Doomed to be a Taker

And now, another episode in our continuing series: Logical Fallacies in Public Discourse. This week: false dichotomy. I really must apologize to the whole of society, since evidently I am a “taker.” I am a leech, a parasite, a moocher.…
January 26, 2013


I showed them this old picture, something the turn-of-the century on the Rosebud, most of the kids outfitted in blankets, traditional garb.  We talked about it for a while, about their blankets and whether the people weaved them or traded…
January 25, 2013

“A Harsh World”

I’ve come rather late to this whole Downton Abbey phenomena, only recently having seen any of the show. At the urging of one of my parishioners (and her sharing of the first two seasons on DVD) I’ve plunged right into…
January 24, 2013

Scriptural Reasoning & Beginnings

Image from University of Cambridge Recently I was in a Scriptural Reasoning (SR) group lead by Dr. Peter Ochs who developed SR some twenty years ago. SR is a practice in which Christians, Jews, and Muslims come together to study…
January 23, 2013

Solitaire Clarity

In a couple of months' time the hit show "The Office" will be no more in terms of new episodes but it will doubtless live on for decades in re-runs.   A staple visual feature of this show over the years…
January 22, 2013

Making my Sagging Spirits Billow with Hope

Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in a few weeks, and if that doesn’t make your sagging spirits billow with hope, then you must not have endured a day like I endured last Tuesday. It all started Monday evening. …
January 21, 2013

Parenting Shrek Style

We were sitting at the table the other night eating supper when my son blurts out, "My friends and I were talking about sex today." He's eight...third grade. I looked at my wife, then looked at him, and said, "What…
January 19, 2013

The Nation of No-Can-Do

­­That would be the United States. The good-ol’ USA. The young nation born to offer (so says its Great Seal) a new order of the ages. The country where everyone can re-invent himself (and sometimes herself too), and where the…
January 18, 2013

St. Freddie of Rupert

We’re in the middle of our January interim term here at Calvin College, an intensive three week session when students typically take just one course.  And intensive is indeed the word for it: between teaching all morning, prepping for the…
January 16, 2013