Author: rick

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 […]

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 […]