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

African Churches and Homosexuality

African Churches and Homosexuality


African Churches and Homosexuality

A recent story in The Economist caught my eye, because it describes a very rare phenomenon: a church in Africa which openly welcomes homosexuals. “House of Rainbow” is an independent Nigerian church, founded in Lagos by Rowland Jide Macaulay in 2006. After violence against the tiny congregation and death threats against the pastor, Macaulay fled ..

College Faculty Go Postal

College Faculty Go Postal


College Faculty Go Postal

During the past week, there have been hundreds of articles written about the tragic faculty shooting in Alabama. One of the themes that is beginning to emerge is the mental stability of higher education faculty. Thomas Bartlett and Robin Wilson in a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education opened by stating that the ..

Mapping Faith’s Legal Limits

Mapping Faith’s Legal Limits


Mapping Faith’s Legal Limits

An Oregon case spotlights the legal conundrum of charting the legal limts of religious faith and practice in America. The facts are as follows:a jury has convicted an Oregon couple of criminally negligent homicide after the death of their 16-year old son. They are members of the Followers of Christ Church, and as such they ..

Tech is great, but come on

Tech is great, but come on


Tech is great, but come on

At what point has it gone too far? I have my macbook, iPhone, bluetooth mice and keyboards, Quad Core PC running Windows 7, a GPS for my bike that syncs wirelessly with a power meter (and another for my wife’s bike), with some friends I text more than I talk on the phone, and unlike ..

Avatar

Avatar


Avatar

I enjoyed Avatar a lot. But then I generally like sci-fi movies anyway. Of course, Avatar is widely seen as a pro-environmental movie, some might even say that it was radically so

Stanley Fish and the Bottom Line

Stanley Fish and the Bottom Line


Stanley Fish and the Bottom Line

The other day I found myself wanting to agree with with Stanley Fish (an alarming thought!) when he wrote: “[T]he various projects we pursue and engage in may not all cohere in a single intelligible story. We may not be unified beings.” Well, I thought, that rings all too true. Last week Fish used his ..

Whatever is Commendable

Whatever is Commendable


Whatever is Commendable

Whatever is Commendable – Think about (Doing Phil. 4:8) On Dec. 28, 2009 I cut out a comic and put it on our refrigerator. Lola (written by Todd Clark and run in the St. Louis Post Dispatch) is a somewhat crass, worldly grandma living with her son and his family. The first panel has her ..

Age-old argument over Haiti quake

Age-old argument over Haiti quake


Age-old argument over Haiti quake

Pat Robertson blamed the earthquake in Haiti on a pact Haitians made with the devil to win their freedom from the French. Vodou (or voudou or voodoo or vodun) practitioners have their own take on the catastrophe. Earl Josue, vodou priest and musician, said, “Mother nature showed us how powerful she is, how sad she ..

Jesus Rifles

Jesus Rifles


Jesus Rifles

The headline from ABC News is certainly attention grabbing — “No More Jesus Rifles.” Weapons supplied to US forces in the Middle East with “Bible Codes,” which are used in combat against Muslims is being widely condemned, predictably, as evoking the Crusades, inflaming Islamic perceptions of Western religious imperialism, and ignoring the constitutional separation of ..