Church, Personal

A few moments with a Snow Goose.

October 12, 2020

As I started to take my hobby of bird photography more seriously, my goal became to see and identify specific birds. I have mentioned elsewhere that I do think it is wise to go for a bird walk with a specific expectation in mind or you may end up rather disappointed. This does not mean, however, that I do not want to see specific birds during the year. I am sure there are many birds that I will identify for the first time that I have seen many times already, but naming and knowing is essential to have any real sort of meaning. Therefore, in many ways, I have started fresh in my quest to see and capture specific birds. One such bird that I wanted to see, that I cannot confirm I have seen before is the Snow Goose.

Continue Reading…
Book Reviews, Church, Theology

Review of Reading While Black by Esau McCaulley

September 30, 2020

Reading While Black by Esau McCaulley is a fascinating and compelling book that offers readers a glimpse into what it means and has meant to read the Bible in the ‘Black Ecclesial Tradition.’ McCaulley invites us on a journey the is thoughtful, personal, and important.

The first chapter is autobiographical as he wrestled to find his place and voice in that tradition. But a dialogical method arose from his struggles and he offers ‘a unified mission in which our varied cultures turn to the text in dialogue with one another to discern the mind of Christ.’ (22)

Continue Reading…

Vulnerability and the Church

September 30, 2020

We want our pastors to be vulnerable but without any wounds.
Ok, maybe wounds are allowed so long as they are healed wounds.

We want healed wounds without any scars.
Well, maybe scars are ok if those scars are covered and no longer show any weakness.

We want weakness but no struggles.
Then again, maybe we can deal with those struggles so long as they are the convenient ones at a convenient time for us.

And of course, this means not in a global pandemic.

Continue Reading…
Book Reviews, Church, Culture, Politics

Militant Masculinity: A Review of Jesus and John Wayne.

September 19, 2020

My mom recently mentioned to me a book she had heard about and was starting to read. It was by Kristin Kobes Du Mez. I had not really heard of her except the briefest of snippets I had seen on Twitter that had mentioned the title of her book, Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation.

It was an intriguing premise and the subtitle was guaranteed to elicit a response. A short time later the book arrived at my doorstep (thanks Mom) and I started reading it. (White American) Evangelicalism has re-found its place at the forefront of American culture over the five or so years, coinciding with the rise of Donald Trump to the Republican nominee and then to the presidency. Although whether they ever lost it is open to debate. The stats have been mentioned repeatedly but over 80% of self-identified evangelicals supported Trump in the 2016 election.  Numerous justifications have been offered for this, as well as more than a few attempts to reframe the stat, but it still seems to stick. Although this is the cultural milieu from which this book arises, Du Mez is clear this book isn’t about Trump.

Continue Reading…