History as Fad

History as Fad


History as Fad

Japanese pop culture has profoundly affected America. You probably recognize the words anime and manga, and you might even know that otaku (nerd or geek) is used to describe Japanese superfans of the diverse genres of animation and their characters. I know more about all of this than I used to thanks to my friend ..

A Groaning Creation…

A Groaning Creation…


A Groaning Creation…

On Easter, we Christians celebrated the bursting forth of the new creation in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The restoration of creation has begun with him and with us. Consider the story. God had first created the earth and its creatures


The Medart is dead


The Medart is dead

John's Town Hall, RIP My good friend and colleague Chris Born and I walked a few blocks from Concordia Seminary today to have lunch at one of our regular haunts, John’s Town Hall , on Skinker in the Dorchester. The place was empty. Closed

Seeing God in the movies

Seeing God in the movies


Seeing God in the movies

“The Dude abides.” It’s a topic that, in one way or another, we’ve talked about numerous times in this blog, like here , here , here , or here . Or you could just see them all in the movies category. It’s also the name of a seminar I will be team-teaching on the four Tuesday nights of April. The course carries this premise: “Even if God isn’t mentioned, nearly every film contains an implied theology.” And we’ll look at plenty of examples to prove that thesis: “Citizen Kane,” Ingmar Bergman, “Star Wars,” Woody Allen, Spike Lee, “Toy Story,” the Coen brothers…you name it

Counting Baptisms and Praying for more

Counting Baptisms and Praying for more


Counting Baptisms and Praying for more

ESV Acts 2:41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. Whenever I hear pastors and other Christians discuss this verse, often around Pentecost Sunday, someone wonders out loud “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Holy Spirit still worked so emphatically in our world today?  ..

World Water Day

World Water Day


World Water Day

March 22 provides an opportunity consider one of the most basic needs of life that we can easily take for granted. Water is one of those support webs that connects, supports, sustains, and enriches all life on earth. Put a bird bath in your yard and watch them come! We face two water issues


Dante’s Inferno and the simulacrum of hell


Dante’s Inferno and the simulacrum of hell

I haven’t owned a video gaming system since my parents got my brother and me the original Nintendo. But I’ve seen the commercials for “Dante’s Inferno” a number of times now, and I confess I’m captivated. Not that I intend to buy it. The real Dante’s Inferno is one of the great works of world literature, and still defines much of our visual mythology of hell. (This despite the fact that, for Dante, hell was freezing cold rather than burning hot.)..


Latina ethics scholar to speak at Concordia Seminary


Latina ethics scholar to speak at Concordia Seminary

María Teresa Dávila Noted ethics scholar Dr. María Teresa Dávila will speak at Concordia Seminary tomorrow night, Thursday, March 18, at 7:00PM. A professor at Andover Newton Theological School, she will be giving the fifth Annual Lecture in Hispanic/Latino Theology and Missions of Concordia’s Center for Hispanic Studies (CHS). The theme for Dr. Dávila’s lecture is “ Unión, Reunión y Comunión : Latino/a Religious Diversity and the Wager of Ecumenical Communion.”..

Curiouser and curiouser

Curiouser and curiouser


Curiouser and curiouser

Coinciding with — I almost said “echoing” — the release of Tim Burton’s new take on “Alice in Wonderland” is a different kind of journey down the rabbit hole. A strange episode is reported from the Florida-Bahamas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in which a congregation in Florida voted to leave ..

Welcomed Guests

Welcomed Guests


Welcomed Guests

Quite a few visitors stopped by to dine in our yard this winter. Most came after a fresh blanket of snow had fallen or when the temperature dropped into the teens.  White-throated sparrows from the boreal forests of Canada joined our local residents of Cardinals, Chickadees, Tit-mice, Carolina Wrens, Hairies, and Downies. Our surprise guest of honor was a tiny Ruby-crested kinglet. His constant flitting made it initially difficult for me to identify him

The Rich Diversity of God’s Living Earth

The Rich Diversity of God’s Living Earth


The Rich Diversity of God’s Living Earth

A number of years ago I drove up to Minnesota to attend a conference with a professor of mine. When we decided to stop for lunch in the middle of Iowa, he insisted that we not stop at a chain fast food place that made every town look like every other town in America. Instead, we drove into the downtown and found a local diner. He said that it was important to take in the “proprium” (distinctiveness, uniqueness) of that place and culture lest we lose sight of the rich diversity of gifts that God has provided in his creation..


Yelp for churches


Yelp for churches

So I just ran across this from another blog : ChurchRater.com . Evidently, founder Jim Henderson decided to start the Web site to rate churches–in the same way that TripAdvisor rates hotels or Yelp rates everything else–to help people find local faith communities. And in case you were wondering, Jim owns a consulting business to help churches “see themselves through the eyes of Outsiders.” Yeah, I’m not surprised either. I’m curious to see how high this gets off the ground. I have found myself using Yelp or AroundMe on my iPhone to check out churches when I’m out of town. The pickings are slim. Perhaps this will fill a void. As to what it says about the commodification of American religion, there’s a long line in that check-out lane