“Brideshead Revisited”

From the review in the New York Times: In Waugh’s book — and, I’m compelled to add, that fine old mini-series it was made into — religious commitments and social relations were part of a thickly detailed, complicated and ancient lived reality. The long experience of English Catholics as a religious minority, the subtle gradations…

Crossing a Line

Catholic bloggers and the Catholic League have been up in arms over remarks made by Paul Z. Myers, associate professor in the Division of Science and Math at the University of Minnesota Morris. He had threatened to engage in a public desecration of a Koran, a Catholic Eucharistic host, and, to show he was egalitarian,…

Ministry and Men

Jesus hung around with other guys, for the most part. He went to where they worked and called them to follow him. Yes, he had friendships with women, and these stand out. But as one person has said, Jesus’ methodology was not to go start women’s Bible studies and Sunday Schools for children. We’ve reversed…

The Shakers

On our trip to Maine, we took a side-trip to visit the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, the sole remaining Shaker community (a 1974 film about the community, The Shakers, can be viewed online). See also MaineShakers.com. The tour was interesting, the exhibits tracing the history of the Shakers, and the guide well informed (and able…

Spiritual Disciplines

Evangelical and mainline Protestants are now discovering the “spiritual disciplines,” thanks especially to writings by folks as disparate as Quaker Richard Foster and Baptist Dallas Willard. Foster lists the disciplines as meditation, prayer, fasting, study, simplicity, solitude, submission, service, confession, worship, guidance and celebration. Foster is founder of Renovaré, which will be having a conference…

Army Coercion on Religion

As I’ve mentioned often, I’ve been very disappointed that Americans United for Separation of Church and State has been abandoning its historic mission in favor of advocacy of state support of Barry Lynn’s liberal Christianity (pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, etc.). Now, at last, a press release showing that perhaps Lynn hasn’t forsaken AU’s historic mission completely. It…

The Pope in Houston?

Rocco suggests that the next papal World Youth Day may be in Houston in 2014. Via Alan. That would be interesting indeed … since during my tenure as Director of Young Adult and Campus Ministry for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, neither archbishop considered the event worthy of much of a fuss. We went through several:…

A School with a Difference

GetReligion picks up a New York Times story about Berea College in Kentucky. It charges no tuition. It has mandatory work study. It accepts academically promising students with limited resources. Students graduate with no debt. And GetReligion notes that NYT overlooked something important–Berea is Christian. [NYT author Tamar] Lewin’s failure to mention Berea’s Christian character…

Tattoos

Young adults tend to get them at 19, and within ten to fifteen years some (especially women) find reasons to want them removed.

Cardinal Newman’s “Particular Friendship”

Catholic priests and religious of a past era were warned against “particular friendships” with members of the same sex–it could be a cause of both personal danger and of scandal. It seems John Henry Newman, the celebrated convert to Catholicism and Cardinal, had one of those. It was truly strange–Newman insisted he be buried together…

A Catholic Blogger’s about Face

Catholic blogger Gerald Naus has radically changed course–he’s gone from a die-hard supporter of Ratzinger and Catholic orthodoxy (former blog title, “The Cafeteria Is Closed“) to advocating for legally recognized gay marriage.

Christian Change

Hugo (SDA2RC) comments on Marcel’s suggestion that SDA women follow the example of RC Womenpriests: My thoughts: execute a Jesus revolution (humble, loving, unitive, self-sacrificial, concerned with service), not a Marxist one (aggressive, rebellious, divisive, disparaging of all hierarchy, obsessed with the language of power). Amen.

Brideshead Twisted

Yahoo‘s description of the forthcoming remake of Brideshead Revisited: Adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel, focusing on the doomed love affair between Charles and Julia Flyte and how Catholicism destroys their relationship and their families. Via Mark Shea.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Knight

… “A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” The latest Batman film is a postmodernist nightmare, with no overarching meaning, with roles and values and perspectives changed on the director’s whim. Update: OK, Liam, you got me. 🙂 Even before I read your comment below, I was planning on…

True and False Spirituality

A year ago I blogged about Adventist Spirituality. Adventists aren’t used to using the terms “spirituality” or “spiritual formation” or “spiritual disciplines.” Yet Adventists certainly engage in practices that may be referred to as “spiritual disciplines”: prayer, fasting, the Sabbath, a wholistic lifestyle, Bible study, personal devotions, small groups, etc. I define spirituality as “the…

Gratuitous Insults

At the Dallas Morning News Religion Blog, Bruce Tomaso links to a commentary on the America blog by liberal Catholic writer Michael Sean Winters, who is adamantly opposed to the execution by Texas of murder and rapist Jose Ernesto Medellin. Tomaso writes: … Winters glosses over the facts of Medillin’s crime, saying only that it…

Early Aerobics

While in Battle Creek, I picked up a 1923 recording of John Harvey Kellogg leading exercises to music–the “Battle Creek Sanitarium Health Ladder”–sold originally by Columbia records. You can get it at TEACH … or stop by my place to have some fun. 🙂 We went up a few rungs and were dying of laughter.…

“The Long Dark Knight of the Soul”

Brant Hansen on the latest Batman movie (ht Bill Kinnon): “The Dark Knight” is cultural rigormortis. It’s what happens when we are done, and we are done.  Jacques Barzun had it right, when he wrote a history of western culture up through the 1990s, and said, certainly, that our age is defined by boredom.  We are excited…

Adventist Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage is universal. All faiths engage in it. Animists and Hindus go to sacred rivers, springs, wells, or mountains. Buddhists go to temples and to shrines encasing the Buddha’s remains. Muslims go on the Hajj to Mecca, visiting sites they associate with incidents in the lives of Abraham and Muhammad. Jews make aliyah to Jerusalem.…

Mormon Excommunication

I’m on a roll, here, citing Jill Carroll’s recent blog posts. Here she comments on the LDS church’s excommunication of a man who produced a calendar of shirtless Mormon missionaries.

Apache Hair

Jill Carroll looks at a controversy in Needville, TX, over an Apache boy who wants to wear his hair long–the school district demands he cut it (his parents own land there and want to move there but want to settle this before the school year starts). Right now, the school officials are being stubborn. Jill…

French Secularism

Jill Carroll of Rice University’s Boniuk Center for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance strongly rejects France’s version of separation of church and state. They are wrong to practice, and legally enforce, a secularism that is fundamentally suspicious of and sometimes outright hostile to religion. … Under laicism the state remains neutral with regard…

“Postmodernist Mush”

This week I’ve been teaching a class on ministry with young adults at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI. As part of this, I did a quick review of contemporary worldviews, especially postmodernism. I skipped the standard over-simplifications, and did some explication of one of the leading postmodernist philosophers,…