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Beyond the Mundane: William Carlos Williams and John Heath-Stubbs

A friend and I have a standing engagement to read poetry together and judge which poet is better (using the very precise metric of whatever we happen to enjoy in a given week). Each week, we each pick a new poet to do battle. Not that there’s any sense of competitiveness. We often pick poets…

Christian Whimsy

This is a brief departure from my current series. I’ve been chipping away at the fundamentalist/modernist debates, but this came up and it was too fun not to write about. I don’t know that Christianity is usually associated with whimsy.  Sure, you have your happy-clappy Christians that play guitar while they sing who are a…

One Point Per Parable: Julicher is Overrated

I knew a pastor that used to preach that every parable had precisely one meaning. They never explained why that was the case. Of course, making declarations like that from the pulpit isn’t uncommon. Pastors have a terrible habit of just kind of declaring that their school of thought is self-evident and there’s no other…

The Flight of Gregory Nazianzen and the Challenge of New Beginnings

It’s been ages since I last posted. Life has been crazy. I’ve gone from being the associate pastor at Bexley UMC to the pastor at The Plains UMC. I moved about an hour and a half south for the new position and, right now, all of my life is in boxes. Needless to say, I’ve…

God is Red: Zhang Yinxian and True Discipleship

Back when I was first trying to find good books about Christianity, I went to my local library and grabbed whatever was on the shelves. One of those books happened to be Liao Yiwu’s God is Red, a series of interviews with people who endured persecution in communist China around the time of the Cultural…

Heroes of Old… and Me! Jerome’s De Viris Illustribus

While I was doing a little more digging on Polycarp, I ran across an account of him in Jerome’s De Viris Illustribus (aka On Illustrious Men). According to Jerome, Polycarp was a student of the Apostle John, which delighted me to no end. What a neat little detail! The Biblical era is so often made…

Christian Resentment and the Good News of Martyrdom

I’ve been reading a fair few cultural critiques lately (C.S. Lewis, Philip Rieff, Charles Taylor, Andrew Root, and Rod Dreher). Each of these authors is trying to articulate what makes faith in the modern world challenging and the cultural forces that make conversion so unlikely for the average Westerner. And honestly? It’s been kind of…

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