Let's go out to the lake, Earl

Last night, Republicans used a procedural maneuver to block a vote in the United States Senate on that American Jobs Act. That bill would, among other things, provide $85 billion in aid to cash-strapped state and local governments. It’s not entirely coincidental, then, that it was also last night that the City of Harrisburg, Pa., [Read More...]

Debate fact-checking

Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not “Every man for himself.” And the London Underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked them up. I’m not a fan of designated “fact-checking” reports following speeches and political debates. Either every report from that paper, station or site [Read More...]

You just call out my name

“You just call out my name,” James Taylor sings, “and you know where ever I am / I’ll come running …” You’ve likely said something similar to someone at some point. “If you ever need me, I’ll be there for you.” That, as Taylor says, is the mark of a friend. But is it really? [Read More...]

Leftover Links

Spent way too much time last week piling up rocks and too little time posting about all the stuff I’d bookmarked. There are three words in the name of Grace Fellowship Church, but it seems that the pastor and deacons of the Tennessee congregation don’t understand what any of those words mean: “Assault Complaints Filed [Read More...]

Sunday favorites

Philippians 2:3-8 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, [Read More...]

Bible stories: Shamgar

One of my favorite Bible stories is barely a story at all. It’s the story of Shamgar, the parenthetical hero of the book of Judges. Here, in its entirety, is the story of Shamgar: After him came Shamgar son of Anath, who killed six hundred of the Philistines with an ox-goad. He too delivered Israel. [Read More...]

The Nephilim fossil of upstate New York

I’m not trying to jump the gun on the upcoming Patheos book club on this book, but I wanted to share this anecdote from W. Scott Poole’s fascinating Monsters in America. It’s the story of what happens when someone discovers a mastodon tooth before anyone knew what a mastodon was: In 1705 a farmer discovered [Read More...]

Reasons for hope, part 1

An excellent question, from comments: Is there any reason for hope? … What is there to be hopeful about? I think everyone has asked that question at some point. If you haven’t, then you should have — it’s one of the most important questions there is. And it’s a question that calls for more than [Read More...]