What's Tony Thinking

Advent Vespers Update

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November 28, 2023 — Most years Advent begins the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but this year not. It is later. This coming Sunday, December 3, is the First Sunday of Advent, Advent I. Which means that the last Sunday of Advent is Christmas Eve, thus taking Advent right to the brink. This Sunday I begin an “Advent Vespers” series at... Read More

A Deep Dive: Critical Theory

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November 27, 2023 — While it’s difficult not to have heard the words “critical race theory,” “critical gender theory,” or simply “critical theory” in recent years, what it all means is another question. But an important question for those like me and David Brooks (“Universities Are Failing at Inclusion”) who are trying to figure out what’s going on with... Read More

End of the Week, November 25

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November 24, 2023 — Hope it was a swell Thanksgiving wherever you were. We were with family in beautiful Bellingham, two hours north of Seattle, one hour south of Vancouver B.C. As our own grandchildren are now all school-age and growing up too fast, the Bellingham branch is just now popping out babies. Fun. A longer Advent? Check out... Read More

The Broken Covenant

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November 21, 2023 — Here we are on the edge of another Thanksgiving. There will be essays on gratitude — who knows maybe one from me? But the reflection that struck home for me came from an Italian economic historian on the heedless super rich. Under the impress of Christianity, there has long been a covenant between the wealthy... Read More

DEI: The Conversation Continues

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November 18, 2023 — Early in the week I published a blog piece on DEI (“Diversity, Equity and Inclusion”) and its present ascendency in the academic world. Some of you said you found it “confusing.” I took your comments to heart and later in the week edited that piece for clarity. The edited version appeared yesterday at Post Alley.... Read More

Thinking Out Loud About DEI, Privilege and Related Topics

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November 13, 2023 — As I have mentioned, I was at an Association of Theological Schools conference last week. One of the keynote speakers was the head of “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” (DEI) for the American Association of Colleges and Universities. An important and influential post. She spoke about DEI work on campus, speaking often of “privilege.” DEI, “diversity,... Read More

Thoughts and Prayers

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November 10, 2023 — “We send our thoughts and prayers” is an oft-used line these days, especially in the wake of tragedy, whether a mass shooting, a devastating fire, a terrorist bombing or a health crisis. Equally frequent are the rejoinders that the promise of “thoughts and prayers” is insufficient, even empty, when it is not accompanied by action,... Read More

A Post-Denominational Church?

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November 7, 2023 — I am in Indianapolis for a three day conference put on by the North American Association of Theological Schools (ATS). I’m here as part of the team from the Vancouver School of Theology, in Vancouver, B.C. ¬†where I am a project consultant on the work VST is doing to strengthen it’s Theological Field Education component.... Read More

Advent: Watch Out!

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November 6, 2023 — Something different for Advent this year. At the right side of the page you’ll see info about a series of on-line Advent Vesper services I am planning. We will begin on the first Sunday of Advent, December 3, and continue the next three Sundays, Dec. 10, 17 and 24. 4:00 p.m. PST, 7:00 p.m. EST,... Read More

There Is Still Goodness in the World

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November 3, 2023 — It’s been a hard week in a difficult time. In his weekly column David Brooks called the current times “brutalizing,” and added, “Everywhere I go, people are coping with an avalanche of negative emotions: shock, pain, contempt, anger, anxiety, fear.” The hard stuff is all around us. People in tents, sleeping on cardboard on city’s... Read More