, he would be — as evidenced by all of modern baseball history — a devoted fan of the Yankees. And God, at least the Judeo-Christian version of H … [Read more...]

Meteorologists explain the direction of the wind


"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows," Bob Dylan said. And we also shouldn't need moral theologians with formal training to tell us that the leadership of our churches should consist of "individuals who are neither perpetrators nor enablers of abuse."But apparently we do.Bill Lindsey directs us to that bit of advice from the theological faculty at the University of St. Thomas in Dylan's home state of Minnesota. "St. Thomas faculty join refrain for Twin Cities … [Read more...]

‘It’s a hard world for little things’


"One Million Moms" -- the media watchdog arm of the right-wing Christianist American Family Association, whose name is inaccurate by several orders of magnitude -- is upset with the latest ad from Guinness because it features the great old hymn "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms": Guinness & Co. is currently airing a commercial for its beer with a popular gospel hymn as background music. The song "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" is played during the entire ad and even though there are no … [Read more...]

A scientist sets an example for the church

I do not know much of anything about "the evolution and ecology of microbes and genomes," or much of anything about Dr. Jonathan Eisen, who specializes in that field. But Eisen seems to be a mensch.The UC Davis professor was recently invited to give a prestigious endowed lecture series and, as Upworthy would say, What He Did Next Will Surprise You. I do not think I have ever given a named lecture before. Then I made one fateful decision -- I decided to look up who had spoken at the lecture … [Read more...]

‘I am not the monster that I once was’


• That'll preach: Gordon S. Wood marvels at the way Danielle Allen approaches the Declaration of Independence. Wood praises Allen's Our Declaration for its insight, accessibility, careful reading of the text and personal intimacy. He seems astonished by her reverential and revelatory engagement with the text, but there's a word for the expository process he describes. It's a sermon.Sounds like Allen's book may be useful not just for students of history, but for students of homiletics as we … [Read more...]

Sunday favorites

Luke 8:1-3 Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources. … [Read more...]