What's Tony Thinking

Why It Matters

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April 18, 2022 — “Why It Matters That Jesus Really Did Rise From the Dead,” is the header on Tish Harrison Warren’s Easter column in the New York Times. It’s a great piece, and so I share it here. She writes in dialogue with two poets, John Updike and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Updike, in his famous “Seven Stanzas at... Read More

Weird Easter

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April 16, 2022 — I have some friends on Vancouver Island doing a new church start they call “Weird Church.” I think there’s also a book that has some variation of that in its title. This might seem a weird, if you will, name for a church. But maybe not. The church and the gospel are always being tamed... Read More

Cults of Futility, Part Two

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April 14, 2022 — Yesterday I wrote about contemporary cults of futility, citing the disillusionment of much of the west with its own cultural heritage and values. There are other cults of futility abroad in the land. At a dinner the other evening my friend, Richard Conlin, former member and chair of the Seattle City Council, observed that “climate... Read More

Cults of Futility, Part One

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April 14, 2022 — There’s a fair bit of gloom and doom these days. While I’d hardly call myself a cheery optimist, I am suspicious of going over to this dark side, or pulling a Chicken Little. Perhaps that is because I am somewhat inclined that way, and so make an effort to keep myself balanced. Doom is announced... Read More

from “The Gentlemen’s Book Club”

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April 13, 2022 — Our all guys book club has been going about seven years now. Wonderful group. We discovered from an article on book clubs that only 10% of them are men’s groups. So we decided to celebrate our exceptional nature and acclaimed ourselves, “The Gentlemen’s Book Club.” Our M.O. is to set a theme for a series... Read More

The Myth of Innocence

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April 11, 2022 — I preached last Sunday at the Guemes Island Community Church. Guemes is the closest of the San Juan Islands, just a half mile or so from Anacortes on the mainland. My sermon was titled “The Myth of Innocence.” I’ll share a few excepts. But first . . . I noted that a growing number of... Read More

On the Battlefield

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April 10, 2022 — One of the blogs I follow is “Experimental Theology” by Richard Beck, a psychologist and progressive Christian. As a college professor he is in touch with student-aged people. And because he volunteers in a prison, leading a bible study, he often draws from that experience as well. The latter, in particular, informed his great book, Reviving Old... Read More

“If I Remain Silent, I Am Not a Priest”

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April 7, 2022 — The position of the Russian Orthodox Church, led by Moscow Patriarch Kirill, is all-in on Putin’s War. But not everyone in the ROC is on-board with officialdom. As they say in the Black Church, “God shall not be left without a witness.” Up steps a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church Fr. Ioann (John) Burdin rector... Read More

New Webinar: Help My Unbelief

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April 6, 2022 — We are following our webinar on UnApologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense with a different but equally engaging and helpful book study, Help My UnBelief  by Fleming Rutledge I have mentioned Fleming’s work here before. I started reading her in the 1980’s. She and I were colleagues at the Toronto School of Theology,... Read More

War Crimes, and Untamed Christianity

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April 5, 2022 — With the horrific scenes from the Russian retreat from northern villages around Kyiv, particularly Bucha, there is a drumbeat of accusation of “war crimes.” Russia of course totally denies responsibility, claiming that Ukrainians killed their fellow civilian Ukrainians. It is the tyrant/ autocrat’s stock-in-trade. Deny completely. Reverse the charge. Blame the victims. Trump taught us... Read More