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Fragmented formation: training clergy

Fragmented formation: training clergy Most of the conversation on ministerial formation is a load of crock. I suspect we engage in a little false advertising along the lines of: "Be transformed in three easy steps or your money back."

Feed the children

Feed the children When the words “controversy” and “the Episcopal Church” are combined, they almost inevitably lead to the topic of human sexuality. While this is understandable, it obscures the fact that there are other, less headline-grabbing debates going on within our beloved church. One that keeps popping up among my friends, particularly those with young children, is the issue of infant communion. Having...

Against empathy?

Against empathy? Is there a Christian alternative to empathy? Can we react to others with compassionate warmth and care without imagining that we need to experience what they experience?

Transitions: saying Goodbye, saying Hello

Transitions: saying Goodbye, saying Hello In the fall, Calvin Lane wrote on the search process in clergy transitions. This follow up post explores the practical details involved in ending pastoral relationships and beginning new ones.

Practicing the presence of place

Practicing the presence of place Wendell Berry: "It is by the place we’ve got, and our love for it and our keeping of it, that this world is joined to Heaven."

Some hard ecumenical questions

Some hard ecumenical questions It is unlikely that Geoffrey Wainwright’s Faith, Hope, and Love: The Ecumenical Trio of Virtues found its way into many stockings or under a lot of Christmas trees this year. Nevertheless, the slim volume is worth reading, because it forces difficult questions on the reader.

For the joy of marriage

For the joy of marriage When Christian teaching about marriage focuses primarily on the brokenness and hard work of marriage, we are throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

How radical a revision?

How radical a revision? Urban T. Holmes claimed that those who resisted the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, as well as the charismatic renewal movement, reflected “a nostalgia for a classical theology which many theologians know has not been viable for almost two hundred years." But is that what the BCP represents?

Blind justice? An exchange on Ferguson: part 2

Blind justice? An exchange on Ferguson: part 2 The chief task remains one of “squarely facing our own complicity in our condition” — to borrow the President’s phrase.

Blind justice? An exchange on Ferguson: part 1

Blind justice? An exchange on Ferguson: part 1 Racism is a horrible scar on the American soul, but we need to fight it appropriately.

Good and evil, Scrooge and Cosby

Good and evil, Scrooge and Cosby None of us are either good persons or bad persons. All of us are persons who do both good things and bad things. All of us are flawed, sinful persons, whether we are Ebenezer Scrooge or Bill Cosby.

The ox knows its owner

The ox knows its owner The ox knows its owner, and the ass its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.

No sweet little town of Bethlehem

No sweet little town of Bethlehem As a young child, one of the first Christmas songs I learned was "O Little Town of Bethlehem." I began to think of the song as sweet but a little schmaltzy until I learned that Philips Brooks wrote the song after visiting the town itself.

A call to arms

A call to arms Just the other day, I was reflecting on an influential saint of modern times, whose voluminous songbook has had considerable influence across the globe. His Christian name is Vincent Damon Furnier, but extant evidence demonstrates that he preferred the more ecclesiastical title of Alice Cooper. He is best known for his thesis on Judas, “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” and his reflection on human...

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