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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The Day that Minnesota Saved America

Attack of the 1st Minnesota at Gettysburg. Painting by Don Troiani. Courtesy of The National Guard.

 One hundred and fifty years ago today, the First Minnesota Volunteer Regiment performed a military action about which President Calvin Coolidge would later say, “In all the history of warfare this charge has few if any equals and no superiors. It was an exhibition of the most exalted heroism against an apparently insuperable antagonist.”

When they formed in 1861, the First Minnesota boasted 1,000 men — indeed, Minnesota had the highest percentage of volunteers of any state in the Union, with over half of the state’s eligible men enlisting. After six weeks of training, they loaded onto a barge, and then trains, to take them to war. They changed trains in Chicago, and the Chicago Tribune wrote,

There are few regiments we have ever seen that can compare to the brawn and muscle with these Minnesotians, used to the axe, the rifle, the oar and the setting pole. They are unquestionably the finest body of troops that has yet to appear in our streets.”

But by 1863, their number had dwindled to 262.

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