After a long hiatus, guest columnist Pious Petunia returns with wise and timely guidance along the Lenten pilgrim path.
It’s time to “Make Reading Great Again” at the 2018 Festival of Faith and Writing. Every two years, the Calvin Center for Faith and Writing and the Calvin English Department host a three-day celebration of books, writing, publishing, reading, and faith.
Now that I know about this tradition of interpretation, though, I would like to recover it for us children of the Reformation. I mean, why choose? The term epiousios is multivalent and spacious, wide enough to embrace both meanings, maybe made up precisely to do so.
Here’s how it works. If you don’t like what a person or news article or books says, you pronounce it “biased,” and you’re done. You have destroyed the person or source’s credibility. No need to consider what is being said on its own terms. End of discussion.
Bare pots of dirt: that’s my preferred symbol this Advent. Bare trees, dead leaves, winter stillness. It occurred to me the other day, stopping and starting in dense holiday traffic, that we could opt out of Christmas completely. Some people do. We could just skip it. With that thought, I felt a momentary lift of freedom—which exposes all the cultural pressure to clutter our lives with Christmas crap as the ridiculous burden it is.
One night, I dreamed it wasn’t just me. Every other old codger had gone silent. It seemed that any man over about age 50 could no longer speak or write or even type. Not the women, just the men. So weird. Us older guys shuffled down the grocery store aisles, nodding at each other helplessly. We couldn’t even say “you too” when the teenage cashier told us to have a nice day.
I hereby provide a public service by filing this scouting report for those of you wondering whether the new Star Trek series, airing on the subscription service CBS All Access, is worth the investment of your time and money. The answer is: maybe.
Hence, I set all niceties aside and present my suggestions for inappropriate Halloween costumes especially for church people. Deploy these with relish on that most wickedest of holidays, All Hallow’s Eve, and join in the gasp-inducing fun.
One finds good news where one can these days, and here comes some good news for the church: the work of ecumenism thrives in the field of theological aesthetics. Granted, we’ve had to float into a rarefied atmosphere to recover this news, but what’s going at the intersection of theology and the arts does promise hopeful, on-the-ground implications.
In any case, Evangelicals of the contemporary American variety have always felt to me like the cousins my family visits only once a year for a day or two on out-of-state road trips. We are related, of course, but when we get together our differences seem most glaring. We share some genes, but we don’t share the same story or ethos at all.