What's Tony Thinking

The Work of Aging (Archive Edition)

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July 5, 2020 — Being happily busy with grandchildren I want to reach into our archive for some of the most popular blogs  of the past year or two. This post, “On the Work of Aging,” was inspired by an article by Arthur C. Brooks. Some great insights. I was hiking recently with a friend who had turned eighty... Read More

On the Eve of the Fourth of July

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July 3, 2020 — We are nearing the end of a week at our cabin in the Wallowa Mountains with our two grandsons, Levi and Colin, ages 8 and 9. As Linda says, it’s a quite a bit noisier than usual, but that’s a (mostly) welcome change. Riding herd on the grands is part of the reason that I’ve... Read More

A Hopeful Story About Police Reform

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June 29, 2020 — We need all the hopeful stories we can get these days. Stories about change that remind us that progress can be made. I suspect there are far more of these stories than we might imagine. Here’s one from Camden, New Jersey, a 73,000 person city that was once rivaling Honduras for the title of murder... Read More

A Naked Emperor Is A Frightening Thing

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June 27, 2020 — In the old children’s fable of “The Naked Emperor” a little boy blurts out what everyone else knows but no one will say, “The Emperor has no clothes. He is naked.” While many have perhaps felt that this has described President Trump all along, it feels true in some new way in the face of... Read More

Our Little Book

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June 26, 2020 — It’s been a good week for our new little book, Useful Wisdom: Letters to Young (And Not So Young) Ministers. It was excerpted in the “Books Worth Reading” newsletter of The Christian Century, for “this week’s quote.” And Richard Topping, the Principal of Vancouver School of Theology had some nice things to say about it in a... Read More

Statues Are Having A Moment

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June 23, 2020 — When at Union Seminary in New York City we lived near Grant’s Tomb in Riverside Park. The old joke was about the tourist who asked, “Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb?” Such monuments and statues have a way of becoming invisible. Mute icons crowned with pigeons. No longer. Suddenly, we’re looking at those neglected figures. We’re... Read More

Summertime and the Living Is . . . Complicated

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June 22, 2020 — Here’s a summer solstice riddle. Yesterday morning, on one of the longest days of the year and with totally clear blue skies in Seattle, I went for a run in Discovery Park and it was dark, far darker than it had been at the time of spring equinox in March. Why? Because the Park’s deciduous... Read More

Durkan and Biden Have This In Common: Their Peril Lies Left

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June 20, 2020 — By normal standards both Seattle Mayor, Jenny Durkan, and the Democrat’s Presidential nominee-to-be, Joe Biden, would be considered left of center. So you would think that the challenge they face would come from the right. Think again. Look left to see where danger lies for these local and national leaders. Durkan is more immediately in... Read More

What I Want to Know About John Bolton

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June 19, 2020 — John Bolton wants to tell us about President Trump . . . a bit late for that. My question is about John Bolton. What’s with up with the hand to the glasses thing? Can someone, please, get this fellow glasses that fit? Let us consider this affectation . . . the constant touching of the... Read More

How A Better, Biblical, Understanding of Sin Can Help Us With Racism

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June 17, 2020 — No one likes to be called “a racist.” No one appreciates being told, “you are a racist.” In the face of such accusations, we protest our innocence. We defend ourselves. We justify ourselves. “I’m not a racist.” “I’ve treated black people fairly, decently.” “I never use the N word.” “I have black friends and neighbors.”... Read More