A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Even Jesus Had a Call to Ministry


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Future of Theological Education

from Norman Jameson, Baptist News Global:
Institutions living between the death throes of the old and the birth pangs of the new must navigate a murky landscape.

As old churches shrink, merge and close, and as new churches crop up in schools, strip malls, living rooms and multi-family housing complexes, the theological institutions on which the old model depended to produce its leaders are themselves tapping their way through the future, white canes extended.

Daniel Aleshire, executive director of the Association of Theological Schools since 1998 and author of Earthen Vessels: Hopeful Reflections on the Work and Future of Theological Schools, sees theological education occupying the shifting sand of an era that has left the old but has not yet arrived at the new.

Add rigid degree requirements, accelerating costs, crushing student debt, fewer decent paying church jobs and a decreasing potential student pool, and the mix of ingredients is a cauldron of potential disaster.

On the other hand Aleshire's perspective from a lifetime involved in theological education keeps him from seeing disaster around the corner. Instead, he sees theological education in transition between its historical support mechanisms and whatever will eventually develop.
The entire story can be read here.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Selfishness Is Central to American Politics

I agree with Ken Schenck:
In the political scene, "both sides" in their most public forms, it seems to me, are bent on pushing different forms of societal selfishness.

On the left, selfishness manifests itself in the form of "rights" language. I have a right to be provided this or that. On the right, it shows itself in language about "freedom." So the one side says, "I have a right for you to give me whatever I want you to give me." The other side says, "Forget you, I have a right to do whatever I want with my stuff."

Scriptures and Prayer for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Reformation Sunday

Old Testament: Deuteronomy 34:1-12

Epistle: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

Gospel: Matthew 22:34-46
Holy One, you planted us by living water, that we might be rooted in righteousness. You call us to be holy as you are holy. Assured of your love, help us to cast aside all fear, that we may love our neighbors as ourselves. Amen.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: Man Cries Fowl on Turkey Sandwich

from the Huffington Post:
An incorrectly made turkey sandwich didn't cut the mustard with Rudy Frazier. When the manager of the sandwich shop refused to handle his beef, Frazier called 911, according to the TLC series, "Outrageous 911." Did it help? Lettuce look at the video above from an episode airing Wednesday.

The video is here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tar Heel Treachery at UNC

As a Duke fan, I find this to be very sad. College sports must maintain academic integrity.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina (CNN) -- For 18 years, thousands of students at the prestigious University of North Carolina took fake "paper classes," and advisers funneled athletes into the program to keep them eligible, according to a scathing independent report released Wednesday.

"These counselors saw the paper classes and the artificially high grades they yielded as key to helping some student-athletes remain eligible," Kenneth Wainstein wrote in his report. He conducted an eight-month investigation into the scandal, which has plagued the university for nearly five years.

UNC has long been a place where it was believed that athletics and academics went hand in hand. It has enjoyed a stellar reputation, producing basketball greats such as coach Dean Smith and Michael Jordan.

Now, that reputation has been stained.
The entire post can be read here.

The Character of God and the Nature of Scripture: Reading the Bible Incarnationally #5-- Fundamentalist and Progressive Interpretations of Scripture are Simply Two Sides of the Same Coin

I've been meaning to get back my series on reading the Bible Incarnationally, but I have had other obligations that have prevented me from doing so. The via media Methodists have published a post on rejecting both the fundamentalist and progressive options in reading the Bible. They quote Stanley Hauerwas:
…the debate between fundamentalists and biblical critics is really more a debate between friends who share many of the same assumptions. The most prominent shared assumption is that the interpretation of the biblical texts is not a political process involving questions of power and authority. By privileging the individual interpreter, who is thought capable of discerning the meaning of the text apart form the consideration of the good ends of a community, fundamentalists and biblical critics make the Church incidental.

Pastors Go Through Slumps too

from Thom Rainer:
The "slump" metaphor is used often in sports. The baseball hitter is in a slump because he has not gotten a hit in 15 at bats. The football quarterback is in a slump because he has only completed eight passes in the past two games.

But pastors can get in slumps as well. Admittedly they are not as easily recognizable as sports slumps. There aren't really any metrics to tell us that a slump is in progress.