What's Tony Thinking

Let God be God

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November 21, 2021 — Sunday . . . This morning, for reasons not entirely clear to me, I feel moved to quote some words of the Apostle Paul from his Letter to the Church at Rome. For many chapters, before these words, Paul has been wrestling with gnarly theological conundrums. Here, he comes to the end of his wrestling,... Read More

The Temptation of Weariness

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November 19, 2021 — One of the lines in theologian Jurgen Moltmann’s classic,¬†Theology of Hope, that¬†struck me when I first read it and which has stayed with me is this one: “Temptation then consists not so much in the titanic desire to be as God, but in weakness, timidity, weariness, not wanting to be what God requires of us.”... Read More

We Are Afraid of One Another

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November 19, 2021 — Back in June of 2020 there was a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Enterprise, Oregon, on the grounds of the Wallowa County Courthouse. Rumors swirled as the event approached. “Boogaloo Boys” in aloha shirts were coming from Nevada. “3% Percenters,” with guns, were coming in from Idaho. Or the demonstration itself was being put on... Read More

After the MegaChurch

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November 17, 2021 — We’ve all heard about the megachurch, right? Congregation immenscious that sprang up in growing numbers across the land in the 80’s. The “mega” measurement bar was 2,000 worship attendance, average, per weekend. Many were new churches, founded by a charismatic pastor, and were non-denominational (“non-denom” became a new church category). Lots of publicity about mega’s,... Read More

A Perfect Storm: Climate Change and COVID

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November 16, 2021 — I made it back from Canada yesterday, but it wasn’t easy. Extreme weather, flooding, and lightning zapping airline computer systems all added up to two short flights (total flying time of of 42 minutes) turning into a 12 hour travel day. A lot of standing in lines. A lot of going from this desk/ counter... Read More

From Canada

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November 11, 2021 — I write to you from the Comox Valley, which is about three hours north of Victoria on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia. It it not a part of B.C. or Vancouver Island I knew much about prior to this trip. I’m loving it. Even in the rain and grey. Which is good, because the trip... Read More

Time and Other Mysteries

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November 10, 2021 — Are you about adjusted to Standard Time again? It seems the semi-annual reset is more of a irritant and kerfuffle than it used to be. At least it feels that way to me. Living in Seattle, at latitude 47, makes a difference. We’re coming into the long, dark nights now. Part of our irritation with... Read More

The Poetry of Junk

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November 8, 2021 — I happened to get into the “Junk” file of one of my email accounts the other day, and thought the headers there made a kind of strange poem of our times. (For those who wonder why no political stuff here, that all seems to go to my other email account’s junk file). “Notes From the... Read More

Climate Depression

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November 6, 2021 — According to an article in the British paper the Guardian, “climate depression” is real and spreading fast, especially among young people. I get it. When wildfire smoke and ash choke the air, when temperatures rise to an unprecedented degree in the once temperate Pacific Northwest, when I watch yet another news segment about receding glaciers,... Read More

The Obvious Question

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November 4, 2021 — Reader, Roy Howard, responded to my Wednesday blog on the benefits of participating in a religious congregation with the obvious, but important, question. “If belonging to a religious community is so beneficial, why is that so many have abandoned these communities?” Roy is a wise retired pastor who works these days as a clergy coach.... Read More