What can Rabbi Kushner and a bawdy church camp song tell us about John the Baptist and the kingdom of God?

Herold's Banquet, Fra Filippo Lippi, Fresco Duomo, Prato (Wikimedia) Mark 6 (NRSV) 22 When his daughter Herodias[e] came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” 23 And he solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give … Continue reading What can Rabbi Kushner and a bawdy church camp song tell us about John the Baptist and the kingdom of God?

David Brooks (and Martin Marty) on shared stories, the facts of history and American civil religion

In a remarkable op ed piece heading into the 4th of July weekend, at a time when Americans can't agree on factual matters as whether the 2020 election was fraudulent (spoiler alert: it wasn't) or scientific matters like whether vaccination can wind down the Covid-19 epidemic (it can), David Brooks of the New York Times … Continue reading David Brooks (and Martin Marty) on shared stories, the facts of history and American civil religion

God’s presence in an 11th-century Irish poem and a gust of wind on a nice spring afternoon — for Trinity Sunday

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lx-iI-kFDA St. Patrick's Breastplate, Church of the Redeemer, Kenmore, Wash. John 3:1-17 (NRSV). 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being … Continue reading God’s presence in an 11th-century Irish poem and a gust of wind on a nice spring afternoon — for Trinity Sunday

Theologian N.T. Wright rethinks ‘multi-ethnic, polychrome, mutually supportive’ early church, justification by faith

"Century Marks," Christian Century, April 21, 2021, p. 8. We're still quarantining magazines as they come into the house, and when I was going through them last night, a billboarded pull quote from British theologian N.T. Wright in a back issue of Christian Century jumped up off the page, snuggled up to me and wanted … Continue reading Theologian N.T. Wright rethinks ‘multi-ethnic, polychrome, mutually supportive’ early church, justification by faith

A dissent on the ‘assertion of imaginary freedoms’ in Trump’s Supreme Court, by an English major turned jailhouse lawyer and armchair historian

“It was all Mrs. Bumble. She would do it," urged Mr. Bumble; first looking round, to ascertain that his partner had left the room.That is no excuse," returned Mr. Brownlow. "You were present on the occasion of the destruction of these trinkets, and, indeed, are the more guilty of the two, in the eye of … Continue reading A dissent on the ‘assertion of imaginary freedoms’ in Trump’s Supreme Court, by an English major turned jailhouse lawyer and armchair historian

Climbing up out of an English teacher-y rabbit hole with a little help from the Ursuline sisters and St. Philip the Deacon

St. Philip baptizes a eunuch, attributed to Jan Brueghel the Younger (Wikipedia) Acts 8 (NRSV) 35 Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to … Continue reading Climbing up out of an English teacher-y rabbit hole with a little help from the Ursuline sisters and St. Philip the Deacon

My article on Springfield poet Vachel Lindsay, Springfield College and Ursuline Academy (1999, in the Sleepy Weasel)

https://www.facebook.com/peter.ellertsen/posts/2807407206186974 Editor's (admin's) note: Facebook shared the above post, from 2017, this morning as one of its "Memories." It shows an inscription by Vachel Lindsay on the inside title page of a book he apparently donated to SCI. I used a copy to illustrate an article I wrote in 1999 for The Sleepy Weasel. I … Continue reading My article on Springfield poet Vachel Lindsay, Springfield College and Ursuline Academy (1999, in the Sleepy Weasel)

How to make some pretty good soup in a global pandemic (with apologies to Simon Ortiz and Nora Dauenhauer)

It's best made in dry-fish camp on a beach by afish stream on sticks over an open fire, or duringfishing, or during cannery season.In this case, we'll make it in the city baked inan electric oven on a black fry pan. [...]-- Nora Dauenhauer, "How to Make Good Baked Salmon from the River" When I … Continue reading How to make some pretty good soup in a global pandemic (with apologies to Simon Ortiz and Nora Dauenhauer)

Of teacher-bashing, political vitriol … and a cure for invective in Luther’s catechism

Editor's (admin's) note. I'm sharing an email message to a family member replying to a blast email headlined "Everyone Wants Kids in School -- Except for the People Who Are Supposed to Be Teaching them!" [Bang mark in the original.] We've gone round and round before about what I perceive as teacher-bashing, and this time … Continue reading Of teacher-bashing, political vitriol … and a cure for invective in Luther’s catechism