12 posts

Authoring History

The Great Vigil of Easter 2017 –  St. Bartholomew’s, Nashville. This is my homily from this year’s Great Easter Vigil.1 The service is gorgeous, but long (hence a homily and not a full sermon) and since it starts after sundown it does not end until quite late. Some parishes will have the service start about an hour before dawn on Easter Sunday. Since liturgical Christian days begin at sundown it is the first Easter service and includes the resurrection […]

The Right Side of History

This sermon was preached at St. Bartholomew’s, Nashville, TN on Sunday, November 13, 2016. The previous week Donald J. Trump had been elected as President of the United States.  Proper 28 (33) (November 13, 2016) First reading and Psalm Isaiah 65:17-25 98 Second reading 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 Gospel Luke 21:5-19 Karl Marx famously said, [History] “repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”[1] Someone else once said, tragedy is when it happens to me, farce […]

“Spinning Spinoza” When is a Jew not a Jew?

I have never read as much Spinoza as I feel I should have (and I thought about that again while in Amsterdam). I had a colleague at a previous institution who was a HUGE Spinoza fan. He was also very reformed and, as this piece points out, would portray Spinoza as the Patriarch of the Reform Judaism. I always thought this was odd since my reading suggested that …well, he wasn’t very Jewish at all. […]

History and Objectivity

Looking through old files on my computer for something else, I came upon this snippet of a thought. Comments or reaction? History and Objectivity Can one do “history” of individuals who are still alive, or whom we have known? Some would say we are too close, but does chronological and emotional distance help? Think of the Jesus research, the complaint is that we don’t have information that is close enough. What if we know for […]

Doctor Who, World War II, and writing history

This post was sent to me by a colleague. I wasn’t sure of the WW2 connection at first. The other was talking about how Babylon 5 wasn’t that great, but at least the plot was “consistent and believable.” Unlike Doctor Who where if it were the least bit realistic the Doctor would have been killed the moment he stepped in front of an invading alien nation with nothing but his sonic screwdriver and some unkept […]

Why do Christians seem to need a body?

Given that we are in the last days of Lent and almost to Good Friday, this is perhaps providential. My automatic Google notification for “Aramaic” brought up a curious article from Psychology Today, “It’s in the Bible…Isn’t It?” This is not a publication I read so I am unfamiliar with Stephen Mason, Ph.D. who is apparently nationally known for his writing and radio show. Nor do I know about his earlier article from last month where […]

5,000 years of Imperial History of the Middle East

This is an amazing Shockwave production showing in 90 seconds the ebb and flow of empires in the region of the Mediterranean basin and beyond. Sure, we can (and I hope some will) quibble about the details but I think this will give a nice broad sense of the region and its political history to my students. HT to SCMProfessor and thanks to Mapsofwar.com for making it.  

Remembering our veterans

We can never thank enough those who have served our country. I remember my grandfather, my wife’s grandfather, my brother, and brother-in-law. There are so many. Follow this link to see an amazingly touching and poignant tribute to our veterans. Read from the bottom to the top. I remember asking my grandfather, also a WW2 vet, if he had ever shot anyone. He said “no” as well… HT: Cidu Bill