Am I Distinguished? (Don’t Answer That)

Yesterday I started teaching two classes at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Never heard of it before? Not surprising. It’s a small, liberal seminary, affiliated with the UCC, the UMC, and the UUA. I taught a class there in 2012, and last summer I was approached about teaching more. And about a title. So they gave me on: Distinguished Lecturer in the Practice of Theology.

That’s a pretty fancy title for an adjunct professor, but it looks good on the back of a book. Plus, I’ve never heard of anyone with that title before. A Google search shows that no one else in the world has this title, so it fulfills my need for uniqueness.

A funny thing about that title is that I rarely lecture. I do with undergrads, but my pedagogy with grad students — heavily influenced by bell hooks — is to ask trangressive questions and catalyze discussion.

The two classes I’m teaching are dissimilar.

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I’m Thinking about Baptismal Regeneration as I Sit By the Fire

Because that’s the subject of this week’s QTH. It’s not really turning my crank this morning. I’m sitting at the cabin, next to the fire, surrounded by my kids. It’s our last weekend up here for the year. On Monday, the plumber will come and blow out the pipes, we’ll pour antifreeze down the toilets, put out mouse poison, and lock it up till next Spring. Between now and Monday, I hope to bag a wild turkey — we’ve got about a dozen roaming our land. Plus a couple ducks, if the weather cooperates.

As I think about the metaphysics around regeneration, here are a couple items of possible interest:

- We’ve announced that Joshua DuBois, President Obama’s top faith advisor for years, is speaking at Christianity21.

- On that topic, Deb Arca of Patheos interviewed me about the conference (and about the dust-up with Marcus Borg last week).

- Finally, I wrote a review of Sarah Cunningham’s new book for Red Letter Christians.

Hunting and Writing: Not That Far Apart

Hunting, I predict, will be the next hipster activity. Having taken to carving their own meat, mixing handcrafted cocktails, and growing mustaches, I expect that a bunch of skinny-jeaners are going to join me afield in the coming years.

Yesterday, hunter and writer Steven Rinella wrote about how he is both a serious writer and a big game hunter, a combo to which I also aspire:

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It’s a Court System, Not a Justice System

Years ago, in the midst of my divorce, I was sitting in therapy, again bemoaning the injustices of divorce in Minnesota. I was beyond frustrated at the lack of enforcement of court orders, at the assumption that moms are better parents than dads, and that no one seemed to think that my case was as urgent as I thought it was.

“Stop calling it the ‘Family Justice System,’” my therapist said.

“What?” I asked. “That’s what it’s called.”

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