All Posts By

James Bratt

Essay

Ministers in Film and Fiction: II

My last post about the minister in film and fiction really sparked some interest. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions – we all have a lot more books to read and movies to watch! I’ll devote this post yet to…
Essay

The Minister in Fiction and Film

Here’s an invitation to join in on a fun challenge—help design a new course. Fun for me, anyway. No, it’s not fun devising all the boilerplate that’s required to send past the gatekeeper bureaucracy, dotting the i’s and crossing the…
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On Wealth, Art, Democracy, and Religion

In one of the lesser-studied chapters of his renowned Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville reflects on the “spirit” in which democratic nations such as the United States cultivate the arts (Vol II, Part I, chapter 11). His conclusions are…
Essay

The Shadow of 2016

I haven’t gone to many academic conferences the last few years, having been out of the country, so it was good to return to the circuit last weekend. The occasion was the annual meeting of the American Society of Church…
Essay

Rendezvous with Destiny

It’s a bit daunting to follow up Heidi De Jonge here every two weeks. Heidi plumbs her personal and pastoral experience in a deep yet direct way that—to judge from responses—many of you find her posts to be just the…
Essay

Can We Handle Complexity?

Rebecca Koerselman’s post earlier this week about the “Competing Narratives” of American history struck a nerve with me. For decades I’ve been giving presentations for community groups and church adult-education programs on the question: “Was America Founded as a Christian…
Essay

Holidays

N. C. Wyeth, "Thanksgiving Banquet" Today being today, I’m posting a (slightly altered) piece previously published in the November 2005 issue of Perspectives magazine. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, and I’ve given considerable thought as to why that…
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The New Reformed Journal

Quo Vadis promo still, 1951 I’m on the road again and so have to write this the day before the midterm elections even though it will be posted two days after. Probably best, then, not to prognosticate, and to save…
Essay

Morning Prayer

'Easter Morning,' BBC Wales I planned to follow up to my last post, on Neo-Calvinism, with a bit of polemics, but then I thought why not a prayer instead? I offered the following during the prayers of the people at…