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)

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Scripture, Constitution, and Even Art... On Why There's No Such Thing as an Objective/Neutral Reading of Anything

I wrote this post in 2016, the last time there was a vacancy on the Supreme Court. It is still appropriate during this current vacancy.

I love the Cleveland Museum of Art. If you love art museums and find yourself in Cleveland, Ohio you need to put its art museum on your itinerary. It is one of the best art museums in the country and, except for special exhibits, it is always free.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Scriptures and Prayer for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: Exodus 16:2-15 or Jonah 3:10-4:11

God of miracles and of mercy, all creation sings your praise. Like the vineyard owner, your grace is  extravagant and unexpected. Lead us to repentance and the acceptance of your grace, that we may witness to your love, which embraces both those we call friend and those we call stranger. Amen.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Scriptures and Prayer for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: Exodus 12:1-14 or Ezekiel 33:7-11

Epistle: Romans 13:8-14

God among us, we gather in the name of your Son to learn love for one another. Turn our feet from evil paths, our hands from shameful deeds, our minds to your wisdom, and our hearts to your grace. Amen.

Friday, September 04, 2020

Our Messy Bible

by Lindsey Funtik, Coordinator of Volunteer Ministries, Ashland First United Methodist Church,  
Ashland, Ohio


Let's talk about the Bible. To survey a million different people about their thoughts on Scripture is to get a million different answers. Some say inerrant, some say not so much. Some say the only approach is literal and others lean heavily on interpretation. Some love it, some hate it, some fall into the grey area that exists between. 

As I have studied Scripture on my own and in seminary, I have come to realize that the Bible is far more complicated and nuanced and messy than my younger self could have ever imagined. My foundations have been filed down and are being rebuilt, slowly, into something more strange and more beautiful. Someday I will be able to coherently articulate how I view Scripture, but there is one thing of which I am absolutely sure right now: it is not simple. 

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Prevenient Grace-- God Loves Us Before We Love God

Picture the following scene in your mind-- a young man has fallen in love with a beautiful woman from a distance. He sees her in town, at parties, at community events and he is smitten. The problem is that she doesn't even knows he exists. He tries to engage her in conversation when possible and she is polite, but it is clear that the subject of his affections doesn't have the same affection for him. He thinks about her all the time. He can hardly eat or sleep. He knows he needs to either win her heart or work to forget her.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Kingdom of Blessed Interruptions

by Lindsey Funtik, Coordinator of Volunteer Ministries, Ashland First United Methodist Church, Ashland, Ohio


They say that work days aren't so bad if you just hit the ground running. As soon as you have rolled over and checked that and that and that on the screen that hovered dangerously near your puddle of drool through the night, you are to hitch your pants on tight and begin the sprint. After all, we pledge allegiance to the fact that the best way to reach goals is to barrel headlong into them. You'll be fine, you'll get stuff done, you won't be swallowed by the arduous, existential slog if you just book it. 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Scriptures and Prayer for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: Exodus 3:1-15 or Jeremiah 15:15-21

Psalter: Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b or Psalm 26:1-8

Epistle: Romans 12:9-21

Faithful God, you are the hope of all the oppressed, and the source of freedom for those held captive. Make us strong to witness to your liberating power, in generosity of life and in humility of spirit, that all the world may delight in your goodness. Amen.