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A Farewell Message

April 2, 2021

Dear friends, This Friday’s blog will be the last one I write here at Saint Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church. My plan is to stop writing at least for the next several months to allow the mind to lie fallow and to give myself over completely to the non-verbal practices of contemplation and painting. If I […]

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Un-naming the World

April 1, 2021

We are all familiar with the biblical story of Adam being given the assignment by God to name all the creatures of the earth. There’s something in this story that has always interested me. When I was in college, one of my favorite courses was Botany. I loved that course because it allowed me to […]

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Why the Very Concept of Grace Is Held in Contempt

March 25, 2021

C. S. Lewis once explained that theChristian virtue of forgiveness is thought to be a fine idea by most people, provided it applies only to them. But if someone wrongs them, woe be unto thewrong-doer. In that case, Lewis wrote, “howls” of fury will be heard. Grace, if applied to someone else, is not only […]

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What Do You Wear When You Pray?

March 18, 2021

There’s a terrific passage in Mark Twain’s novel, “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” “I could have given my own sect the preference and made everybody a Presbyterian without any trouble, but that would have been to affront a law of nature: spiritual wants and instincts are as various in the human family as […]

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Peace Seeking

March 11, 2021

Someone said to me in exasperation, “If it’s not one thing it’s something else.” We all probably have expressed some version of this feeling. You get the roof on the house fixed and the brakes wear out on the car. One child finds a job after a long search and another tells you he and […]

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Co-opting the Cross

March 4, 2021

As we stood in the circle drive of the manse, the clerk of the session said to me, “You know, it was right over there in the middle of your yard that the KKK burned a cross back in the early sixties. We’ve always been kinda proud that they targeted our preacher.” It was the […]

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February 25, 2021

There’s considerable confusion about the basic meaning of the phrase “biblical prophecy.” Always has been. And the phrase has hit the news cycle again. Recently in an article in the New York Times titled, “Christian Prophets are on the Rise. What Happens When They’re Wrong?” the subject hit the big time. Those old enough to remember the […]

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Pascal’s Other Wager

February 11, 2021

Pascal’s Other Wager Michael Jinkins Imagine a person sitting in their living room alone. We don’t know why they’re there. They are just sitting. Alone. With their thoughts. They are facing what Blaise Pascal, the French philosopher, saw as perhaps the most important challenge any one can face, to be content with themselves sitting alone […]

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The Invention of Hell

February 4, 2021

The Invention of Hell Michael Jinkins   I rather suspect that some long long long time ago, in the dim mists of antiquity, somewhere in Mesopotamia, an ordinary fellow anonymous to history, sat in front of his television set watching spineless politicians argue about non-issues while real needs multiplied in the streets of Ur, and […]

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