October 16, 2019

CREDO (from Political Evensong) I believe in God who created the world not ready made like a thing that must forever stay what it is who does not govern according to eternal laws that have perpetual validity nor according to natural orders of poor and rich, experts and ignoramuses, people who dominate and people subjected. I believe in God who desires the counter-argument of the living and the alteration of every condition through our work through our politics. I believe… Read more

October 15, 2019

In a moment when overall participation in church-life is diminishing, it seems a natural inclination for church leaders to band together for text study. When you can’t find enough of your kind right around you, reach out farther until you’ve got a support group in place. This is a natural inclination, but it isn’t a healthy one, especially for preachers. Let’s explore why. First, think about how differently the life situation of clergy is from those listening to the sermon… Read more

October 14, 2019

“Faith, however, returns to its Sunday school every time it nails its language into positive propositions about what it has faith in. For, in the cloud, in its darkness and its necessity, what we find ourselves in—‘an unknown that does not terrify us’—may be just what is coming unsaid in the saying. Perhaps it is after all not surprising that few theologians (conservative or liberal) practice such terms, that apophasis still plays a minor role in contemporary theology. Bad for… Read more

October 13, 2019

My friend Jonathan Rundman, in a song about receiving a mix-tape in the mail, sings: vinyl is so warm, digital is clean but tapes are something different you know what i mean i thank the lord above for things that never fail blessed by blank cassettes and the u.s. mail He’s right. Tapes have that steady, analog, continuous sound without the pop or sputter of vinyl. On a record, the sound is stored by the continuous texture of the surface…. Read more

October 12, 2019

So here’s the thing. Lots of people seem to be talking story and narrative these days. Many of my own colleagues are using a Narrative Lectionary, under the assumption that the Scriptures can be presented in worship in a way that gives a sense of a grand narrative. And I would say even in my own approach to preaching series and other work, the move towards “narrative” is implicit in at least some of what I do as pastor. Similarly,… Read more

October 12, 2019

“God did not grant a Reformation to American Christendom. He gave strong revivalist preachers, [people] of the church, and theologians, but no reformation of the church of Jesus Christ from the word of God. Those churches of the Reformation that came to America either stand in deliberate seclusion and distance from general church life or have fallen victim to Protestantism without Reformation. There are Americans who announce with certainty and pride that they build on principles that are pre-Reformation and… Read more

October 3, 2019

There are multiple ways to come at defining political theology, which is what I’m trying to do in this little post, but basically, “classic” political theology (ala Carl Schmitt) argued that all significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts. Example: Sovereign is the one who decides on the exception. That’s the secular situation in politics. The parallel in theology is the miracle, which is the supernatural “exception”. Much of the reflection on political theology… Read more

October 2, 2019

Imagine if you would this scenario: the federal government, at the instruction of the president, announces that in 2020 only those patients with broken bones will be admitted into hospitals. No one else. The reaction would be swift and fierce. Those suffering from other ailments would demand services. Family members would advocate for change. The arguments for keeping the hospitals open would be myriad. We have the resources. We have the hospitals. We have the staff. The need is great…. Read more

September 20, 2019

Customer service is really hit or miss, especially online. I know I much prefer walking into a store and talking to a representative. But you can’t always do this, as so many corporations these days are national or international. If you call, you sit on hold for hours. If you use the online customer service tool, you don’t get a response. If you send an e-mail, it disappears down a black hole. However, there is one way to guarantee excellent… Read more

September 19, 2019

Confessing To Plants Somehow it’s absolutely not surprising at all that the same day I heard of the confession to the plants at Union Theological Seminary in New York, I also listened to NPR and learned there has been a massive uptick in houseplant sales nationally. Basic summary: houseplant sales are way up, especially among millennials. Therefore media attention. Sales are up because of a Venn diagram of factors: a popular hashtag on Instagram, #plantsofinstagram, an increased focus on environmental… Read more

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