The Prodigal Son’s Older Brother as Wimbledon Chair Umpire – Friday Poetry

What the older brother squandered was his sweat, which, had he known it was as dissolute as life in the far country, might have traded out for something more exciting. But his fierce integrity to the American dream was his particular delusion. “Virtue can be earned in honest labor.” Only honesty was not his aim. […]

In Praise of Bad Writing: David Bentley Hart’s New Testament

The New Testament, as translated by the influential Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart, is bad.  But that’s what makes it such a good read for Christians who need their settled understandings tweaked. Hart’s new translation doesn’t strive for literary heights. He has an ear for beautiful language, something that comes through in all of his […]

When Angels First Trod the Earth: A Review of Philip Jenkins’ Crucible of Faith

It was 113 degrees when I was at Qumran a few weeks ago.  Set up on a ridge near the Dead Sea, the site is unforgiving—no escape from the sun, salt flats and barren wilderness in every direction, a claustrophobic gift shop and lunch room packed with tourists who never seem to make it to […]

Who is This ‘We’?: Poetry for the ‘Families Belong Together’ Rally

I’m not going to make the ‘Families Belong Together’ Rally in Onancock today (Saturday, June 30) from 11-12:30. And when asked for a statement, I couldn’t find the words.  So I contributed this poem to be read.  May we find the ‘we’ that is truly ‘us.’ Who is this ‘we’ into which I am enlisted? […]