Blog

Book reviews

We’re going on a God-hunt: Interacting with Way to Water

Here’s another break from my Anabaptist Spiritual Guidance series (which I promise I’ll continue) in order to review a book that has a lot to say to that topic. Callid Keefe-Perry, a talented colleague of mine at Boston University, has written a primer on theopoetics and invited several people to participate in a blog tour of it… Continue reading We’re going on a God-hunt: Interacting with Way to Water

Theology

Anabaptist spiritual guidance, part 3: Ritual and Mystagogy

Mystagogy (mist-uh-go-jee) is one of my favorite words, not just because it is so delicious to say but also because it is a part of the early church practice that I think deserves reclaiming. Stick with me as I explain. In the 3rd and 4th century church (and perhaps earlier), the process for becoming a… Continue reading Anabaptist spiritual guidance, part 3: Ritual and Mystagogy

Hymns

Sabbath Hymns

For those of you who are interested, here is music for four of my hymns. If you print the music, check the copyright info for the songs. I think two of them are public domain, but the other two are definitely not. Use and share at will... just give credit where it's due and talk… Continue reading Sabbath Hymns

Theology

For the Life of the World: Toward a Sacramental Understanding of the Church

Taking a wee break from the spirituality series to offer this reflection I wrote last year around Alexander Schmemann's book For the Life of the World, one of my all-time favorites. "The Church is the sacrament of the Kingdom – not because she possesses divinely instituted acts called “sacraments,” but because first of all she… Continue reading For the Life of the World: Toward a Sacramental Understanding of the Church

Theology

Anabaptist spiritual guidance, part 2: An Anabaptist anthropology

Balthasar Hubmaier was one of the most important first-generation Anabaptist leaders in Moravia in the 1520s. The best writer of the Swiss line of Anabaptists, he was a Catholic priest and a Zwinglian pastor before becoming a renegade Anabaptist. Here’s his anthropology (understanding of human nature) in a nutshell: Human beings have three parts, all… Continue reading Anabaptist spiritual guidance, part 2: An Anabaptist anthropology

Theology

Anabaptist spiritual guidance, part 1: Intro

I took a class this semester on Spiritual Guidance in the Christian Tradition, in which we studied models and histories of spiritual guidance (direction, companionship) in Orthodox, Wesleyan, Ignatian, French humanist, feminist, interfaith, Jewish, artistic, Quaker, African American, desert elders, and communal contexts. Seeing the particular gifts and challenges of spiritual guidance within each framework… Continue reading Anabaptist spiritual guidance, part 1: Intro

Theology

A Nonviolent Way of Doing Theology (ala J.H. Yoder)

Below is a companion essay to my previous Church and State post... The same caveat still applies. And for you lay theologians out there, "epistemology" is essentially a flowery word for "a way of knowing things" or for the often-complicated answer to the question "how do you know what's True?" This essay is based on… Continue reading A Nonviolent Way of Doing Theology (ala J.H. Yoder)

Theology

Church and State: Beyond the Constantinian Assumption (ala J.H. Yoder)

This is a much longer post than I usually do -- a paper written last semester.  I post it today in response to some thoughts and conversations about the political protests happening around the country.  The question it seeks to address, via exploring and explaining Yoder's theology, is this: what is the relationship between the… Continue reading Church and State: Beyond the Constantinian Assumption (ala J.H. Yoder)

Reflections

Peacemaking: being like a child

In the class I'm TAing, we have talked much about Jesus' injunction to the disciples to be like a child (Matthew 18).  Many of the students have brought up the difficulties of this image.  Usually it's talked about in regard to our current understanding of children and vaguely psychologized -- children are (and so we… Continue reading Peacemaking: being like a child

Hymns

Sabbath Hymn #4

To the tune of “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” O God, we come to you this day / With tension, fear, and worry. / Our minds can scarcely slow their pace, / Our bodies cease their hurry. / Repent, Beloved, turn to me. / On six blessed days you labor, / But this,… Continue reading Sabbath Hymn #4