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Dec
22

A church that loves the prophets

A church that loves the prophets Are the prophets merely the forerunners of the non-profits, God’s agents of social improvement in the lives of those who need it most?
Dec
21

New child, new dissertation, new holiness?

New child, new dissertation, new holiness? I began working on my dissertation proposal about two weeks before my daughter’s birth. My dissertation is now one chapter old and my daughter is seven months.
Dec
18

A noble desire?

A noble desire? There is a verse in the Bible that long vexed me. 1 Timothy 3:1 says, “Whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task.”
Dec
17

Why “Joy to the World” isn’t a Christmas Carol

Why “Joy to the World” isn’t a Christmas Carol When Isaac Watts wrote “Joy to the World,” he was reflecting on Psalm 98 as part of his hymn series entitled The Psalms of David Imitated: "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth."
Dec
17

Suffer the little children

Suffer the little children Maybe having children is a goad to holiness because it shows us just how little progress we actually make in holiness.
Dec
16

Advent gumbo

Advent gumbo The work of preparation involves paring or trimming things out of our lives, like using a paring knife to trim the vegetables and cut away the fat from the chicken in a gumbo.
Dec
15

Stop being jerks about Christmas

Stop being jerks about Christmas In seminary, I learned that "we must reclaim Advent." The only way to do that is through a vicious mocking of the foolish plebeians around us who sing Christmas carols any time before 11:00 pm on Christmas Eve.
Dec
14

Good news! Repent!

Good news! Repent! The Gospel reading for this week, in which John called all of us to repent is indeed good news. It is good news precisely because it demands that we face God’s grace and allow ourselves to be changed by it.
Dec
11

Justice, the sorrowful mysteries, and a future unity

Justice, the sorrowful mysteries, and a future unity I’ve been tracking the reaction to Bishop Daniel Martins’s post “Jesus, Mel Gibson, and the alpha issue,” posted on Monday. It has provoked a number of people to articulate some kind of alternative theological space.
Dec
11

Everyday bread: the spiritual writing of Soren Johnson

Everyday bread: the spiritual writing of Soren Johnson A lot of popular theological writing seems permanently focused on bigger pictures and patterns. By contrast, Soren Johnson reflects on the humble burdens of discipleship in close relief.
Dec
10

Holy living in the PhD desert

Holy living in the PhD desert In those PhD years, I think I learned a number of things about structure, sin, silence, and solitude.
Dec
9

I have called you friends

I have called you friends There is a whole wonderful realm of relational intimacy that our culture misses out on by loading all of its human-closeness eggs in the basket of specifically sexual intimacy.
Dec
8

The cruelty of Christmas

The cruelty of Christmas A part of me hates Christmas; a part of me curses Christmas — and the infant Christ just lays there and stares.
Dec
7

Telling the Passion

Telling the Passion When he devised the first nativity scene, Francis of Assisi wanted to show that God had a share in poverty. In a similar way and in roughly the same period, the five wounds of Christ were the subject of devotion in prayers, poems, meditations, charms, and even guilds.
Dec
7

Jesus, Mel Gibson, and the alpha issue

Jesus, Mel Gibson, and the alpha issue Our new Presiding Bishop talks about Jesus and "the Jesus Movement" a great deal. I expect Episcopalians will find a degree of unity around this theme. But I don’t expect us to stop fighting. Why? Because there are still two very different narratives about Jesus in play.
Dec
4

The Benedict Option and Yale

The Benedict Option and Yale Recent turmoil at Yale University reveals the inevitable cultural aporia that has resulted a generation after Justice Kennedy’s opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Dec
3

O come, let us say the entire Venite

O come, let us say the entire Venite Venite is the Latin name for Psalm 95, which is appointed in the order for Morning Prayer before the daily portion of psalms. In the history of Anglican liturgical development, the text of this psalm has been an unfortunate casualty, a victim of the impulse to smooth over or eliminate challenging statements from Scripture. The psalm can be roughly divided into two parts: the first half is an invitation to...
Dec
2

Climate justice: insights from African Anglican theologians

Climate justice: insights from African Anglican theologians We see an interweaving of three of our five Marks of Mission, when we consider deeply not just climate change, but climate justice, and when we learn from the voices of our brothers and sisters in the global south.
Dec
1

John Chrysostom and the virtue of giving

John Chrysostom and the virtue of giving A moment of confession: I love stewardship season, and I love asking people for money. Why? Because John Chrysostom’s right: Learning to use money effectively for God’s purpose is fundamental to our discipleship.
Nov
30

Primatial option for the Covenant

Primatial option for the Covenant Something like the Anglican Covenant remains “the only game in town," for the simple reason that it delivers a synthesis of Anglican thinking about the Church wrought as a vision for the future. The alternatives are amnesia at best, innovation at worst.

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