General Theological Seminary and Progressive Christianity

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The crisis at General Theological Seminary probably hasn’t been felt very far beyond the walls of The Episcopal Church. That’s not surprising. General is hardly a large seminary and, like most of our denomination’s seminaries, its faculty and student body is comparatively homogeneous, denominationally speaking. But the crisis has certainly rocked our little corner of the church-world. In part, because the dispute between General’s faculty and its President-Dean became the instant subject of conve … [Read more...]

Throw Like a Girl: The Power of Enacted Contradictions

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In a world fraught with an increasing number of bitter debates over what is theoretically possible, the best antidote to prejudice may still be the enacted contradiction.  That, at least, is one of the lessons to be learned from the Little League career of pitcher Mo’ne Davis who pitches at 70 mph and just threw history’s first shut out for Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons. She shatters sexist assumptions about what it means to “throw like a girl” and she does it all with composure that most adults f … [Read more...]

Question Eight of Ten: “Can I grieve with others?”

   Taking The Dave Test during the Holiday Question Eight: “Can I grieve with others?”Introduction to the seriesMuch of the last year was thread through with considerable loss.  My brother, Dave, battled a fatal brain cancer for nearly eight years and he died this last January as the result of a fall that was due in large part to his disease.  He would have been 58 years old in October.In reaction to Dave’s quest to find a durable faith and supportive friends, I wrote a book call … [Read more...]

A Vulnerable Church: Passing The Dave Test

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Much of the last year was thread through with considerable loss.  My brother, Dave, battled a fatal brain cancer for nearly eight years and he died this last January as the result of a fall that was due in large part to his disease.  He would have been 58 years old this month.In reaction to Dave’s quest to find a durable faith and supportive friends, I wrote a book called The Dave Test, which was just released by Abingdon Press.  The book distills Dave’s quest into ten questions that any of u … [Read more...]

Thomas: Muggle or Wizard?

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But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."  A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to … [Read more...]

The Significance of the Liturgy

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We were visiting with friends this weekend and comparing notes about worship.  One of our friends noted that a non-denominational church near them offered an “informal” worship service free of liturgical forms.  “We just can’t compete, given the formality of our approach to worship,” our friend observed.I can’t speak for my Christian sisters and brothers who favor less liturgical approaches to worship.  But those of us who use liturgical forms should never buy into the logic that our approach … [Read more...]

Notes on “The Prodigal”

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There isn’t just one prodigal in the parable of the prodigal son.There are two.One leaves home. The other stays home. The first can’t believe that God can love him. The other believes that God can’t love him --- without making sure that it’s the other son God doesn’t love.Neither of them “gets” God….God’s capacity for forgiveness God’s capacity for loveWe are inhabited by both prodigals...Prodigal daughters --- prodigal sons.One dominates the other from time … [Read more...]

The Meaning of Lent: An Ash Wednesday Rant

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This year, more than any in the past, I have noticed a lot of nonsense about Lent.  The number of silly recommendations for its observance seems to have grown exponentially:Care for the poorGive up plastic bagsReduce your carbon footprint to zero Don’t misunderstand me.  I am not arguing that any of these things are not noble goals in and of themselves.  Caring for the poor is the obligation of any Christian, whether it is in political fashion or not (and not just in Lent) … [Read more...]


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