Let’s Get Ashy!

Today is Ash Wednesday, and that can only mean one thing: Lent is here! Ah, yes, that most wonderful time in the liturgical calendar all about prayer, penance and preparation for Easter. And, what better way to kick things off than by  getting your ash on? Yes, friends, today is the day when hipsters and yuppies, […]

It’s Advent (Sigh) Pt II

On Monday, I wrote about my problems with Advent. After a rather snarky start, I said Advent was hard for me, in part, because of the words associated with it: hope, peace, joy and love. At the end, I said that I would take a word a week and write about my problems with it. To […]

Don’t Make Me Do It!

I’ll be honest, I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey and I don’t really want to. However, my problems stem not so much from the subject matter as the inane writing and questionable origin of the franchise. For those of you who live under a rock haven’t heard of this series, Fifty Shades of Grey (henceforth shortened […]

This Day Needs a Makeover

So, today is Valentine’s Day, when we’re supposed to show those we love just how much we love them with ostentatious displays of cards, flowers, jewelry and fancy dinners. Which is a funny way to celebrate a day that commemorates someone who was beaten with clubs, stoned and beheaded because he wouldn’t renounce Christ. Originally, […]

The Real American Religion

It has been said that football, rather than Christianity is the real American religion. But, I’m not so sure I agree with that. In my opinion, the major religion in this country is the worship of Mammon (and you know what the J-man had to say about that). Football is just one of our methods of […]

Advent? Not a Fan

When you have a lot of friends who’ve been to seminary, you see and hear a lot of churchy, religious stuff the average joe doesn’t. Discussions about theological systems, obscure religious teachers and atonement theories are everyday fare. If your seminarian friends are particularly nerdy, like mine, you get to hear about Beer and Hymns […]

Is “Rich Christian” an Oxymoron?

Recently, Facebook friend Jim Moss said “It bears repeating: Middle and upper middle class Christians have no clue what Jesus was talking about when he talked about the ravens and the lilies. No clue.” Now, if you’re wondering what that “ravens” thing is about, it’s a reference to a passage in the Sermon on the Mount, where […]

A Different Gospel

Several times in the past, I’ve talked about how the Gospel is counter-intuitive  for middle-class, American Christians. Truthfully, there’s not much in there that sounds good for us. You know, like that whole “Last shall be first, first shall be last” thing? And, the Magnificat is a straight-up indictment of people who live well while others starve. Now, by […]

Advent in 500 Words (Give or Take)

Okay, folks, we’ve just entered a new church season: Advent. The word advent means “a coming into being or use”.  Capitalize the a and the meaning becomes more specific, as in “the coming of Christ at the Incarnation”. And, of course, the season is “the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians […]