Urban Planning: What Are the Unintended Consequences?

Gentrification benefits “urban pioneers,” but what about those who are native urbanites? Yes, clean streets, cafes, shops, art studios, and shorter commutes to work in the city are very nice to contemporary Lewis and Clark pioneers. However, for all the fresh faces and new wealth, we lose out all too often on the cultural riches of the displaced, vibrant traditional communities. Such cultural loss is an unintended consequence.Many who are forced to abandon their long-standing communities and … [Read more...]

Mental Illness Is Not a Sin. So Why the Shame?

Mental illness is not a sin. So why the shame? According to Lea Seigen Shinraku, MFT, “Shame conflates feeling ‘bad’ with being ‘bad.’” “You feel bad, therefore you are bad” (See the article, “When You Feel Shame About Your Mental Illness” by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. at PsychCentral).Shame causes us to isolate ourselves from others. It does not help that in our culture, we often associate mental illness with weakness and character flaws. There is also the fear that sometimes those with men … [Read more...]

Messiahs & Monsters: Which Do We Project?

Like messiahs, monsters bridge divides, including those between disciplines. As David Skal claims, “Since it is in the nature of monsters to bridge divides, it should be no wonder that they offer an (un)natural tool for cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural studies, which almost, by definition, require some crucial encounter with some kind of Other.”[1] People often live with clear boundaries, like vampires that are neither living nor dead, but undead. Messiah figures supernaturally rather than u … [Read more...]

What Gives You the Right to Be a Christian?

The story is told of a physicist at a university where Karl Barth once taught, demanding that the Swiss theologian answer the following question, “What gives you the right to teach at this university?” Barth responded, “The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”[1] Some might scoff at Barth’s answer. Some might be surprised. After all, the answer comes across as, well, so unscientific. But is it? I supposed it all depends on how Barth—or others making a similar claim—understood the relation … [Read more...]

Celebrate Science and Faith

The Bible calls us to celebrate God’s goodness in the creation. The Christian community just celebrated Easter, which involves Jesus rising from the dead and bringing about the transformation of creaturely life. This emphasis is a continuation of the incarnation. God created the world good. The ultimate affirmation of the goodness of the creation is Christ’s incarnation. “The Word became flesh,” John 1:14 tells us.Since this is the case, Christians should be known for celebrating the creatio … [Read more...]

We Vote Our Loves and Fears

In a March 1st New York Times article, “What Wouldn’t Jesus Do?” Peter Wehner writes about how incomprehensible it is that many Evangelicals support Donald Trump. For example, Evangelicals highlighted the significance of “moral probity” during Bill Clinton’s presidency (a trait many Evangelicals believed he lacked). Now many are saying they are not voting for a pastor, but a politician (Trump). Such shifting “exposes them as hypocrites” and “is difficult to fathom.”It should be noted at the o … [Read more...]

I Like Bunnies, But I Prefer Lions and Lambs at Easter.

I like bunnies, but I prefer lions and lambs at Easter. After all, the Bible does not make use of rabbits in reference to the resurrected Christ, but rather lions and lambs, as in the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and Lamb of God. Revelation 5:5-7 reads, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though … [Read more...]


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