Sermon on the Mount blogging

I enjoyed Tea Party Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mall,” but then I would. I’m not sure how effective it may be with those it’s hoping to persuade. Will Fermia traces the various American mutations of John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” allusion. In a remark much-quoted by politicians since then, Winthrop called for the Massachusetts [Read More...]

Frederick Buechner

This is from The Alphabet of Grace: Driving home from church one morning full of Christ, I thought, giddy in the head almost and if not speaking in tongues at least singing in tongues in some kind of witless, wordless psalm, I turned on the radio for the twelve o’clock news and heard how a [Read More...]

Mark Driscoll, John Woolman, Zacchaeus and grace

Thinking a bit more about the appallingly cult-like approach to “church discipline” at Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church, I’m reminded again of John Woolman. Woolman was the Quaker abolitionist primarily responsible for the Quakers, as a whole, becoming abolitionist: John Woolman believed slavery was unjust — that it was cruel for those in bondage and [Read More...]

Mark Driscoll is a wee little man

American churches remind me of those ads for Bally’s health clubs. You know the ones — they show attractive people with perfectly sculpted bodies lifting weights, running on treadmills and dancing or kick-boxing energetically in perfectly choreographed aerobics classes. The message those ads intend, I think, is that if you were to join Bally’s, then [Read More...]

Smart people saying smart things

Richard Rohr: “Purity“ I did a study recently of how Jesus understood the ideas of purity or cleanliness. He never applies it to the body or the physical world, but only to motivations (Matt. 23:26) and to the heart (Matt. 5:8). In fact, he declares “all foods clean” (Matt. 7:19) in strong disagreement with his [Read More...]

A Laodicean dessert


(Patty Griffin, “Makin’ Pies“) The tradition around here is that posts on contentious subjects ought to be quickly followed by a post on something decidedly not contentious — something widely appealing and nonpolitical. Usually that means pie. But today it means two pies. And not just two pies, but two pies in a cake. This [Read More...]

While we’re on the subject of abortion politics …

A link-dump of recent articles on the politics of abortion. Steven Brill: “Stories I’d Like to See“ 2. How many years up the river for an abortion? While we’re on the subject of questions reporters might ask on the campaign trail, here’s another that I can only remember NBC’s Tim Russert asking various anti-choice candidates: [Read More...]

Let’s condemn violence before it happens

Every time an incident of violence targeting abortion providers makes the news, most anti-abortion groups rush to condemn such violence. These condemnations may not be internally consistent, but I believe they are sincere and I am glad to hear them, time after time. Given that the repetition of this pattern over the years has clearly [Read More...]