Enthusiasm

Samuel Johnson’s 1755 The Dictionary of the English Language defines “enthusiasm” in this way: "A vain belief of private revelation; a vain confidence of divine favour or communication." I admit that I am an enthusiast.
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Worship, law, and “my personal Jesus”

The idea of a personal relationship with Jesus that lacks the experience of grace as command is just plain silly. Like sex without committed fellowship under God, it ain't the real thing.

O Lord, open thou our lips

I grew up in the Pentecostal Church, which is another way of saying I grew up in a tradition where we go to church to sing. This value for singing and musical expression was ubiquitous. On our way to church, we would listen to praise music; in church, I would ... Read More...
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Christian worship is boring

The Holy Eucharist is supposed to be boring. So claims the Catholic theologian James Alison. He says, “When people tell me that they find Mass boring, I want to say to them: it's supposed to be boring, or at ... Read More...

Theology and electroshock

I’m going to interrupt the regular learned commentary on this site to propose a somewhat ridiculous thought experiment. What if we imagined a religious Milgram experiment? What if the experimenter coldly instructing a subject to punish a failing learner with electroshock had theological authority?
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The Anglican way

I shall seek to write down that which I believe to be the essence of Anglicanism. None of the elements I note are in themselves the exclusive property of our tradition, but taken together they express what our church—with a small c—has sought be at its best.