Criticism

24 posts

Confusion is Sovereign

Warning: This short post is the definition of pedantic. I am going to quibble with the use of the word “sovereign” as applied to God by many Reformed theologians.  It is not surprising that exploring the topic of suffering and grace has led me to consider questions of humanity’s free will, predestination, and God’s sovereignty. For many, the origins and purpose of suffering are directly related to the latter, God’s control over all of creation and history. If God is truly “sovereign” then all events in our lives are controlled and dictated by God. God truly is sovereign . […]

Christian Comedy? Prophetic?

I have been a stand up comedy fan for years. One of my first albums was a Bill Cosby and eventually I discovered Mike Warnke, a Christian comedian. Not the best choices, in retrospect. If you have been following the news at all you know about Cosby, but Warnke too was discredited, decades ago. Christian comedy may seem like an oxymoron, yet there are some very humorous folks out there and often with poignant observations. This […]

What are our priorities?

Whenever I hear the word priorities, I think of Ron Weasley (in the movie version, at least) saying that Hermione, who privileges learning above all else, “needs to get her priorities sorted.” The comment is a bit subversive, it is very amusing, but I have a more serious challenge today. American Christians: we need to get our priorities sorted. What is more important for a Christian, to be right or to be compassionate? What is […]

The Vatican Museum and Twitter

Last month we were in Italy for a few days, meeting our daughter who had been studying for the semester in Siena. She is majoring in History, Art History, and Medieval Studies and had reserved for us tickets for the aperitivo at the Vatican Museum. Opening at 7 pm with a drink and small portions of meat, cheese, and vegetables (with multiple servings) for our aperitivo, the museum was far less crowded in May and […]

José y Maria | Everett Patterson Comics | Modern Mary and Joseph

UPDATE 2017: I originally posted this two years again, when it was first produced. It has been making the rounds again unattributed so I wanted to be sure folks could find Everett’s site. But on looking at it again this Advent, I was struck again by how right he got this. His interpretation accurately depicts the sense of the original context, the pregnant mother and anxious father just looking for a place to rest. Not […]

Thinking as Worship

This past summer I wrote a series of devotions that were published on the Emerging Scholars Network blog1. Over the course of this week I will published them here on Targuman. I encourage you to take a look at ESN and consider supporting and contributing yourself. We will be holding a meet-up at this SBL this November, if you are there I hope you can join us!  Quote “Das Denken ist auch Gottesdienst.” Reflection Sometime in […]

Sidney Chambers is no Father Brown (or Harriet Vane): The Sex-lives of Grantchester

Last week was the third season finale of the series Grantchester. Having watched an enjoyed all three seasons to date, I wanted to share my critique of the show. A few preliminary comments are relevant. First, I deeply enjoy this genre, the British period mystery. Now, I have been a fan of Dorothy L. Sayers and her mysteries almost since I could read and GK Chesterton’s Father Brown (the original stories, not the recent TV show) […]

Podcasts I am listening to now. #TryPod

Never one to be prompt, I am late to this game of sharing my favorite podcasts. “Informally led” by NPR March was the month to declare your love for podcasts with the hashtag #TryPod. According to Edison Research, one in five Americans listened to podcasts every month as of early 2016 – a number that has grown by double-digits for five years. I haver periodically shared my favorite pods in the past. Most haven’t changed, […]

The Song of Songs Which is Solomon’s by Paul Wunderlich

This past year I was invited to lead a “Paper Views” discussion at the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University. It was initially supposed to be a viewing and discussion of prints by Old Masters of women in the Bible, but the collection and little in that area. What they do have is Paul Wunderlich’s 1970 The Song of Songs Which is Solomon’s. I have begun work on an article about these interesting and curious […]

Where are the fatherly role models in the Bible?

This is not, by the way, a late post for Father’s Day 2016. It is a really late Father’s Day 2015 post. I started it more than a year ago. It started, in part, because I have seen the encouragement and strength my wife has felt from all of the strong female examples in the Bible. That is ironic, of course, because the Bible is so male-focused. Yet it is true, positive male examples in the Bible are actually few and far […]