October 19, 2017

Archives for December 2015

Mondays with Michael Spencer (+ a bonus!): December 21, 2015

It was at school that I first discovered the beauty of music — in “Lo! How a Rose, E’er Blooming.” Seventh graders were required to take music class. We were not music enthusiasts, to say the least. There was about us all the sense of artistic compulsion, but in the cause of sheer endurance. Nothing […]

Advent IV: The King is coming, and we shall overcome!

Advent IV The King is coming, and we shall overcome! (First posted in 2011) One day in my chaplain work, I had marvelous conversation with an African-American woman who had grown up in Mississippi, moved to Indianapolis, whose family had relocated to other rust-belt cities like Chicago and Detroit in the 1960’s and 70’s. She […]

Saturday Ramblings, December 19, 2015

Hello, friends, and welcome to the weekend. Ready to Ramble? Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and a coalition of dozens of prominent social conservatives and Evangelicals are reportedly planning to endorse Sen. Ted Cruz. Their goal is to avoid a split in “the evangelical vote.” Mike Huckabee,  the former evangelical pastor, says he […]

Damaris Zehner: How to Question Your Faith: A Guide for Young People and Others

How to Question Your Faith:  A Guide for Young People and Others By Damaris Zehner A conversation I had recently made me think about the scary process of – pick your metaphor – stepping off a cliff, walking in the dark, setting off across an uncharted ocean, or any other image that suggests the potential […]

Tell me you didn’t see this coming

Few things in life are as utterly predictable as the evangelical circus, as some pieces I read this week show. The phoenix rises Everybody’s favorite preacher boy and ringmaster is back. According to the seattlepi blog: Former Mars Hill Church senior pastor Mark Driscoll has filed incorporation papers in Phoenix for a new entity called […]

The Haunting of Christmas

There’ll be scary ghost stories And tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago • It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year • • • As with other posts this Advent/Christmas season, we’re exploring some of the strange and interesting ways people celebrate the season. The way we as Americans celebrate Christmas hasn’t essentially […]

Another Look: Why do we love this season?

Why do we love this season? I would suggest that aesthetics have much to do with the answer to that question. Advent and Christmas are made sensible to us by means of the things we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch at this time of year. Spiritual truth comes out of the closet of the abstract and makes itself […]

Mondays with Michael Spencer: December 14, 2015

From a sermon for the Third Sunday in Advent, 2006 Christians in America have a preference for people like themselves. In this, we’re not unlike most human beings, but that’s exactly the problem. Most 4th graders would be able to give the correct answer to the question “Who is my neighbor?” As obvious as the […]

Advent III: Bearing the fruits of mercy

Advent III Bearing the fruits of mercy I find today’s Gospel reading most interesting and instructive. 3:7 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 3:8 Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say […]

Saturday Ramblings: December 12, 2015

Isn’t that a lovely scene portrayed above? Ah, Christmas with the family. It was all so perfect, right? Well, as we ramble today, we feature a few more realistic pictures of what family Christmas is often really like — quirky, strange, and downright dysfunctional. Actually, some of these family Christmas photos make me want to convert […]