Books Read in 2019


I keep a running list of the books that I read all the way through–as opposed to read selectively in, which is how I approach most works of academic history, critical theory, and theology. For a few years I posted this list to my blog with commentary on some of the books. I fell away from that for awhile but am now getting back to it. I will be posting a list of all of the books I read over...



Angoulême is the largest city in the region where we’ve been staying. Over the last few days Gilles and Nicole have been showing us around. We’ve explored the Château de La Rochefoucauld and Sers. We’ve also visited a bunch of other places. Here are a few of the most interesting: Musée de la Bande Dessinée Also known as the International Comic Strip Museum, the Musée de la Bande Dessinée is...

Sipping Rose While the World Burns


The crisis in the United States keeps getting worse and worse. Today as I wandered through Arles members of my congregation in Houston participated in protests against President Trump’s planned ICE raids. His administration’s anti-human and anti-immigrant policies are part of the larger global crisis. I have been thinking about the crisis a lot since I have been in France. Much of the photography...

Words from Your Minister for February 2018


Dear Friends:I hope that you’re excited about pizza and games tonight! Asa and I are looking forward to it. We’re bringing a few of our favorite games and one of Asa’s friends. It should be a lovely time in the fellowship hall. Our religious community doesn’t just exist on Sunday morning and gathering to share food and fun is just as important as worshipping together. It is a wonderful way to...

Two Bodies, One Heart (Ashby)


as preached at the First Parish Church, Ashby, MA, January 21, 2018 This week marked the year anniversary of the inauguration of Donald Trump. Shortly before he was inaugurated, I preached a sermon to a different congregation in which I said that one of our most important tasks for the coming years was to nurture the spiritual practices that would sustain us through difficult times. Today, as...

Professional Update


I have been more than a little negligent in keeping this blog up to date. Trying to complete my PhD in five years has been keeping me busy (also my computer died, and I’m currently reduced to working on my iPad, but that’s another story). I have a lot of professional news to share. Rather than breaking it into a bunch of small posts I decided to share everything in one swoop. ...

Criticizing Harvard (almost) a Hundred Years Ago


Doing some archival research today in A. Philiph Randolph and Chandler Owen’s socialist paper The Messenger I came across this gem which I couldn’t resist sharing: On the application blanks of Harvard University this year are the these questions: (1) What is the Race and Color of applicant? (2) What is his religious preference? (3) What change, if any, has been made since birth, in...

Active Love


While reading Hegel’s Phenomenology of the Spirit today I came across this gem about love: “Active love—for love that does not act has no existence…—aims at removing an evil from someone and being good to him.” 

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