September 5, 2022

There are a couple of sayings attributed to Jesus that Christians often use when attempting to show that following Jesus and a commitment to capitalism are compatible with each other–I’ve encountered each of them recently. In a Facebook thread, a person noted that since Jesus said that “God helps those who helps themselves,” clearly he would endorse the capitalist work ethic of competition and self-promotion. Then on Twitter someone quoted Jesus as saying that “If you don’t work, you don’t... Read more

September 4, 2022

Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. Bruce Dickinson Regular readers of this blog know that I very seldom make it through any post without referring to something from the Bible. This is partially because I know the book well; extensive study and memorization of scripture beginning at an early age was a required part of the religious world I was raised in. More often than not, I use the Bible as a tool to... Read more

September 1, 2022

I wrote this essay while I was on retreat in early July but, for reasons that will become clear by the end, chose not to post it here until now.  Except for those who deliberately and religiously stay disconnected from current events and those who live under a rock, everyone in this country knows that the United States Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision in June, thus overruling fifty years of precedent and abolishing the right to... Read more

August 30, 2022

Literary phrases for the beginning of a new academic year abound, such as Dickens’ “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” or Shakespeare’s “Once more unto the breach, dear friends.” But this year I’m thinking of a memorable scene from a television miniseries more than four decades ago. In the last few minutes of Franco Zefferelli’s Jesus of Nazareth, Zerah pokes his head into the tomb where he observed the dead Jesus of Nazareth being... Read more

August 27, 2022

I consider myself to be well informed and well read, but every once in a while I read or hear something so new that I have to say, “I’ve never thought about that before!’ followed quickly by “This is really important. Why haven’t I ever thought about this before?” I’ve had this experience more than once this summer. One of my favorite podcasts over the past few months has been “The Bible for Normal People” with Pete Enns and Jared... Read more

August 25, 2022

This week marks the tenth anniversary of this blog–hard to believe! It has been on Patheos for a bit over five years. When I first started this project, it was clear that only my immediate family and maybe a dozen friends and colleagues were reading it–now thousands of readers visit and comment every month. To make this auspicious anniversary, this week I am posting the two most popular posts in terms of site visits in the last ten years. Coming... Read more

August 22, 2022

This week marks the tenth anniversary of this blog–hard to believe! It has been on Patheos for a bit over five years. When I first started this project, it was clear that only my immediate family and maybe a dozen friends and colleagues were reading it–now thousands of readers visit and comment every month. To mark this auspicious anniversary, I am posting the two most popular posts in terms of site visits in the last ten years. Coming in at... Read more

August 20, 2022

One of the habits that having a puppy in the house for the past ten months has established is a one mile walk as soon as she gets me up (around 6:00, usually). As Bovina and I take various loops through the neighborhood, I listen to podcasts. My “favorites” include Fresh Air Hell and High Water Hidden Brain The Bible for Normal People Everything Happens Evolving Faith and many more. One morning this week I listened to the latest episode... Read more

August 18, 2022

For many, the raising of Lazarus is Jesus’ signature miracle, even though it is only mentioned in one of the four gospels. A brief mention of the miracle in a book I am currently reading made me nostalgic for the epic Bible movies of my youth. During my childhood, we did not go to movies—that was something, along with a bunch of other things, that good Baptists didn’t do. But we did watch television—except on Sundays. So, my brother and... Read more

August 16, 2022

From as early as I can remember, I had an invisible butler. My mother enjoyed laying my clothes out for the next day when I went to bed, but every once in a while it was clear that someone else was stepping in to take care of my sartorial needs. I would wake up with unmatched socks laid out, or two shirts but nothing for the waist down, or no underwear, or shoes but no socks. Not wanting to insult... Read more


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