Flaws & All, Let’s Have More Like Reza Aslan’s “Zealot”

The book is a basically a mixture of rehashed historical Jesus work and quite good creative non-fiction. In short, it works pretty well as a relatively gripping overview of Jesus’ life. It has flaws, but I’m willing to forgive Aslan’s foibles. I’m so hungry for smart public discussion of religion, perfection is the furthest thing from my mind.

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A few thoughts on giving to Haiyan Disaster response, with a shoutout to LWR

LWR’s Haiyan response will focus on providing shelter repair kits; providing debris removal through a cash-for-work program; and providing non-food items such as cooking supplies. They’re also sending four shipping containers of Quilts & Kits that will reach at least 26,000 people!

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Dear Target: This Thanksgiving…Don’t Do It!

I recently heard the horrible news about Black Friday. Best Buy is opening stores at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving—and STAYING OPEN through the night to Black Friday, Nov. 29th. Target has yet to announce their hours. For the love of pumpkin pie, Target, please wait to open until actual Black Friday.

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A few publications to plug shamelessly

The last few weeks have been a quieter time for the blog, unfortunately, but at least I can report on a few dead tree publications that have come out in the last few weeks. Here’s the details…

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Smart Online Commentary on Religion and Culture

I’m always looking for smart, religion and culture commentary on the Internet. I’m sure there’s more, but here’s a list of some great religion and culture sites that get my eye time each week.

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Monday Mind Dump

My Florida State Seminoles looked pretty amazing on Saturday. Lots of games left, but this year feels special. I don’t second-guess Jimbo Fisher’s decision to play the reserves for the second half, even if it contributed to our slip to #3 in the BCS poll. I downloaded the new Glory to God! The Presbyterian Hymnal iPad […]

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Helpful or Hurtful? On “Aspirational Hymns” such as “For Everyone Born”

I received an interesting message from an old friend asking about the hymn, “For Everyone Born” (text by Shirley Erena Murray; tune by Brian Mann). He wondered whether the hymn struck me as controversial. After all, how do we sing about abuser and abused having a place at the table?

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5 Reasons Why I Pray that Bishop Eaton Joins Twitter

A few days ago, at an elaborate worship service in Chicago, the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton was installed as the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She is not on Twitter. That fact—that the new ELCA Presiding Bishop does not tweet—may strike most people as inconsequential (or even a blessing), but during […]

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Testing the Aims of College

I’m sick and tired of the perspective (often coming out of Washington, or from local politicians of all stripes) that college is primarily — or only — about job preparation, or even more narrow: getting a job at all. As hesitant as I am to consider any sort of enormous exam for already stressed-out college students, I don’t think it’s a crazy idea if it helps refocus higher education on LEARNING.

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