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    Melanchton on the Usefulness of Fables

    Excerpts from Philipp Melanchthon’s short treatise (1526 or so) ‘On the Usefulness of Fables’: ‘There is altogether nothing more beautiful and pleasant than the truth, but it is too far removed from the sight and eyes of men for it to be beheld and known fortuitously. The minds of children need to be guided and […]

    In a Form Which Is Strange to Us

    ‘Thus we must be very much on our guard that we do not sometime become set in our minds, that we do not resist Christ and refuse to believe in Him, not realizing when, where, how, and through whom He is speaking to us. And almost always it is the case that He speaks to […]

    Freezing Repetitions and the Spirit of Play in Thornton Wilder’s Theophilus North

    A number of people have asked about the quotes from Thornton Wilder’s novel Theophilus North that I used in my talk at the 2009 Mockingbird Conference in New York [embedded at the bottom of the post]. The first comes at the end of the chapter ‘Diana Bell’, in which a woman who is trying to […]

    Mockingbird Glossary: Pneumatology aka The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

    A basic theological question in Christianity is: how is God present to us today? In New Testament times, the answer was pretty easy: God is present to us in Jesus of Nazareth. If you lived back then and you wanted to be near to God, a good bet was to go find this Jesus character […]

    Selena Gomez on Spirit-Inspired Sanctification

    Selena Gomez, Disney channel star of Wizards of Waverly Place, has come out of nowhere with a song that addresses some of the key issues in what true Spirit-inspired sanctification looks and feels like. The song is called “Naturally”. “It’s intuitive”, she sings, “you don’t have to try”. Note especially the pregnant use of the […]

    Against Theology? The Holy Spirit as the Thief in the Night

    Some fascinating and slightly enigmatic thoughts from Christoph Blumhardt on the Holy Spirit: “It has now become clear to me that what is decisive in the Kingdom of God is never a single dogmatically fixed and systematized teaching; rather, it is the living God alone that is decisive… But it has also, further, become clear […]

    Martin Luther and the Cross-Shattered Church (According to Rowan Williams)

    Happy thoughts from The Wound of Knowledge by Rowan Williams, taken from the excellent chapter on Martin Luther. I would make an eyebrow/Dumbledore/beard joke, but let’s face it, that one is pretty much played out. Read on for that comment by the former Archbishop of Canterbury on Luther’s relationship to Rhineland mysticism you’ve been searching […]

    Mockingbird at the Movies: 8 Reasons to See Dark City

    A few days ago I finally saw the 1998 science fiction cult classic Dark City, and it was pretty awesome. So here are 8 reasons to see it, if you are into that sort of thing. And by that sort of thing, I mean dark, well-crafted science fiction parables about life and human nature. 1. […]

    Reinhold Niebuhr on Obama, the Recession, and Creative Despair

    [Ed. note: Be sure to read the comments for the, um, commentary.] “[T]he course of history, particularly in the past two centuries, has proved the earlier identification of growth and progress to be false. We have, or ought to have, learned, particularly from the tragedies of contemporary history, that each new development of life, whether […]

    Kelly Clarkson and Moses, Meet Wilfried Joest and the Supremes

    Earlier today I was pondering the old question of what Kelly Clarkson, Moses, and the Supremes have in common with 20th century Lutheran theologian Wilfried Joest. Fortunately for us all, I finally hit on the answer! They all agree that we need to stop what we’re doing and just kind of chill out. It’s obvious […]

    Top Five Best Fantasy Novels

    I am sure we all have our own views on which are the five best fantasy novels, but I thought I would throw in my own two cents on this important topic. For those who are not entirely clear on what I mean by ‘fantasy novel’, I am referring to those books that are often […]