October 29, 2020

  Some time ago, Ben Myers, a systematics professor at United Theological College in Sydney, Australia, summarized the Bible, book by book, using Twitter.  He did an admirable job of capturing the themes of First and Second Kings: 1 Kings: So, you really want a monarchy huh? Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 2 Kings: I told you so. Read together, the message of those two books could be understood as an endorsement of theocracy (i.e., the direct rule of… Read more

October 1, 2020

The nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, a devout Roman Catholic, to the Supreme Court has focused attention on how people of faith conduct themselves in public office, particularly when there are specific issues of moral consequence.  How do Christians navigate the debate today over the appointment of Supreme Court Justices?  Let me suggest how Christians might navigate that issue: I assume that people will live by some kind of imperative or a constellation of imperatives, be they religious or not…. Read more

September 25, 2020

  And if you are a Christian and it doesn’t, it should. But in today’s polarized and polarizing political climate, the faith of our civic servants is even more controversial than when we elected the first Roman Catholic to ever serve as President of the United States.  So, Diane Feinstein’s indictment of Amy Coney Barrett back in 2017 wasn’t particularly surprising then, and it isn’t surprising that it has resurfaced. But the controversy surfaces what might seem a pretty thorny… Read more

September 21, 2020

    Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he… Read more

September 18, 2020

  With Ashley Mowers   Prior to the pandemic, a lot of us lacked any capacity for online ministry.  It wasn’t a part of our DNA.  Our buildings weren’t equipped for it.  Our budgets couldn’t accommodate the costs involved.  We thought our demographic didn’t require it.  And all of those reasons were bolstered by the theological conviction that virtual ministry lacked an incarnational element. Or so we thought. But Covid-19 and a lot of really bad planning that assumed spiritual… Read more

September 9, 2020

  Covid-19 has presented unexpected challenges at every level of society and the church has not escaped.  Exactly what the church will look like after we are able to talk about the pandemic in the past-tense is difficult to say. Until in-person is possible again without any kind of limitations, it is impossible to be sure how many people will return on a regular basis.  But it is possible to be a bit clearer about the lessons we have learned… Read more

August 31, 2020

Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting… Read more

August 26, 2020

  If Mainline and Progressive Protestantism wants to be anything, it wants to be inclusive.  In one way or another that has been a central theme for roughly seventy years.  But over time, the definition of inclusion has shifted dramatically. For much of that time, the inclusive ideal was a church that welcomed people of varied identities.  In quick succession and often in overlapping efforts, that quest had a variety of priorities.  In the twentieth century through the early twenty-first… Read more

August 17, 2020

Church folklore is replete with delightful stories of Mary in the daily life of the Church.  One story tells of an old man, intent on receiving a special favor, who prayed fervently every day at the shrine of Mary, the Mother of God.  Impressed by such devotion, Jesus himself, the story continues, decided to reward such faith by appearing in person to assure the man of the blessings that would come to him.  Seeing the Christ Child standing above the… Read more

August 12, 2020

Once when Antony was living in the desert his soul was troubled by boredom and irritation. He said to God, ‘Lord, I want to be made whole and my thoughts do not let me. What am I to do about this trouble, how shall I be cured?’ After a while he got up and went outside. He saw someone like himself sitting down and working, then standing up to pray; then sitting down again to make a plait of palm… Read more

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