“Does Your Teacher Not Pay the Tax?”

I have been working through Oliver O’Donovan’s The Desire of the Nations: Rediscovering the Roots of Political Theology very slowly. It is a dense book, but a really enjoyable read. I love how he reads scripture and what he does with it in his narrative (giving me much to think about for my contemplated books on David, and Judges, and the church), and so I’m going to deal with this book a chapter at a time. (Unlike last time, when I did two chapters together, thinking that would work with this book.) Continue reading

Giving Up on the “Church”

I meant to do more blogging this week — especially on the lectionary, and a piece I’ve had rumbling through my mind about mid-century liberalism — but never quite got around to it. And then Rod Dreher asked me to read his upcoming book, How Dante Can Save Your Life. So I’ve been a little engaged this week.

Part of this comes, actually, in response to reading Dreher’s book. (And in response to a letter I received from a longtime seminary friend and fellow pastor.)

I’ve been I’m limbo for the last few years, doing a lot of waiting. In fact, Michaela told me recently — and rather pointedly (I’m not sure she entirely approves) — “Ever since I met you, you have always been waiting.” And yes, I have. At first, it was waiting for… well, God knows what. I had been denied approval for ordained ministry by the ELCA’s Metro DC Synod, with no hope there would be a second chance at anything. After some work on my part, persistent and patient work, and some serious agitating on my behalf by some reasonably well-connected folks, I got a second chance, as was approved. Continue reading

The Hope I Have

I’m dealing with some despair right now. Despair that I don’t have work, haven’t had work for a year and a half and cannot seem to find any, don’t belong to a community of people where I can live out my call to preach and teach, and that things are not happening with my book as fast as I would like. (Fame? Fortune? Merely being noticed?)

And so I’m reminded of God’s words to Jeremiah, words Jeremiah is commanded to speak to the exile of Judah living along the banks of the Tigris not far from Babylon. Continue reading