What's Tony Thinking

There’s More

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February 1, 2019 — (I know that many of you who subscribe to my blog also see the UCC Daily Devotional. But there are also many of you who subscribe to the blog that don’t see the Daily Devotional. Since my devotion today seems to have spoken to a lot of folks, I am re-running it here.) There’s More... Read More

If Beale Street Could Talk

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January 30, 2019 — If Beale Street Could Talk is Barry Jenkins 2018 film based on James Baldwin’s novel of the same name. Linda and I saw it two nights ago. We both found it very powerful. Jenkins previously directed the Academy Award winning Moonlight, about a young black boy and the man he becomes. Beale Street tells the story of imperiled love.... Read More

Religious Left On the Rise?

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January 29, 2019 — NPR recently ran a story on the possible rise of a religious left.  Another advocate for a religious left had the wonderfully provocative headline — “Christianity’s Future Looks More Like Lady Gaga Than Mike Pence.” What I’ve noticed is that such stories show up with almost predictable regularity, maybe once a year. I suspect they fall... Read More

A Theologian Hunts Big Game

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January 28, 2019 — A couple years ago I read theologian Kathryn Tanner’s Jesus, Humanity and Trinity. Tanner is a complex thinker, a challenging but rewarding writer. She’s out with a new book in which she is hunting big game — finance capitalism. That title is Christianity and the New Spirit of Capitalism.  The first thing to notice is the term “finance... Read More

Seals, Walls and Breweries

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January 27, 2019 — On Friday I gave up. Turns out I was not the only one. I gave up on skiing since every time I planned to go, like Friday, it seemed that it was just a little too warm in the mountains. So, you take what the weather gods give you. It’s sunny and not quite warm... Read More

On Shame

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January 24, 2019 — “Shame” is a frequent topic in the Bible’s psalms, which are really by and large, prayers. For example, Psalm 31: 1, “In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame.” I suspect that most, if not all, of such references had in mind shame which originates in a... Read More

Is It Gonna Take a Tragedy?

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January 22, 2019 — Remember that great old song, “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle.” In these dystopian times I wonder if the song might be, “It’s Gonna Take a Tragedy.” A tragedy that stems from the hobbled condition of the federal government. It might be a tragedy stemming from the a failure in monitoring the nation’s food and drug... Read More

How Far Have We Come?

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January 21, 2019 — We worshipped yesterday at Quest Church in our Ballard neighborhood. It is easily the most multi-racial, multi-ethnic church I’ve experienced. Quest manages an odd but wonderful combination of evangelical piety and Jesus-focus with a strong emphasis on social justice. You wouldn’t think that would be odd or unusual — it makes sense to me —... Read More

On Bible Study, Part Two

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January 19, 2019 — I was surprised how many of you read, commented on and shared my last post on bible study. Who knew? Given your response I want to go a little deeper to suggest how we got to this place of church without Scripture and suggest a non-quick-fix. In doing so I will draw more on a... Read More

A Very Different BS

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January 17, 2019 — My last post here was “On Bullshit.” Today I again want to focus on BS, but of a very different variety. Bible Study. One evening this week I walked the 1.5 miles to Quest Church in our Seattle neighborhood, Ballard, to take part in “Immerse Bible Study.” We had each read the Old Testament “Book... Read More