The Trinity is like pornography: you can’t put it into words but, as Justice Potter Stewart famously declared, “I know it when I see it.”
Praying the other day, I was suddenly interrupted. “Why do you keep calling me ‘Jesus’?” he asked. “Because that’s your name,” I replied. “In Latin,” he said. “For God’s sake, speak English: call me ‘Jack’.”
God gives us the bread of life on the table lest we starve on the scraps from the pulpit.
What is “closure” but the therapeutic ploy of putting putty in the cracks so the light can’t get in?
The profundity of Leonard Cohen’s poetry is that it doesn’t dispel the darkness but illuminates its different shades.
To riff on Hopkins: stars star and planets planet, continents continent and oceans ocean, trees tree and tigers tiger. And humans? Alas, humans inhuman.
Power disempowers; absolute power disempowers absolutely.
I would never have believed it, but it’s actually happening: Trump is uniting the American people in a common cause and achievable project – national self-hatred and suicide.
To paraphrase Erasmus, “In a nation of the blind, the one-eyed man is president.” In this case, he happens to be Cyclops, with the same temperament and appetites.
Just a few weeks into his presidency and Donald Trump is already posing the serious threat of a paradigm shift over Godwin’s Law.
I hear that henceforth all US editions of 1984 will be retitled 2017.
Sunday January 29th: in church. The Gospel is the Beatitudes. No need to preach it today. The text comes alive by simple juxtaposition with the anti-sermon, the anti-Beatitudes, of Trump’s execrable executive actions demonising Muslims.
Sunday January 29th: at home. After seeing the chilling, ugly game of xenophobia that Trump is playing, felt filthy. After watching the thrilling, beautiful tennis match between a Swiss and a Spaniard, felt cleansed.
Forget a coherent opposition, mass demonstrations, or the power of prayer, what we now need is a first-class White House asshole whisperer.
According to the British daily the i, scientists are suggesting that our earliest ancestor was a small creature with thin skin, a large mouth, and no anus, which means that “waste material would simply have been taken out back through the mouth.” Yikes, the missing link is living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!
“No matter how many body-politic-parts there are, you are still only one body-politic. If the heart-valves were to say, ‘Because we’re not the anus, this is not who we are,’ that wouldn’t keep them from being part of the body. Or if the brain-lobes were to say, ‘Because we’re not the penis, this is not who we are,’ that wouldn’t keep them from being part of the body. If one part of the body acts like an asshole or a prick, all the other parts share in the shite and the piss” (I Americans 11:14ff.)
Of course Trump doesn’t get the fundamental constitutional principle of “checks and balances”. He thinks it’s the discourse of banking, not government. You sign checks and you balance the books – or rather you bounce checks and cook the books.
I’ll tell you what makes me want to knock a thousand heads together: American evangelicals, in sackcloth and ashes, wailing that Thank-you-Jesus-for-President-Trump Christians are the last straw. Earth to American evangelicals: evangelical Americans have been building a haystack of alternative theology (as in “alternative facts”) for my entire adult life, a rick so enormous that by the Reagan presidency astronauts could have seen it from the moon. The trajectory is hardly a quelle-surprise: what began with “The Apostasy of Billy Graham” (the working title of a book on Nixon’s Hananiah that William Stringfellow had planned to write) reaches its nadir in the religious nihilism of Trump’s court toady Franklin.
Would someone please tell Christians who police the boundaries of their communities that faith is supposed to be the trigger of ecclesial fusion, not fission?
Doing theology takes time. Some of the time is for research and writing, of course. Most of the time, however, is for prayer. At least it is if you’re doing it right.
Prosperity Gospel market update on Revelation 1:8a: “‘I am the Alpha but not the Omega; rather I am the 1942 Rolex Chronograph,’ says the Lord God Almighty.”
And Pilate said, “How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?” The cuffed Christ replied, “Er, both.” “Ah,” the procurator smirked, “the old PS defence.”
“Whose side is God on?” we are tempted to ask in all kinds of conflicts, but his answer is always the same: “Not yours.”
Grief cuts us adrift. The tides of time take most people back to shore. Lifeboats may retrieve others. But some continue to drift, drift, drift out to a bleak and pitiless sea.