The Committee will see you now


This photograph of Paul Tillich, Reinhold Niebuhr and Henry Pitney Van Dusen (which I’ve seen credited to Gjon Mili of Time) seemed irresistible to me. Think you can do better. Well, I think you can. I’m sure of it. So here’s the template, if you’re tempted. [Read more...]

Sex and theology

One of the massive and ongoing projects in Christian theology is the filtering out of all the Neo-Platonism we’ve been ingesting ever since St. Augustine spiked the punch bowl with that stuff. Intrepid blogger Dianna Anderson tackles a smaller, but similar project — trying to explain to American evangelicals that C.S. Lewis’ pervasive Platonism isn’t [Read More...]

Religious right pretends that Obama has a ‘God-talk’ problem

So here’s a common urban legend on the religious right, stated here by Phyllis Schlafly: Every time [President Obama] recites the Declaration of Independence, he omits the word “Creator.” Now we all know what’s in the Declaration and it’s very strange, you can’t blame it on a slip of the tongue or blame it on [Read More...]

Re: The ToJo God-blogging challenge

Tony Jones taps his foot impatiently, muttering that much of the response to his challenge, thus far, has been “throat-clearing” and “prolegomena.” And he grumbles that “poetry is something of a cop-out.” That’s a fair cop w/r/t the two posts I’ve written subsequent to his challenge and explicitly in response to them. But it also [Read More...]

God, Part 2: The problem with pronouns


(This is the second piece of my response to Tony Jones’ “Challenge to Progressive Theo-bloggers.” The first piece is here.) Whenever possible, I try to avoid gendered pronouns for God. Admittedly, this can sometimes make for clumsy syntax, but that clumsiness is a feature, not a bug. Because the main point of this exercise is [Read More...]

God, Part 1

Tony Jones has a challenge and an invitation for “all progressive theo-bloggers.” Write something substantive about God. Not about Jesus, not about the Bible, but about God. I expect to fail this challenge. And I intend to fail it in several parts. For the first part, here, I’m bringing in a ringer: Wislawa Szymborska (as [Read More...]

Two more thoughts on ‘Miracles’

A couple more stray thoughts in response to reading Tim Stafford’s Miracles for the Patheos Book Club. 1. The miraculous selection of Matthias Since interest in the miraculous seems bound up with concern for evidence of direct divine intervention, I wonder why Acts 1:12-26 is usually not included as part of the discussion of biblical [Read More...]

‘Making the text say things that it never meant’

One of my pet-peeve misconceptions is the notion that an illiterately literal reading of Genesis 1-11 is somehow an expression of “conservative” theology. It isn’t. Of course this “literal” belief in the six-day creation of a young earth isn’t liberal theology either. It’s just bad theology. Not orthodox, not conservative or liberal, just wrong — [Read More...]