How Will Anyone Ever Know?

There’s a hymn I really, really hate.

Actually, there are several. I hate “On Eagle’s Wings” (ELW 787 for you ELCA Lutherans out there). I mean I loathe this hymn. I has an awful melody that’s impossible to sing well, and its tawdry sentimentality unsettles my bowels. I understand the lyrics are drawn from Isaiah, and some of the images from psalms, but it’s still a piece of dreck that I do not ever want to hear again. Continue reading “How Will Anyone Ever Know?”

Where They Walk Over Sainte Therese

Dwight Longenecker over at The Imaginative Conservative makes an interesting comparison between Friedrich Nietzsche and St. Thérèse of Lisieux, noting the two thinkers — the late 19th century’s most famous atheist and the young nun who would later become one of the era’s best-known saints and only Doctor of the Church — were actually closer to each other than either could imagine.

Or, I suspect, many of their supporters. Continue reading “Where They Walk Over Sainte Therese”

The Lord God’s Awful, No Good, Very Bad Marriage to Israel (aka The Church)

“I can believe that God is good, but I will not believe in a God that is nice.”

So said (more or less) a friend of mine who isn’t much of a believer at all. But I share the sentiment. We moderns have done something worse than made God all-good — we’ve made God all-nice. (Liberal Protestants especially want a nice God, a God who somehow does nothing troubling or violent while at the same time challenging and toppling every prejudice and power structure.) “The God I know would never command his people to do that,” a seminary colleague once said of one of the nastier bits of the Old Testament — specifically, Deuteronomy 7, where God commands Israel to show no mercy and exterminate or expel the Canaanites. Continue reading “The Lord God’s Awful, No Good, Very Bad Marriage to Israel (aka The Church)”

A Note to the Supporters of Josh Duggar…

For those of you who are coming out in support of Josh Duggar — that is, forgiving what he has done and accepting his very public repentance — and yet still base your opposition to homosexuality on texts in Leviticus, just remember this:

You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether brought up in the family or in another home. (Leviticus 18:9 ESV)

And this:

If a man takes his sister, a daughter of his father or a daughter of his mother, and sees her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace, and they shall be cut off in the sight of the children of their people. He has uncovered his sister’s nakedness, and he shall bear his iniquity. (Leviticus 20:17 ESV)

I await Josh Duggar’s expulsion and exile. I await the young women’s punishment as well. There is no statute of limitations here. And if we take Leviticus seriously, forgiveness is not an option.