Author: rick

breaking up the party: a radical proposal to save the republic

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I am a Democrat, mostly because I believe that in a capitalist society we need strong social safety nets for the poor, the sick, and those disadvantaged in any way. But, there are many Republicans who I know, love, and respect. I believe that a strong Republican Party is necessary to check safety net thinking with the ideals of limited government and fiscal responsibility. While I generally stand on one side of that equation, I […]

Call Them What They Are: Heretics

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Current Affairs

So, when is it going to be acceptable to call them “heretics?” By “them” I’m referring to the might-is-right, me-first, prosperity-focused, gun-toting, Muslim-hating, purveyors of right-wing-talking-points-as-Gospel crowd. You know. The ones who believe Trump – a thrice married man with wandering hands and a foul mouth – was “God’s choice.” The ones who reflexively defend the State of Israel even when they completely forsake 3,000 years of Jewish teaching through unconscionable policies towards Palestinians. The […]

We Mock Jesus

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Current Affairs / Jesus / terror

Many commentators and pundits are writing articles and issuing statements of how they fear this new administration is eroding the basic fabric of our democracy. I share some of their fears. But, I also fear that the basic fabric of the Christian faith is eroding before our eyes. I hear talk of “Jesus” and “Christianity” but what follows looks nothing like Jesus, and resembles nothing of the faith that he came to bring us. America First […]

Advent 4a: the center that wouldn’t hold

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I’m intrigued by Catherine Keller’s theological archaeology, where she raises up Nicholas of Cusa, an obscure 15th century cardinal and mystic. Nicholas mused on the cosmos as a product of its Creator, and which, he presumed would therefore have to resemble its Progenitor. He assumed, that since God is infinite and without bounds, then it would be reasonable to assert that the cosmos is likewise infinite and without bounds. Extrapolating on this crazy thought, he […]

advent 3a: chucking the wrench

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Advent / Christology / Gospels / Jesus / Lectionary / New Testament / Religion / Year A

It’s a Saturday in the middle of winter, and the heating system in your church breaks down. It’s cold outside, and somehow seems even colder inside. The air stings, and the pews are frigid. You can’t imagine having sweet little old ladies sitting on them tomorrow, but you don’t want to cancel church again. It’s been a snowy winter. The HVAC company van rolls into the church driveway, and the technician gets out with a clipboard […]

advent 2a: a turn of repentance

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Advent / Gospels / New Testament / Religion / Status / Temple / Year A

But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; […]

Advent 1a: you know nothing

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Advent / Jesus / Lectionary / Year A

No, if we know anything these days, it’s that we know so very little. Our confidence can wither in moments, and everything that we once thought was “up” will be found to be “upside down.” For the pundits and the pollsters try and lull us to sleep with their braggadocio. They hypnotize us with their numbers, and plans, and historical perspectives. They have their canon laws, their proof texts, and their little prayers that we […]

Putting Away Childish Things

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Religion / Theology

I listened to Rob Bell’s interview of Peter Rollins on God once while taking a walk on the beach. And then I listened to it almost twenty times more. It’s THAT good. And, it got me thinking. So, the above video is a short summary of Pete’s work, and then some thoughts of my own which build on top of that.

2,000 years later and I’ve finally figured out the Lord’s Prayer! (maybe) (ok, not really)

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Jesus / Lectionary / New Testament / Prayer / Year C

In the Gospel of Luke the disciples ask Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray,” and Jesus gives them a shorter-than-we’re-used-to version of the Lord’s Prayer. There’s a jillion sermons and books and journal articles and videos and blog posts about the content of the Lord’s Prayer, how important it is, how similar it is to other ancient Jewish prayers of Jesus’ day, etc. But, here’s the thing… I think we might just possibly be barking […]