September 26, 2022

Could I be following the wrong Jesus? “So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called Messiah?'” (Matthew 27:17) We know how this story turns out. Barabbas is released. We know very little about the man. Matthew describes him as “a notorious prisoner.” John claims he was a “bandit.” Both Luke and Mark say Barabbas was guilty of insurrection and murder. Only Matthew says... Read more

September 22, 2022

Progressive Christians know there is not one liberation theology. United Methodist theologian Joerg Rieger has provided another approach that promotes intersectionality of liberation and identity in his new book, Theology in the Capitalocene. In the interest of full disclosure, Professor Rieger asked me to read the manuscript prior to publication for any insights into the experience and identity of the American working class. I offered some suggestions. Climatologists often refer to the present geological era as the Anthropocene due to the... Read more

September 20, 2022

One of the Calvinist cornerstones of Prosperity Theology is the idea that God has a plan for each person living. This idea is comfort to some and a torment to others. Many people have told me of the anguish they felt begging God night after night to reveal the plan to them. Where do I go in life? What should I do? How can I know I am doing the right thing in my life? Other people can revel in... Read more

September 15, 2022

September is when we begin putting our gardens to bed where I live. In the fields early corn gave way to beans which is giving way to cover crop. Smaller kitchen gardens are producing fall squashes including pumpkins. Perhaps, some diligent people are sowing greens for the late autumn and early winter. But the winding down time is almost here. The days are getting shorter but are still very warm. It is almost outdoor fire time. Being a pastor it... Read more

September 12, 2022

Churches are declining in numbers. A non-religious conservatism is on the rise. More people are self-describing as “nones” when it comes to religious affiliation. It is a common assumption that the political Left is more secular while the political Right is more religious. But is this true? Maybe. But, if it is, it is not as true as it once was. In an essay written for the New York Times, Nate Hochman appears to both bewail the diminishing religious right... Read more

September 2, 2022

John Climacus in the Diapsalmata observed people demand freedom speech and neglect their freedom of thought.  While Kierkegaard wrote ideas he did not agree with under pseudonyms, something tells me he agreed with this one. Maybe it is just me. In the cultural and historical context in which I live, I see this people loudly saying things they really have not thought much about. They either fool themselves into thinking they understand the problem. Or they are afraid to give it... Read more

August 29, 2022

A definition for a church building is “a place for Christian worship.” I have pondered this idea throughout my ministry. We tend to think we know what Christian worship is even when we have different ideas about it. But what is place? Protestants often say, “We can worship God anywhere.” I agree. But only up to a point. I disagree with the implication of claiming “I can worship God anywhere.” This assertion is only true in certain circumstances. Personal devotions... Read more

August 25, 2022

Student Loans are an important part of receiving a university education. Usually, for undergraduates, they are a big part of the Financial Aid package. For universities, they are an important source of income. The small “Christian university” I attended in Oklahoma would not survive without them. In fact, I wonder how many of the small religiously affiliated liberal arts colleges would close their doors if the student loans were not available. So, Christians opposing any forgiveness of student loans is... Read more

August 22, 2022

Toby Veck is one of my heroes. He is a man with observations. Toby is Dicken’s protagonist in The Chimes, one of his other Christmas stories. “Nothing is more likely to come around as dinner time and less likely to come around as dinner.” Toby’s observations (or obserwashions) are as good as any other modern aphorist. My own inclination to puns and irony are less insightful. But I can be just as proud of them as Toby Veck is of... Read more

August 18, 2022

“One of us.” 1001 robots standing deathly still in a warehouse say at the same time. The scene is from I, Robot a film loosely based on Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics.” There is one particular robot in hiding within a group. The other 1000 know which one it is but are unable to directly answer the question, “Which one?” It is a creepy scene. The most creepy part is the apparent mindlessness of 1000 individual artificial intelligences. I saw a... Read more

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