What's Tony Thinking

A Spiritual Challenge

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March 17, 2020 — (Parenthetical Note: You may have noticed, I’ve been posting more during the CV crisis. Perhaps it’s a way I’m managing my own anxiety? But I also hope that my posts are proving helpful to you, my readers, during this strange, hard time. If, for you, I’m “over-posting,” forgive me. I trust you know how to... Read More

Coming Together to Keep Our Distance

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March 16, 2020 — The best thing I’ve read during this strange time was in a longish piece in the New York Times about the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964. It was a whopper, 9.2 on the Richter scale. The author, Jon Mooallem, considers the way that the response to the earthquake defied pessimistic expectations. In the wake of... Read More

Be Careful What You Wish For

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March 15, 2020 — Theological interpretation of social and health crises has a long and vexed history. The idea that God might be telling us something through such events has given rein to some pretty wild and noxious stuff. Still, in my line of work we ask, “Is there a word from the Lord?” amid history’s confusions and complexity.... Read More

Man Up, Mr. President!

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March 13, 2020 — Earlier this week, in my initial comments on the COVID-19 virus, I suggested that one possible upside to the whole situation was that the virus, and our necessary focus on it, was eclipsing our pre-occupation with the interpersonal black hole that is our President. I was too optimistic. He is after all the President and... Read More

Be Not Afraid

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March 12, 2020 — This morning at the sparsely populated Ballard Health Club I said to an acquaintance, “Does the fact that we’re here mean we are foolish or that we are addicted (to our exercise routine)?” He responded by saying, “Be not afraid,” which is a frequent injunction in the Scriptures of both the Old and New Testament.... Read More

A Moment for Rediscovering the House Church?

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March 11, 2020 — The cancellations and adjustments keep mounting. Here in Washington State, Governor Jay Inslee has prohibited gatherings of more than 250 people, which puts the kibosh on many sports events just on the eve of college basketball playoffs. Today came the announcement that the Seattle Schools would close, effective tomorrow, for at least two weeks. Most... Read More

Is There an Upside to the Corona Virus?

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March 9, 2020 — I write from the U.S. epi-center of the epidemic, Seattle, on a day when the number of confirmed cases of the Covid-19 illness stands at 650 in the U.S. and rising. And the stock market has just taken its greatest one day loss since 2008. All sorts of consequences are rippling throughout society. Is it... Read More

In Lieu of Church

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March 7, 2020 — We in Seattle and King County are experiencing an older form of “cancel culture.” Not the drubbing, shaming and consigning to the outer darkness of the Internet age, but the old-fashioned type, as in, “Cancelled,” not happening. Lots of stuff has been cancelled: classes at the University of Washington, the schools in the Northshore District,... Read More

Biden Is a Flawed Candidate, and maybe that’s okay

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March 4, 2020 — Joe Biden is not the Messiah. And maybe that’s okay. Could be, it’s even a good thing. No one will mistake Joe Biden for The One. He’s too old. He’s 77! Crazy. It’s a tough, tough job and however resilient Joe may be, your energy and acuity are not, at age 77, what they were... Read More

Religion, Democrats and Biden’s Speech

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March 3, 2020 — It has become conventional wisdom,¬†as this recent Pew Research Study indicates, that the Democrats are a bunch of secularists, even anti-religious, while the Republicans are the real party of the religious. There’s just enough truth in this caricature to make it believable, and enough false to make it dangerous. The conventional wisdom is odd, and... Read More