The wicked, God, and me (Psalm 5, day 1)

Psalm 5 sounds perennial themes. These themes recur throughout the Psalter, throughout the Bible, and throughout the life of the person who would follow God and live righteously: wicked people, God, and oneself. What happens if we try to take this psalm as a paradigm, a model, of how to relate these three constants? TheContinue reading “The wicked, God, and me (Psalm 5, day 1)”

Persuasion does not work; love anyway

Here’s a news item: file, according to your own preferred system and nomenclature, under “sociology of knowledge” or “mass delusion” or “our epistemological maelstrom” or (for the Harry Frankfurt fans) “bullshit”: Eighty-one percent of respondents who never watched Fox, and 76 percent of respondents who never listened to conservative talk radio, said the government shouldContinue reading “Persuasion does not work; love anyway”

The tragic irony (possibly?) of white American evangelical Christianity

Everything that Jesus ever said was true, but not everyone who heard was able to grasp his meaning. Those in his environment who were most certain that they and not others possessed religious and spiritual truth—faithful disciples though they might believe themselves to be, and might to all appearances have been, of the same greatContinue reading “The tragic irony (possibly?) of white American evangelical Christianity”

How to love our atheist (in a sense) neighbors?

Good people can believe outrageously false things. For example, a certain good man was able to believe, earlier this week, that: COVID-19 should in public policy be treated like a flu epidemic. The closings aimed at controlling the pandemic hit small businesses unnecessarily hard because politicians and the media hate small businesses and want themContinue reading “How to love our atheist (in a sense) neighbors?”

Scriptures for the day

There have been people who have memorized vast swathes of scripture.  I wish I were one of them! I would love to be able to rehearse the entire Psalter from memory, as did some ancient monks. I would love to be able to answer yes, as did at least one well-known (among peers, not amongContinue reading “Scriptures for the day”

My American reflections on the news from Belarus

Yesterday morning whole driving across the state I listened to BBC news on Michigan Radio. The report that I heard contained essentially the same information that you can read online today at the BBC website or in the BBC app. If you’re not up on events in Belarus, I encourage you to click that linkContinue reading “My American reflections on the news from Belarus”

Faith, Fanaticism, and Trumpism

What to make of the phenomenon of professing Christians who either give their support to Donald Trump or withhold their support from Joe Biden, the only other candidate standing between Trump and reelection, because they find Biden to be insufficiently Christian? These people are to be differentiated from the core Trumpist. The core Trumpist isContinue reading “Faith, Fanaticism, and Trumpism”

How not to evangelize (usually)

Evangelism is one of the most awkward topics. Christians, non-Christians, and semi-Christians all have widely varying views. My own history with the word is complicated, but in my view the word and the practice are essential elements of Christian life. I don’t know how it could be possible to be a Christian and not beContinue reading “How not to evangelize (usually)”

At the lowest point: hope

This year 2020 is a low year in the life of American Christians in so many ways. I will not enumerate them here, because we all know it, but we have different perspectives on how bad things are, and on what exactly is making them bad, and by enumerating them I would necessarily convey myContinue reading “At the lowest point: hope”

How to think and pray about wicked rulers (Psalm 58)

Psalm 58, like so many psalms, complains about human injustice but has a slightly different way of presenting the problem. Here the issue is cast as a drama in which the human actors are adam, the people, and elim or elohim, the “gods.” The narrator and suppliant—the psalmist—speaks on behalf of the people to elohim,Continue reading “How to think and pray about wicked rulers (Psalm 58)”