Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

January 1970 Archives

Zombie Batman and The Divided Self

My son’s request to be a “zombie batman” tonight qualifies as most creative Halloween aspiration thus far- not to mention a tough act to carry off.  Somehow the two identities seem galaxies apart.  I mean, an animated corpse in a Batman […]


Christian Meteorology: A New Series

The other day in class, someone made the following declaration: “That’s not theology.  That’s meteorology!,” he said.  I love it- hence the inspiration for a new series here at the intersection between life and God, titled “Christian Meteorology.”  We’ll feature […]


Knowing My Audience: “Nones” On the Rise

As an aspiring author I’ve been getting better acquainted with my audience, and it’s an audience I find it easy to self-identify with (Christian ministerial credentials aside).  A poll recently released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life […]


Reading, Writing and…Reviewing Books

“Doing what you’re doing- writing a book- is like running naked through the town square,” a friend of mine recently remarked. Thankfully, we don’t have much of a “town square” where I live in downtown Atlanta; and, besides, in the […]


Joel Osteen as Stand-Up Comedian?

NPR’s Teri Gross recently interviewed the comedian, Chris Rock, on “Fresh Air.”  A friend and fellow T.A. in Intro to Homiletics with Tom Long mentioned the exchange yesterday for its application to preaching (we preacher types are interested in these […]


“The Beautiful Wife”: How One Woman Is Crusading to Save Christian Marriages

Reading the book, The Beautiful Wife, by author and speaker Sandy Ralya, whose agenda to save so-called “biblical marriage” seems a bit dubious from the start, feels like the times I’ve been asked to buckle up during a spate of turbulence […]


“Hope of the Earth”?

“This nation is the hope of the earth,” Republican candidate Mitt Romney said in passionate closing remarks at last night’s third and final presidential debate. The statement for a moment filled me with great pride, and maybe I’m not alone. […]


Mental Health Break: “Beautiful Things”

We sang this song by the band, Gungor, in worship yesterday.  Here is this week’s musical feature, “Beautiful Things,” with the hope that your day will be beautiful, regardless of what you carry into it:   


Grace at the Farmer’s Market

King of Pops Grace The little girl has her popsicle. Strawberry lemonade. She won’t share. Can’t I have a taste?, Mommy whines; her wallet is now empty. A young man is selling hot dogs. They’ve never met, but he has […]


Georgia’s First Female Catholic Priest To Be Ordained Today

It wasn’t supposed to be this way…but then again, nothing worth doing usually ever is.  Today longtime Catholic nun Diane Dougherty is being ordained just miles from my home in Atlanta’s First Metropolitan Community Church.  Doughterty’s ordination will not be […]

Safe Houses

Yesterday Christians for Biblical Equality produced a list of various ways that churches can proactively address the problem of domestic violence both within congregations and the greater community. Rev. Anne O. Weatherholt, who is rector of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Maryland, […]

The Beauty of Irrelevance

Every so often I become afraid that what I am doing with my life is totally irrelevant. It happened yesterday.  I had shown up on the doorstep of the home of a hospice patient for a previously scheduled appointment.  Only […]

A Lesson on Human Nature at the Vet

Yesterday we took our new puppy, Roosevelt, to be neutered.  (Now, with both a Carter and a Roosevelt for pets, we have a truly bipartisan household.) Our five-year-old son, after hearing our attempt at an explanation for why Roosevelt had […]

“What Do I Desire?”

The below video appeared on Andrew Sullivan’s “The Dish“- another of Alan Watts’ transformative lectures set to pictures.  It’s worth your two minutes watching it. Watts begins by posing this question to his students:  “What if money was no object?” […]

Cheeky Forgiveness

The night Paul LaRuffa was shot five times in cold blood would have been like any other.  He had closed up the restaurant and gotten into his car.  That’s when “before I could start the car or do anything, the window […]

Square Halos

In his book, The Road to Missional, Michael Frost describes the experience of wandering through the Vatican Museum in Rome to stumble upon an eighth-century mosaic fragment that depicted Pope John VII wearing not a shiny, gold halo but a […]

Love and Marriage When You’re Saving the World

Have any of you been following the news around the recent discovery of a fourth-century papyrus fragment that mentions Jesus’  wife?  The veracity of the papyrus is apparently dubious at best; but this hasn’t stopped Harvard professor Karen King from […]

Musical Feature: Mumford & Sons’ “I Will Wait”

Once again, in the spirit of an Andrew Sullivan “mental health break,” today’s musical feature is Mumford & Sons’ cover song for their newly released album, Babel:  like many of the band’s songs, “I Will Wait” has, I suspect, deeply […]

The End of Biblical Womanhood?

And, finally, my review of Rachel Held-Evans’ latest book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, which aired on Sermons That Work two days ago and is reprinted here with the permission of The Episcopal Digital Network: If “biblical womanhood” were a rutabaga, then Rachel Held-Evans, […]

Top Five Least Favorite “Christian” Code Words

The other day a pastor friend asked if I’d like to help her preach on Stewardship Sunday.  A kind but dubious invitation which I agreed to with a level of trepidation.  That’s because anyone who has been around the church […]

The Importance of Form

The form of sermons has become this week’s focus with students in Preaching 501 with preacher and teacher Tom Long.  I’ll soon be listening to my students preach, some for the first time; and when they preach, their sermons will […]

31 Days of Community

The Nester’s “31 Day Challenge” has inspired fellow saint and sinner Tammy Perlmutter to blog thirty-one days straight about the laughter, surprise and heartbreak of living in intentional Christian community.  Jesus People USA seeks to live out the kind of New Testament […]

Previous Posts

Mental Health Break — "On Melancholy Hill" and What's Up Next Here
Single motherhood for the next nine months — with my hubby traveling back and forth to Washington, D.C., thanks to a National Endowment of Humanities (NEH) research fellowship there — may reduce my presence here at this intersection. But I'm ...

posted 3:34:48pm Sep. 24, 2015 | read full post »

A Monk, A Man Behind Bars for Murder, and Their Life-Changing Correspondence
[caption id="attachment_5740" align="alignleft" width="400"] The U.S. locks up more people every year than any other country, including China, with a population roughly five times greater than that of the U.S.. 5% of the world's population ...

posted 8:37:11pm Sep. 16, 2015 | read full post »

This Old House: A Poem
              The dramatic transformation that our old house continues to ...

posted 9:19:25pm Sep. 11, 2015 | read full post »

2 Ways I'm Like Mr. Bean When On Retreat at the Monastery
It’s been a while since my last “retreat” at the monastery. The last time I was here, I was on ...

posted 4:25:13pm Sep. 09, 2015 | read full post »

A 1:6 Women-to-Men Ratio on Ashley Madison — Why?
At the risk of beating a dead horse — can anyone help me understand where that awful expression comes from, by the way? — this piece takes a new angle on the whole Ashley Madison scandal. What does an eye-opening dearth of female users on ...

posted 2:37:06pm Sep. 07, 2015 | read full post »


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