Is theology arrogance?

“Doing theology” often implies that we understand God better than the apostles or their disciples, and Jesus would really have benefited from a background in textual criticism. But has everything orthodox already been taught? Read the rest of this entry »

Repenting as a bookkeeper

I worked in a bookkeeping department for about a year. Every week I had to make one large bank deposit. I totaled up the checks, recorded their bank routing numbers on the deposit slip, then totaled them up again.

My first day on the job, the two totals didn’t match. I was angry and frustrated. This isn’t fair, I thought to myself, this is somebody’s fault. Read the rest of this entry »

Love our enemies or die

“In the face of all-annihilating weapons, the natural next step may be the use of no weapons. It may be the only possibly effective defense against the ultimate weapon is no weapon at all. It may be that the presence of nuclear weapons in the world serves notice that the command to love one another is an absolute practical necessity, such as we never dreamed it to be before, and that our choice is not to win or lose, but to love our enemies or die.”

— Wendell Berry, Property, Patriotism and National Defense

The Spirit desires a vacuum.

“The average Christian is so cold and so contented with His wretched condition that there is no vacuum of desire into which the blessed Spirit can rush in satisfying fullness.”

A.W. Tozer

Anabaptist Pentecostals

Like early Pentecostals, early Anabaptist Christians got into trouble for believing that believers could be filled with the Holy Spirit, though they didn’t boast about it. But just as most Anabaptists today find themselves far from their roots, so do most Pentecostals. Read the rest of this entry »

Mr. Garrett Goes to Washington

Well, Daniel has just driven down the driveway on his way to his new job with the State Department. The first seven weeks of training will be the most intense, then he’ll spend some months in language study, depending on where he’s sent. He’s rented an apartment in Virginia, a short bike ride from the institute. He plans to visit us whenever he can. When he left, Grandma said, “Drive carefully and call us when you get settled.” She’s finishing her afternoon nap now.

We will all miss Daniel: his energy, his humor, his creativity. He says he’s confident I will continue to do a good job of caring for my grandmother.

Beware of prayerless tears.

“Beware of prayerless tears and beware of tearless prayers.”

– Anonymous

Interview with the bluegrass rabbi

Question: You lead Congregation Shomer Negiah, but you’re also an accomplished banjo and harmonica player. How did you get involved in music?

“From my parents. When she was a teenager, instead of a picture of Elvis, my mother had a photograph of Shlomo Carlebach on her wall. Read the rest of this entry »