Author: rick

apoplectic

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Current Affairs

When the authors of Genesis 1 sat down to write a new creation story they were living as captives in Babylon. The Babylonians had their own creation narrative, which the Jewish people would have become quite familiar with, that said that the earth was created out of an act of violence and humanity was created to serve as slaves. Scholars have noted for a long time some of the parallels to the Babylonian and Hebrew […]

Book Review: Nurture the Wow

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book review

There I was, sitting at the town pool, with my newly minted teenager and my budding tween splashing around with their friends, and I was plunged again and again into memories both sweet and sour. I remembered sitting on our bed, holding my wife, as we cried through our first miscarriage. A few days later, we gathered with our priest around the baptismal font in which we had hoped that that child would have been […]

the “God we want” and the “God we have”

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Religion

There’s an old saying that goes something like this: God created us in his image… and we returned the favor. Most of the time when we humans contemplate the Divine, we find ourselves mentally conjuring up a glorified projection of ourselves. Oh, this projection is bigger than us, for sure. This projection is omnipotent, and omnipresent, and omniscient. As Aladdin’s Genie said it so aptly, Phenomenal cosmic power!… But, this vision of God sees the […]

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; […]