A Cold and Broken Hallelujah

I am a fan of Leonard Cohen’s song Hallelujah, in spite of the fact that it is an utterly incomprehensible jumble of mostly biblical images that are mashed up in an illogical manner. It still, somehow, comes together into a truly great and mournful “love is hard and confusing” meditation. One of the things that …

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God, Salvation, and Word Pictures

Reading the Daily Common Lectionary, which is going through Hebrews at the moment, I am reminded that there are different metaphors for salvation, and those metaphors are not necessarily compatible with each other. If the metaphors are taken too literally or too far it will appear that there are contradictions within scripture. The four big …

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Genesis 1 – It’s Almost Poetry

I became acquainted with the Angolan novelist Ondjaki in an interview not long after he won the Jose Saramago prize in 2013. The interviewer asked if the stories in the earlier Good Morning Comrades, and the award winning Gramma Nineteen and the Soviet's Secret were true. Ondjaki carefully didn't answer the question. Later when reading …

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Creationism: We’re Still Arguing About This?

One would think the creationism/evolutionism debate would just go away, but it hasn't. I have been surprised at how many staunch creationists still exist. They're not noisy for the most part, but when they find out I used to be a pastor, they assume that I must be a creationist also. Because of the persistence …

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Good Hymns, Bad Hymns and Praying to “The Christmas Jesus”

In the previous post I praised the gift of song as possibly the best vehicle of authentic theology. When the hymn is pure, the poetry has the ability to pass through the intellect and other fleshy, fallen weaknesses and speak directly to the heart. There is a flip side to this gift of song. When …

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