This blog has since 2006 to provide resources for Bible teaching and study, a forum for the arts of writing and film, and a space for ranting about politics. Barbara G. Tucker is the mind and heart behind this blog and solely responsible for the content, which
does not reflect the views or mission of her employer, church, or affiliations. She has many personal (wife and mom to start with) and professional roles (related to higher education and writing.) Enjoy and participate.
"If we took the precept of non-resistance as an ethical blueprint for general application, we should indeed be indulging in idealistic dreams; we should be dreaming of a utopia with laws which the world would never obey. To make non-resistance a principle for secular life is to deny God, by undermining his gracious ordinance foe the preservation of the world. But Jesus is no draughtsman of political blueprints; he is the one who vanquished evil through suffering. It looked as though evil triumphed on the cross, but the real victory belonged to Jesus. And the cross is the only justification for the precept of nonviolence, for it alone can kindle a faith in the victory over evil which will enable men to obey that precept. And only such obedience is blessed with the promise that we shall be partakers of Christ's victory as well as of his sufferings."
Buried on page 144 of his book, I don't know how many people have actually gotten to this passage, but it seems pret…
My son got me listening to podcasts of Timothy Keller, which I do when I am walking the dog (but I need to use the earbuds.)
So I have been reading some of his website material. One was a series of talks he did about evolution and Genesis. It was thought-provoking but I will withhold judgment here.
He explains (asserts?) that Genesis 1 is a poetic rendering of what happens in Genesis 2, and therefore the poetic language is not to be taken literally. He also says that evolution as a biological process could have been used by God, since that is what the physical evidence seems to show, but that the process is a tool and not "the grand theory of everything."
This might be helpful to some as a distinction. The problem with evolution theory (well, one of them) is that it has become the explanatory myth of the age, the metanarrative, and it therefore is used to define all of our behavior, our existence, our meaning, our purpose. Why do I love my husband and children? Evolut…
First, a-gnosticism is a word created rather recently (1800s), and it's rather unusual. The "a" means not, of course, so it would seem to be "not gnosticism" and therefore some sort of orthodoxy or at least not new agey, and that is not at all the case. More like "not knowledge" but it means, in our usage, "not faith." Which automatically brings into question the relationship between knowledge and faith, what we know and what we believe.
Second, this article is about faith/antifaith but more about marriage. In fact, as someone whose husband does not attend church with me any more (but is still a believer), I have sympathy and empathy--empathy for sharing in the lack of church attendance with my spouse and being so tired of sitting by myself in church, and sympathy for her having a spouse who no …
I began writing fiction seriously in the early 2000s. My first draft was an embarrassing 160,000 words (or more) and I actually had two sweet friends who read the monstrosity. But as bad as it was, it was on paper. Eventually I pared it down to about 100,000 words or so, and submitted it to two clearinghouses that were available at the time for "Christian" fiction, a word I don't like but figured would be a start. This was before (but not long) Amazon began to make a fortune off of people self-publishing on Kindle and it was still a huge accomplishment to get one's book in print.
It was "discovered" by Ramona Tucker and Jeff Nesbitt of OakTara and I was one of their first writers, for which I will be forever grateful. In 2008 Traveling Through was published, and in 2012 republished with a different cover and some edits prior to the release of its two sequels.
The book is about a young woman and her husband who find themselves in an impossible situat…
Interesting essay on how four famous movies connect to Donald Trump and politics. If you had asked me to name four, I would have immediately thought of #2 and #3 on this list, but #1 makes the most sense. I don't know movie #4.
They are available elsewhere. In fact, I will sell you copies at cost if you contact me (but there will be shipping, and some of the used prices are better than what I can do.) I just have to put in this plug occasionally. I don't make any money from them; it all goes to charity.
Driving my dog to her vet appointment (which set me back $170) I listened to an NPR interviewer talk to Kate Beckinsale, the British actress, about her role in a new Jane Austen-based movie, Love and Friendship. I was a little surprised because I had read a review of this on Christianity Today a while back, several months, and had read the book upon which is is based on Kindle in the meantime.
"Book" is a sort of misnomer. Actually, I think the movie is based on two novellas, Lady Susan and Love and Friendship, which I haven't read yet. Lady Susan is a novella, and an epistolary one no less, which I understand was not uncommon at that time. It took a bit of time to figure out the characters in this genre, but after a few letters it began to even out and I enjoyed the short read. I am not a fast reader (too hyper to sit for long periods) so it took me a while, but for most it would be three hours maybe.
Compared to other Jane Austen's, especially Pride and Prejud…
I have written here before two thoughts about The Cost of Discipleship: that people don't really read it even though they quote it, and that it was very much a product of its time and culture, especially of a country with a state church. This is what I told my son recently when he saw I was reading it. While much of it is profound and transformative and I think it is worth reading for historical context if nothing else, I have up-and-down reactions to it.
Definitely a down one when I came to his chapter entitled "Women." The chapter was about lust and adultery, not women. It should have been named that because it had nothing to do with women, and as an educated older woman with a pretty holistic and historic view, I found the whole chapter more than disturbing. Modern editors should change the title of the chapter so he doesn't come across like such a misogynist.
From this chapter I conclude that he totally saw no place for women in leadership in the church, th…
In preparation for a week-long institute in Los Angeles sponsored by the AAC&U, I have been asked to read the Gallup's Strengths-Based Leadership book and to revisit my strengths. I took the test originally about four years ago and I can't say that taking it again would change anything, really.
I totally subscribe to their philosophy of focusing on strengths and not spending all one's time trying to remediate weaknesses. I also like the idea that no leader will have all the strengths but that he/she should build a team around him/her that does represent all or most of them.
I think this is clearly in line with the Scriptural view of spiritual gifts and how they are given for the church for the mutual benefit, and that all have a gift for mutual edifying. My understanding is that Gallup is a very pro-faith-based organization and I have read other research they do with churches.
Our institution even requires all freshmen to take the test. So let no one think I am ar…
A colleague who teaches philosophy and logic, and who has
been a Presbyterian pastor for many years, recommended this book to me.I had read McGrath’s biography of Calvin and
enjoyed it.So after reading my
colleague’s copy for a weekend, I bought a copy.
It is a good resource but . . .
The history of religion and of course atheism (which as he
points out pretty much positions itself in response or counterpoint to
Christianity) is a far too complicated subject to deal with in one book, so I
consider this a perspective on the topic, a taking of massive amounts of data
and literature and culling it down to a “less than academic” work that is in
service to an argument that atheism did not take over the world but is in the
Of course the book was written over ten years ago, so some
of it is dated.That’s why I can’t take
his conclusions all that seriously, however interesting the journey.Not that I disagree totally, only that there
are huge gaps along with the “good stuff.”
One sign of getting older is when you see someone your age on TV or a movie, you say, "She looks good," or "He looks awful." Or even worse, "Is she still alive?"'
Case in point (and example of sexism). When Harrison Ford and Chewy showed up in Star Wars, everyone applauded and cheered. When Carrie Fisher did, the response was, "Wow. So that's what she looks like now."
I am thankful for good health, although it's not perfect. Something hurts all the time. Weigh does not go away. Energy levels are still high but I can't do the long hauls (such as driving) like I used to. Sigh.
The worst part of getting older is that so many family members are in eternity. This will be our first Mother's Day without both our mothers. I keep thinking I should order flowers but there is no one to order flowers for.
Just like I do not have to go to Target to prove I am loving (I plan to avoid them, more for other policies than the bathroom thing), I don't have to vote for the Republican nominee to prove . . . anything. Don't tell me what I have to do. Yes, that sounds childish. Your arguments sound Machiavellian.
In this passage, DB says nothing but what Christ has said, and it has made me marvel how much we disobey in this regard.
"When a man gets angry at his brother and swears at him, when he publicly insults or slanders him, he is guilty of murder and forfeits his relation to God. He erects a barrier between himself and God. He no longer has access to him; his sacrifice, worship and prayer are not acceptable in his sight. For the Christian, worship cannot be divorced from the service of the brethren, as it was with the rabbis. If we despise our brother our worship is unreal . . . . We are both individually and as a congregation worshiping an idol. . . . He who loves God and hates his brother is a liar." (I have omitted some really good things from pps. 128-9.)
My first response is to say, "I don't hate anyone," but. I stop there. Contempt is often shown by ignorance, by calumny (a great word, look it up), by meanness.