How shall we know a prophet has been among us? Listening for the good news in Nazareth, Babylon to a reggae beat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXf1j8Hz2bU Ezekiel 2 (NRSV). He said to me: O mortal,[a] stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. 2 And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. 3 He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of … Continue reading How shall we know a prophet has been among us? Listening for the good news in Nazareth, Babylon to a reggae beat

Review of Jesuit author’s practical new book on prayer cuts to the chase

Very good review in Christian Century of Fr. James Martin's new book on prayer! Author of several popular books on Jesuit spirituality and editor-at-large of America magazine, Martin has written about prayer before -- frequently, but in passing. His latest book, Prayer: A Guide for Everyone, appears to pull those thoughts together for newbies and … Continue reading Review of Jesuit author’s practical new book on prayer cuts to the chase

What Luther said about the presence of God in his cabbage soup and why it matters

"Religionsgespräch [Colloquy] zu Marburg," Christian Karl August Noack, 1867 (Wikipedia) Seen on the unofficial ELCA discussion group's Facebook page, an allusion to Luther's comment "that God is [present] in his cabbage soup." I'd never seen it before, and I loved the quote! Hence this blog post, so I'll know where to look for it. Maybe … Continue reading What Luther said about the presence of God in his cabbage soup and why it matters

‘Do not fear, only believe’: Unpacking the good news in a the miracle of healing a synagogue elder’s daughter in Capernum

Resurrection of Jairus' daughter, Albert von Keller, 1886 (Wikimedia Commons) Mark 5 (NRSV). 35 While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing[b] what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 Sunday's gospel … Continue reading ‘Do not fear, only believe’: Unpacking the good news in a the miracle of healing a synagogue elder’s daughter in Capernum

The historical Jesus and the Christ of faith on a dark and stormy night (Pentecost IV)

Bread and wine for Holy Communion on Galilee tour boat Mark 4 (NRSV): 35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm … Continue reading The historical Jesus and the Christ of faith on a dark and stormy night (Pentecost IV)

The parable of the mustard seed, the historical Jesus, the kingdom of God and a couple of kudzu jokes (Pentecost III)

Mustard plants in Galilee (I think the sign says 'no trespassing' in Hebrew) Mark 4 (NSRV). 26 [Jesus] also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27 and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28 The earth produces of … Continue reading The parable of the mustard seed, the historical Jesus, the kingdom of God and a couple of kudzu jokes (Pentecost III)

New York Times op ed, podcast on evangelicals, US religious history by Molly Worthen of UNC-Chapel Hill

Molly Worthen, historian at UNC-Chapel Hill who studies 20th-century evangelicals (and has a keen grasp of theology qua theology, has an essay on the culture wars in the New York Times op ed section that starts with St. Augustine, mentions the "exhausted majority" from the Tribes of America study and ends up by suggesting the … Continue reading New York Times op ed, podcast on evangelicals, US religious history by Molly Worthen of UNC-Chapel Hill

Yiddish author’s prayer jotted down on scrap paper brings joy — and a call to do better — in dark, divisive times

Memorial to Bashevis Singer in Biłgoraj, Poland (Wikipedia, Creative Commons) Discovered while I was looking for something else: A remarkable prayer by Nobel Prize-winning Jewish-American author Isaac Bashevis Singer. I was reading coverage of the struggle to form a new governing majority in Israel's parliament, and I was pulled right in by a headline that said … Continue reading Yiddish author’s prayer jotted down on scrap paper brings joy — and a call to do better — in dark, divisive times

Notes & quotes: Replacement theory and racial subtext to Trump’s speech ‘revving up’ Jan. 6 rioters; Kenneth Woodward article on evangelicals

Charles Blow: Blow's lede, "On Jan. 6, as Donald Trump was revving up the rioters who would attempt an insurrection at the Capitol, just a short distance away, he said to them: 'We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore'." It is yet another … Continue reading Notes & quotes: Replacement theory and racial subtext to Trump’s speech ‘revving up’ Jan. 6 rioters; Kenneth Woodward article on evangelicals

Whitehead and Perry: (white) Christian nationalism, Jan. 6 riot, Jim Crow election laws a fundamental ‘threat to a pluralistic, democratic society’

An op ed piece by sociologists Andrew Whitehead and Samuel Perry uploaded yesterday to Time magazine's website connects some important dots. Authors of Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States (Oxford, 2020), they conclude white Christian nationalism is "fundamentally a threat to a pluralistic, democratic society." Here's what I shared to Facebook … Continue reading Whitehead and Perry: (white) Christian nationalism, Jan. 6 riot, Jim Crow election laws a fundamental ‘threat to a pluralistic, democratic society’