What's Tony Thinking

The Life Span of a Hymn Ain’t What It Used To Be

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December 6, 2021 — Turns out in the world of contemporary Christian music the life span of a hymn, or “worship song,” has gotten pretty short. Used to be 10 to 12 years, now it’s down to 3 or 4, according to an article in the magazine Christianity Today.  Here’s a bit from the article, which does not actually... Read More

The Unexpected Visitor

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December 5, 2021 — This Sunday (Advent 2) and the next (Advent 3) put the spotlight on an unexpected, and quite possibly unwelcome visitor, John the Baptist. This is the traditional pattern of the ecumenical church and its Scripture readings for these two Sundays of Advent, but that doesn’t stop us from being jarred by John’s presence. In fact,... Read More

Evangelicals Have a Lot to Answer For

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December 3, 2021 — There’s an old joke about the man who complained to a minister that he would never belong to a church because the church is full of hypocrites. To which the minister responded, “Well, there’s always room for one more.” None of us are without flaws. All of us fail to live up perfectly to our... Read More

Men and Church, Continued

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December 1, 2021 — A number of you picked up on and responded to my blog yesterday on “Men and Church.” One of you (a woman) wrote, “This is excellent, Tony. We don’t need to revert to ‘muscular Christianity’ but somehow we need to engage with the idea of evil in the world without using all the battlefield metaphors.”... Read More

Men and Church

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November 30, 2021 — Not long ago I had a conversation with a young (say 35-year-old) woman who is active in her church. Though her husband had been active in a former church in a different town, he is not part of his wife’s current church. I asked her why she thought that was. She said, “It’s too feminine... Read More

The Biden Sweeps

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November 29, 2021 — It sometimes seems as if the current most popular topic for political writing and discussion is assessing how President Joe Biden is doing. Or pronouncing his Presidency already dead. Countless articles and op-ed’s have dwelt on the fact that his approval ratings are hovering in the 40% range. Others look to the 2022 and 2024... Read More

From the Gorge at Advent

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November 28, 2021 — Our Thanksgiving family gathering in the Columbia River Gorge concludes today. We will worship at Bethel UCC where our daughter Laura will lead the service and preach. From a geologic, cultural and scenic point of view this is an extraordinary area. Here’s a photo from one of our several hikes, this near “Coyote Wall” where... Read More

Happy Liberals

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November 25, 2021 — The greeting for this day is, “Happy Thanksgiving!” Are you happy? What is “happy?” A dictionary definition is, “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.” According to a piece in the New York Times today — “How Liberals Can Be Happier” — conservatives tend to be happier than liberals. (They must not have been talking to... Read More

Two Verdicts

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November 24, 2021 — Last Friday a jury found Kyle Rittenhouse “not guilty” on all counts. Today another jury found the three defendants in the Ahmaud Arbery case “guilty” on almost all counts. These outcomes seem to me correct. Following the Rittenhouse verdict there were a lot of extreme statements, from those on the left, about white people being... Read More

Fast Takes: Waukesha, Courtrooms, and Twitter

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November 22, 2021 — What a terrible tragedy in Waukesha, Wisconsin. I reached out to my friend there, Jim Gorman, a retired pastor in Waukesha whose former church is on the route of the holiday parade that was turned into a site of chaos, mayhem and death. Jim had this to say. “The only thing to be ‘thankful’ for,... Read More