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About Todd Brewer

Managing Editor for Phd in New Testament and Early Christianity from Durham University, England. On Twitter @toddbrewer_

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Author Archive

    Giving Tuesday Indulgences for Black Friday Guilt

    Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and then Cyber Monday. For four days we buy, buy, and buy — for others (because we have to) but also for ourselves. Perhaps mostly for ourselves. The frenzy of spending is occasioned by the holiday season, but more and more of us have been self-gifting. With all the […]

    Circles of Grace and the One-Way Love of God

    In anticipation of the publication of John Barclay’s book, Paul and the Power of Grace, Part Six of our “Defining Grace” series concludes with my own post on grace and circularity.  In his classic children’s book, The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein tells the story of a young boy who is befriended by a tree. The tree simply […]

    Can the Good Outweigh the Bad? The Case of the Philanthropist-Serial Killer

    Each morning, as the coffee buzz kicks in, we all ask ourselves what must happen for the day to be a success. There are relationships to keep up, cleaning to do, work to be done, and exercise (if that’s your sort of thing). But as the day unfolds, the boat begins taking in water. The […]

    Another Week Ends: Active Listening, Moral Injury, Salad Righteousness, Yoga Humor, and Fat-Shaming

    1. Leading off this week, Carlen Maddux has a fantastic interview with none other than Mary Zahl discussing the practice of active listening and its transformative, healing power. While most of our daily conversations could be said to be two people waiting for the other person to stop talking, active listening is something else altogether: […]

    What’s Your Starbucks Story?

    When I was 14 years old, I began working at the Dunkin’ Donuts down the road. I then flipped over to Burger King to work with my older brother. At 16, I left the burger world to run the drive-through at KCF/Taco Bell for a couple more dollars an hour. So when I needed a […]

    Another Week Ends: Canceling Christmas, Acceptance Parenting, Emily Dickinson, the Church in 2020, Law and Gospel, and Myside Bias

    1. Will COVID cancel Christmas this year? I certainly hope not, but that’s what Giles Fraser asks in his latest at UnHerd. Much about this year’s celebration will undoubtedly be different, if not cancelled; [The Grinch] COVID might steal our banquets, caroling, pageants, and large gatherings, but perhaps this year the pathos and joy of […]

    Pirates, Parrots, and Plot Holes of Grace

    What books a child wants to read often reflects the TV they’re watching during the day, for better and worse. Whether it’s Paw Patrol, Doc McStuffins, Wild Kratts, or Octonauts, animal-themed shows are kind of the norm, and probably always have been. For little kids, you can’t really go wrong with talking animals (Bluey is a personal favorite). […]

    What is Grace? Defining the One Word Everyone Needs to Know

    If you’re not a Christian, “grace” isn’t one of those words you come across every day. It’s not in advertisements, street signs, on the news, and it’s certainly not on Twitter. It’s a pretty churchy word, really. The typical 5-year-old knows over 2,000 words, but “grace” probably isn’t one of them. Adults will know the […]

    The Gospel of Amazon Prime

    Online shopping has exploded over the last few months, as more and more retailers turn to the Internet to keep their businesses afloat during the pandemic. Etsy’s stock value has gone up over 300% since April, Walmart’s online sales nearly doubled, and food delivery is the new normal for the foreseeable future. But the biggest […]

    The Parable of the Wheat (Beer) and the Weeds: Judgment and Grace

    I was talking with a friend the other day about the latest church dramas. We were at an outdoor bar and sat on socially-distanced opposite sides of the table, so I had to shout a bit to be heard. We were assessing the faults of others with pinpoint precision. It was perfectly cordial, but the […]

    Another Week Ends: Justin Bieber, the Tyranny of Meritocracy, Accidentally Going Viral, Pandemic Show Tunes, and More Strange Rites

    1. Leading off this week, the philosopher Michael Sandel has some hefty critiques of the idea of meritocracy, specifically its disastrous effects on social and individual wellbeing in a global capitalist economy. Within a meritocracy, success becomes the law to live by that ruthlessly judges personal failure, dividing the self-righteous deserving from the unrighteous lazy. […]

    Learning from Jesus’ Wife

    Sometimes, the truth is far stranger than fiction. In September of 2012, the world learned that Jesus of Nazareth had a wife named Mary, or so the newspaper headlines read. Harvard Divinity School Professor Karen King announced to a frenzied media that a new ancient text had surfaced in which Jesus speaks of his wife. […]