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God the Artist

September 19, 2019

God the Artist Michael Jinkins   Debbie and I were on our boat late one afternoon, heading back to the marina. The skies had been a marvel all day. Cirrus clouds, Mares’ Tails, had been sweeping across a sky of cerulean blue since early that morning. But as we turned west heading into the Intracoastal […]

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When Sorrow Falls Upon the Wise

September 12, 2019

“When Sorrow Falls Upon the Wise”* Michael Jinkins     One is tempted to bemoan one’s own era and idealize the past. But, as any reader of classical sacred texts will tell you, when it comes to wisdom, today’s scarcity is nothing new.   “Where can wisdom be found,” asks the Proverbs, as it searches […]

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Is Tolerance a Christian Virtue? (part 4)

September 5, 2019

Is tolerance a Christian virtue? Part Four: From Enlightenment to Domestic Tranquility Michael Jinkins   “Toleration has failed to capture the public imagination because it is not a passion.” — Theodore Zeldin   Tolerance, as we know it, is largely an invention of the Enlightenment.* It grew from a dissatisfaction among philosophical, scientific and even […]

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Is Tolerance a Christian Virtue? (part 3)

August 30, 2019

Is Tolerance a Christian Virtue? Part Three: Finding a Viable Alternative to Absolutism and Relativism Michael Jinkins   “Religious ethics has often tended to brand as immoral and prompted of the devil all codes different from one absolute code regarded as given for all time.” — Sterling P. Lamprecht   Among the anxieties aggravated by […]

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Is Tolerance a Christian Virture? (Part 2)

August 22, 2019

Is tolerance a Christian virtue? Part Two: A Brief Tour of Tolerance Michael Jinkins   “The taste for toleration has deep roots, but it is not necessarily from one’s ancestors that one acquires it.” — Theodore Zeldin   This week, let’s go on a brief* tour of toleration. To get our tour started we will […]

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Is Tolerance a Christian Value? (Part 1)

August 15, 2019

Is Tolerance a Christian Virtue? Part One: A Theological Starting Point Michael Jinkins   In response to my request for sermon ideas this past summer, several members of the congregation asked if I would address the issues of moral absolutism and relativism. It occurred to me that preaching on these subjects might not be the […]

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The Most Depressing Lecture I Ever Heard

August 8, 2019

The Most Depressing Lecture I Ever Heard Michael Jinkins   The day started to come unstrung long before I got to the lecture.   This was 1987. Debbie and the kids and I had only been in Aberdeen, Scotland, for a couple of months. The word got around the faculty of divinity at the university […]

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A Gulf Wants Spanning

August 1, 2019

A Gulf Wants Spanning Luke 16:19-30   Larry was one of the people I most admired in my first congregation. He and his wife, Cindy, sort of adopted Debbie and me into their family, and in time became the Godparents of our children. Back then Larry was an executive for IBM. He was one of […]

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The Vow

July 25, 2019

The Vow  Michael Jinkins   He was already talking when he got out of the cab and met me at the trunk. It seemed as though I was catching him in mid-conversation though I was the only person around. He took my bag, loaded it, never pausing for a breath in his stream of words. […]

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The Consolation of Philosophy

July 18, 2019

The Consolation of Philosophy Michael Jinkins   Epictetus has been my astringent companion for more than twenty years. And a bracing friend he is. The purest spirit among all the Stoic philosophers, Epictetus tells the truth as he sees it — and always without any varnish.   This former slave (his name means “Acquired”), a […]

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