I love smoking in the shower. Not literally, or at least not in the way you might be thinking. I love “smoking in the shower,” which is the name my favorite diner gives to smoked salmon on a bagel. I don’t eat it often—only as a treat, and usually while alone in my apartment so I don’t have to share.
There’s been a longstanding warfare thesis about the alleged rivalry between faith and science. But in the words of historian Ron Numbers, it’s “more propaganda than history.” Decades of research—by believers and non-believers—is unanimous on this point. The history of science and religion is not the history of an enduring conflict. There is no war, but a pervasive perception of conflict.
In a Christian context, vocation is about being called by God to particular places and spaces in the world. And I want to suggest that the verse from John 15 has something to say to us about a Christian understanding of vocation. In this chapter of John, we hear Jesus calling his disciples to a vocation of friendship.
On All Saints’ Sunday, I can’t help but think about all the blessed saints who gather around me in my memories. And believe me, there were plenty of characters in my family and in my life. Looking back, I see they were saints indeed. Not officially entered into sainthood, but saints nonetheless—people who were set apart by God to make a difference in the world, as they did in my life.
In our blog post every Monday we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. Next Sunday, we will celebrate the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost. Here is this week's reading from Joshua 3:7....
This year’s unrest in our cities merits restorative attention. The attention that unrest receives from our political discourse and reactive policies has not shown itself to be restorative. Indeed, we can recall speeches that, without a cubit of understanding, declared the “carnage stops now.” Of course, the unrest has not stopped, and our leadership has done nothing to stop it. There is no awareness of or interest in what causes and sustains the unrest.
When I think about those 545 children at the border, I don’t imagine blank faces. I don’t wonder what they look like. They look like me. They look like my children. They look like Jesus.
Of all the things that continue to chisel at my spirit, the most difficult thing is carrying on with work, school, and social life as if nothing is different.
I actually love what natural theology wants to do. I appreciate the way it leads us to look at “nature and nature’s God” (to quote the Declaration of Independence). The problem is, strictly speaking, natural theology doesn’t work. We cannot move directly from nature to the existence and character of the Creator of nature in order to answer the question, What kind of God?
In our blog post every Monday we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. Next Sunday, we will celebrate the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost. Here is this week's reading from Deuteronomy 34:1-5...
The ownership class knows the price of everything. It is accustomed to buying, selling, and acquiring. Consequently, it pays great attention to prices, and not unlike the Philistines, that class sets the price of commodities. But that same ownership class very often does not know the cost of things, because it has not actually paid the cost.
The Senate hearings concerning the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the United States Supreme Court are a very big deal indeed. On social media I’ve seen lots of discussion of her philosophy of legal interpretation, known as originalism....
I believe in the church of baseball, and all of God’s houses—sports, spiritual, or otherwise. They all offer us lessons that can help us through.
Have you noticed how newsletter articles, sermons, blogposts, and other writing from before the pandemic can either feel completely irrelevant now or eerily prescient?
Teamwork often leads to groupthink, and one of the glories of science is its capacity to combat this tendency, by setting up rigorous methods to root it out. Put simply, scientists know we need colleagues from within the fold to question our statements. We can do the same in our congregations as we seek out God’s truth.
It seems that fall has arrived here finally with the gift of cool breezes and crisp, blue skies. I’m told that there will still be a few hot days to come in October, but I feel the days of crushing humidity have left us for now, maybe, on the wings of those birds that are already migrating south. Or is this wishful thinking?
In our blog post every Monday we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. Next Sunday, we will celebrate the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost. Here is this week's reading from Matthew 22:15-22
The narrative of the “golden calf” stands as a paradigmatic tale of Israel’s skewed covenant with YHWH. Excluding the Priestly instruction of Exodus 25-31, this story in Exodus 32 follows immediately after the covenant-making in Exodus 2:43. There is not even the space of a breath between covenant-making and covenant-breaking!
In every human community, there are religious, cultural, and political ‘normals’ pertaining to human behavior, body ethics, and cultural codes. These ‘normalcies’ are not divinely ordained but constructed by the elite and the powerful with their seemingly consensual discourses and ritual practices. Those who control this process of manufacturing what is ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ eventually determine ‘who’ and ‘what’ are ‘normal.’...
Most science and faith geeks, like myself, love Psalm 19. The heavens declare, they tell of, they proclaim the glory of God. Scripture shows us that God is revealed by both nature (vv. 1-6) and the Law of the Lord (vv. 7-14). This gives warrant for the two books understanding of revelation—it is both the Bible and nature that are declaring, telling of, and proclaiming the glory of God.