What's Tony Thinking

An Inhuman Culture

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May 24, 2022 — Yesterday I started a new book, You Are Not Your Own: Belonging to God in an Inhuman World, by Alan Noble. Today came word of another mass shooting, this one at a Texas school. 18 children and 3 adults are dead. These are the opening words of Alan Noble’s book: “A defining feature of life in the... Read More

A Healing Story

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May 23, 2022 — I have written here about Anna Lembke’s book, Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence. Lembke is the Medical Director of the Stanford Addiction Clinic. Her book is terrific and important. One of my favorite chapters is called, “Radical Honesty.” At the beginning she gets right to the honesty part by noting, “The average adult... Read More

A Prayer for This Day

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May 22, 2022 — I want to share with you a prayer that my nephew, Sam, who lives in Costa Rica, shared with me: Lord, in the silence of this day that is born I come to you to ask for your wisdom and strength Today I want to see the world with eyes full of love Make me... Read More

At Week’s End: The Good, the Bad and the Cold

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May 20, 2022 — I’m not sure I ever thought I would say this, but two cheers for the abortion debate. How so? Aren’t we desperately fatigued by our polarized positions? Not to mention the one-ups-you-ship of Republican controlled states trying to outdo one another with the extremity of their anti-abortion legislation . . . I’m thinking of Oklahoma... Read More

“Inclusiveness” Reconsidered

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May 18, 2022 — For those of you following our “Help My Unbelief” webinar and study of Fleming Rutledge’s book, this blog is a two-fer. That is, it includes links to the video tapes of our last two sessions. Here’s the most recent, from Monday May 16, in which we covered two sermons on the topic of inclusiveness. Fleming’s... Read More

Hideous Mass Shootings Change (and stay the same)

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May 16, 2022 — Once again, the news is all about mass shootings. In Buffalo, New York at a grocery store, in Southern California at a Taiwanese Presbyterian Church. Just awful. I grieve for the families and loved ones of those killed and injured. I grieve for us all. And . . . it strikes me that something has... Read More

Misery Not Compulsory

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May 14, 2022 — I happened to hear an interview the other day with Julian Fellowes, who is the writer/ creator behind “Downton Abbey.” That much-loved show is apparently coming back for another go-round. Fellowes was interviewed by one of his fans, Mary Louise Kelly, on “All Things Considered.” In the course of the interview Fellowes said a couple... Read More

Getting Old: Not for Sissies

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May 13, 2022 — It has been a cold spring in Seattle. Made a little colder by the significant number of friends who are struggling with major illnesses or sudden changes in their own health or that of a loved one. It’s hard. And sobering. Things can change very quickly. I remember my Dad, probably about the age I... Read More

“I Was Captive to the Prince of Lies”

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May 11, 2022 — Two articles appeared this week on the growing rift in the Evangelical Christian world. One, describing a “Seismic Shift” in the Evangelical Christianity appeared in the New York Times. The second, “How Politics Poisoned the Evangelical Church” is in the Atlantic.  The rift among evangelicals mirrors the same phenomenon in the Republican Party where there... Read More

Thinking Out Loud Together

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May 10, 2022 — One of the great saints of Plymouth Church in Seattle, Janet Steputis Perry, died recently, at age 97. Janet was on the Search Committee that called me to be Plymouth’s senior minister in 1989. At the time the congregation was deeply divided over the issue of divestment of the church’s endowment fund from companies that... Read More