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May
21

The Blues run backwards: Girard, mimesis, and Doug Burr’s Pale White Dove

The Blues run backwards: Girard, mimesis, and Doug Burr’s Pale White Dove Burr’s musical archaeology unearths the bodies buried beneath the floorboards of the American cultural edifice.
May
20

Americans have always been arguing about religion

Intense religious argument, particularly about infidelity, has been part of the history of the United States from the start. And, in the beginning, it only had a little to do with sex.
May
20

St. Blasé’s welcomes you!

St. Blasé’s welcomes you! An interview In which an everyday journalist meets a typical Episcopal parish, in all its love for the blessing of animals and the "hypothetical Buddhists" down the street.
May
19

A Blues Brothers mystagogy

A Blues Brothers mystagogy Every other time I've watched this movie, the repeating theme wherein the “brothers” insist that they are on a “mission from God” came across to me simply as part of the joke of the movie or as a blasphemy.
May
18

Is there an “Anglican understanding” of the New Testament?

Is there an “Anglican understanding” of the New Testament? At the end of every class at the Anglican seminary where I teach, my students fill out a course evaluation with this question on it.
May
15

Fully Alive responds critically to Marriage Task Force

Fully Alive responds critically to Marriage Task Force The report contains serious historical, methodological, and theological flaws, and we contend that the proposed changes obscure the nature of marriage.
May
15

Dialogues on hope and hellfire: St. Isaac the Syrian in Alvin Kimel’s Eclectic Orthodoxy

Dialogues on hope and hellfire: St. Isaac the Syrian in Alvin Kimel’s Eclectic Orthodoxy Insistently and unambiguously Universalist, St. Isaac believed that God’s love will conquer every rebel heart.
May
14

Our selves, our souls and bodies

Tara Owens’s book Embracing the Body has reminded me of how essential the physical dimension of worship is.
May
13

“You brood of vipers!” The lost art of denunciation

“You brood of vipers!” The lost art of denunciation We can go wrong by not preaching against things. Most preachers (and I include myself in this category) are cowards.
May
12

Paschal penitence

Paschal penitence The New Testament suggests that there is nothing more paschal in character, than the transitional moment represented by our repentance and God’s forgiveness.
May
11

Something to eat

Something to eat Why does the risen Jesus ask for food? Is he hungry? Does he need to eat?
May
11

Dear Preacher: some friendly advice from the pew

Dear Preacher: some friendly advice from the pew Do you really want to know about the state of preaching? Ask the laity — we know better than anyone just how bad contemporary preaching is.
May
8

Rogation walk

Rogation walk Rogation reminds us that these places that grab hold of our deep affections need to be baptized and to become, if only for those who live there, a little Eden where God still enjoys strolling in the cool of the evening.
May
7

Messengers, watchmen, and stewards

Messengers, watchmen, and stewards As the Church enters the season for ordinations, I offer these reflections on a classic description of priestly ministry.
May
6

Sizzler Christianity

Sizzler Christianity We often seek to set the table, to choose what we think is best for us, to eat something other than what has been given. My grandfather taught me that God has already set the table; he has said his grace.
May
5

The gospel ain’t about you, but it is for you

The gospel ain’t about you, but it is for you Craig Uffman finds my explanation of Reformation teaching reductionistic. I find it puzzling that he rejects the idea that the gospel is primarily for us.
May
5

This mortal weight: flesh, resurrection, and patience

This mortal weight: flesh, resurrection, and patience We bear the weight that surrounds us in the daily trappings of life: waking, sleeping, eating, drinking, working, concerning oneself with the plight of one's neighbor. These things are a joy at times, but at others they sit heavily across the shoulders.
May
4

The gospel ain’t about you

The gospel ain’t about you The gospel is the proclamation that “the crucified and risen Jesus is the Messiah of Israel and therefore the Lord of the world.” And the time is ripe for a preaching ministry that reflects this gospel and equips the saints for the holy life which is our spiritual worship.
May
1

Will the goats please stand up?

Will the goats please stand up? For despite the major things Godspell gets wrong, I think it gets this one thing right. It is only those who continue to beg for mercy, who persevere in the face of judgment that have the temerity to start building the Beautiful City, brick by brick, heart by heart.
Apr
30

Reinforcing clericalism: our misguided service

Reinforcing clericalism: our misguided service Most of our rites for footwashing reinforce clericalism, rather than the mutual submission and service commanded by Jesus.
Apr
29

The burden of angels

The burden of angels A few months ago, I was in a conversation with a friend (a former classmate and now a fellow seminary professor at a different institution). She mentioned at some point that she didn’t believe that angels really exist. “They don’t fit within my metaphysics,” she explained. I was flummoxed. I couldn’t recall ever hearing anyone say that before. But as I thought about it, I...
Apr
28

Things Episcopalians say (2): “You don’t have to check your brains at the door.”

Things Episcopalians say (2): “You don’t have to check your brains at the door.” After all, is there any Christian tradition that more effortlessly embraces a sophisticated intellectual idiom within a refined aesthetic sensibility?
Apr
27

Grace, grace, and grace: how to battle Osteenism in our time

Grace, grace, and grace: how to battle Osteenism in our time We must take the Osteen out of our own eyes before we go looking to remove it from our neighbor's.
Apr
24

“It is finished”: the residue of the Passion in Eastertide

“It is finished”: the residue of the Passion in Eastertide Jesus’ ministry in the world was, as it were, a betrothal. But the Cross is the consummation of the union of divine nature and human nature.
Apr
23

Going to an ancient land

Going to an ancient land We are called to rejoice in the fellowship of those we cannot see or hear or touch, but who witness to us, urging us to "Build well."
Apr
23

An academic and pastoral lens

Richard Hays offers an exemplary commentary on 1 Corinthians, naming the challenges and exploring how we can honestly engage with a biblical text we seek to make authoritative in our lives and our Church.
Apr
22

Mysterium fidei

Mysterium fidei Through the Paschal mystery, dear friends, we are buried with Christ by Baptism into his death, and raised with him to newness of life. So declaims the celebrant to the liturgical assembly, according to the use of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, at the Great Vigil of Easter and on other occasions when baptismal vows are publicly renewed. It is beyond obvious that there is a wide variety of narratives...
Apr
21

A different sort of scholar

A different sort of scholar “My entire worldview has been shaped and transformed by my involvement at the parish near campus.” A junior in college wrote this sentence about the life and work he’s found hanging around the upstairs choir room in the church he attends two blocks from his university campus. Last year, he was confirmed there when he was a sophomore.  He had stumbled in as a freshman, looking for...
Apr
20

On the harrowing of hell

On the harrowing of hell Sam Keyes responds to a question submitted to the Covenant blog regarding the harrowing of hell.
Apr
17

Woe to Assyria

Woe to Assyria Westerners cannot use reason to talk IS out of conducting jihad. So what is the solution?
Apr
16

Being in remission

Being in remission Once in awhile, something that I say as a part of the liturgy just leaps off of the page and grabs me.
Apr
15

6 characteristics of growing churches

6 characteristics of growing churches If you want your church to grow, here is a six-pack of growing church characteristics backed up by data.
Apr
14

The end repeats the beginning

The end repeats the beginning The liturgy is a ritual enactment of the Last Day, a corporate enactment of our collective hope. But it also mirrors the beginning of days.
Apr
13

Easter Communion

Easter Communion The poetry of Easter is so very rich — reaching out as far as we can reach in our limited vocabularies for a way to say what needs to be said.
Apr
9

Why so serious?

Why so serious? The levity of the saints is a lightness that is bright with mirth, heavy with joy, thick with intention and devotion.
Apr
8

Against liturgical seasons

Against liturgical seasons When do we get to talk about the Cross again?
Apr
6

Analog Christianity


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