“When the world is sick, can’t no one be well. But I dreamt we was all beautiful and strong.” A conversation with Richard Kentopp of the Gentle Wolves

Thousands of music fans, media connoisseurs, and cultural experts flock to Austin, TX this week to participate in South By Southwest (SXSW) a music and film festival featuring more than 2000 bands, hundreds of film premiers, and interactive sessions including a “virtual conversation with Edward Snowden.”  Perhaps most notable, a several years ago Twitter was…

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How I Opened My Class on Paul and his Letters…

[I am currently teaching the Paul section in a module called “New Testament Texts: The Johannine and Pauline Literature” at Cranmer Hall Theological College in Durham. At the beginning of each class, I have tried to offer a scenario of some kind to engage our imaginations and prime our minds to think more contextually about…

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Theology of the Cross vs. Theology of Glory

Since I was introduced to the concept in seminary (about 5 years ago), I can’t get Luther’s dichotomy out of my head. Luther believed that there was as way of being a theologian and of understanding God that was really about us, our comfort, a stamp of approval on our notions of who God might…

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On-Site Theology

I temporarily suspended blogging, tweeting, and Facebooking for several weeks. Why? So I could finish writing a book on social media. The irony is delightful. I deal with online theology vs. offline theology in the a small chapter in the book; and I gave a brief treatment here on the blog. In this post, I…

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“Online Theology” vs. “Offline Theology”

I led a workshop over the weekend at the Christian New Media and Awards Conference in London.  My topic was “Online Theology”:  can we “do theology” online?  What are the advantages of doing theology via blogging and microblogging?  What are the limitations?  I also asked this: what sort of disciplines and skills should we embrace…

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Preaching Fools: A Conversation with Chuck Campbell on Preaching, Folly, and the Arts (Part 2)

When I took a preaching class in seminary, I never expected it to be such a creative launching pad for me.  We listened and watched all kinds of preaching and preachers and focused on different, and sometimes novel, ways of communicating both clearly and compellingly.  I went on to take another course, with professor Chuck…

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Preaching Fools: A Conversation with Chuck Campbell on Preaching, Folly, and the Arts (Part 1)

When I took a preaching class in seminary, I never expected it to be such a creative launching pad for me.  We listened and watched all kinds of preaching and preachers and focused on different, and sometimes novel, ways of communicating both clearly and compellingly.  I went on to take another course, with professor Chuck…

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On NOT being a Minister

It is Sunday morning, and I have no sermon to preach and no Bible Study to prepare.  I will attend church, but I will not be expected to serve Communion or set up mid-week pastoral appointments.  I have no mailbox to check in the church office.  I have nothing to print out, no copies to…

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Christian Theology and the Colorado Theater Shooting

Like you, I’ve been following the Colorado theater shooting news. I’m saddened and sickened and somewhat afraid. I watched The Today Show on NBC as broadcasters and commentators struggled to make sense of it. It’s a serious struggle indeed, but Christian theology seems to be uniquely equipped to enter into the difficulty and address the…

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Fact vs. Fiction

“Fact vs Fiction” had apparently been a teaching topic for my two oldest little kids at school. They were telling me about it… “Fact is, like, real.  But fiction is not real.  Fiction is stuff that’s not true.” I took offense. “You mean,” I asked, “fiction is not true at all?” “No, Dad, of course…

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