"Freedom" is an English word which suggests a value held by most Americans—arguably, an innate value. What, though, is the referent of "freedom"? It depends on the context. Are we talking about Scots in the feudal period (see my essay with a Braveheart connection here), 19th-century Africans-become-Americans on the move, Jews or Christians in the … Continue reading Freedom reflections
Now the story told by yet another "Bible-believing" politician who thinks he is contributing something—and contributing something true. Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and once a presidential contender, has produced a "historical" DVD that supposedly highlights God's "love for our nation." But what is the nation to which he refers? The ethnically identifiable "nation" … Continue reading (Hucka)been there, done that
I'm sure you've seen signs like these: God Bless America America Bless God (on a church marquis) Pray for America (at a tire store) USA - Pray (in a private citizen's front yard) Each sign presents something, doesn't it? Each one speaks. They all express, on some level and with somewhat different prayer emphases, a … Continue reading Church signs and signifiers
Merely knowing the Roman Empire existed during the time of Jesus and Paul would lead almost anyone to assume that said empire was a factor in people's lives. I suspect that the extent (a) differed regionally, and (b) will remain largely unknown to us. I am deeply interested in the "empire" topic and am under … Continue reading Subtextual “empire” in Paul?
This essay has two parts: background musings and a brief excerpt from a paper I presented at a small conference on July 26, 2017. Musings on Theology People's thoughts can develop as time passes. I suppose it is a truism that the thought paradigms and thought patterns of groups develop more slowly than those of … Continue reading A historical/theological glance
The Babylon Bee can step on toes—and be rather probing with its stingers. Enjoy this year-old satire on one of the U.S.'s special days: http://babylonbee.com/news/inspired-patriotic-service-local-man-study-old-testament-passages-america/
A few days ago, the U.S. calendar said it was "Flag Day." I'm unaware of any particular celebration of this day, but I did just learn that, 240 years ago in 1777, the country adopted the first version of the flag that became known as the "Stars and Stripes." This fact is mildly interesting, but … Continue reading Patriotism in a list