Because You Are More Powerful Than We Imagine – A Final Prayer Before General Conference 2019

Because you are more powerful than we imagine in our Pelagian fantasies, Because you are always more ready to dance than we are to follow your lead, Because you choose contingency over certainty and the added gifts of incarnation, intimacy, and the open door, Because you will still be watching when we turn our heads […]

Race, Virginia, and Jesus’ Circle of Favor

It has been a disturbing week in Virginia government. Once again, we are struggling with how we address questions of race and racism. This time Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring are both confronted with incidents from their past involving appearances in blackface, a remnant of minstrel shows where the entertainment came […]

Why Don’t Country People Just Get Out? – Episode 3

It’s happened again. Writers in The New York Times are once again wondering aloud if country people shouldn’t just give up and move to the city to deal with problems of economic insecurity. Which means, it’s time for another episode of “Why Don’t Country People Just Get Out?” In an article titled “The Hard Truth […]

Christmas Music and the Incarnation

Originally posted on Tell it Slant:
photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash The  essay from my FaithLink for Dec. 23rd–“Christmas Music and the Incarnation”—has been posted on the Ministry Matters website:  https://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/9420/christmas-music-and-the-incarnation Here are links to the songs mentioned in the essay: John McCutcheon’s “Christmas in the Trenches”:  https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox?projector=1 Noel Paul Stookey’s  “Christmas Dinner” with…

Bitter is Better: The New Bitter Southerner Podcast

A few months back I had the privilege of interviewing Chuck Reece, one of the masterminds behind the great Bitter Southerner site. Now Chuck is hosting a new podcast which you can subscribe to at your favorite podcast watering hole. It’s all the things you’d expect from such a thing: wry, rye, and an ongoing celebration of […]

What About the Methodists?: Robert Wuthnow talks churches, 2 of 3

In the first part of my interview with Princeton’s Robert Wuthnow, one of America’s premier sociologists, we talked about the current face of the Heartland. Wuthnow’s book, The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Rural America, talks about the changing dynamics of many rural institutions, including churches.  I enlisted him to help me think about churches […]