The Common Good

Blog Posts By Tripp Hudgins

Posted by Tripp Hudgins 1 year 49 weeks ago
Editor's Note: Theologian extraordinnaire Tripp Hudgins put together this edition of First Thoughts prior to the first presidential debate. Still applicable before this evening's Vice Presidential debate. 
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 1 year 50 weeks ago
Today is the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi.You likely have heard of him. Il Poverello. He's the 13th-century aescetic who founded a religious order.It was, on one hand, a protest order...protesting how the Church had lost its way in relationship to money and helping the poor. It was on the other hand an opportunity for people to come together and do someting rather remarkable in caring for the poor by joining in solidarity with the poor.The Friars Minor were formed in 1226. St. Clare of Assisi was co-founder. She has her own feast day, of course, but don't lose this opportunity to get to know her as well. (There was also an incredibly trippy movie made about his life titled Brother Son, Sister Moon. Some day, when no one is watching, you should rent that film. Outrageously strange.) Francis' prayer is well known, but today I want to offer up this quotation which is similar, but presents a different focus. Less a prayer and more a philosophical edict, these words moved me this morning:“Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor vexation. Where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice. Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt.”
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 1 year 50 weeks ago
Should the market have so much control over liturgical music?There is nothing new to this question. Not at all. Now, however, there may be much that is new in discoverng the answer. Once upon a time in the European West, liturgical music was created by musicians who were supported by the patronage of a noble class.* Byrd, Tallis, you know the gang.Before then it was the monastic composer (Hildegard, et al) who seemed to rule the charts with their chant. Musicians were supported by the Church and the Wealthy in some way and thus created music for worship.The old markets, of course, have given way to new markets over the centuries, but throughout the history of the Western marketplace, markets (and the people they represent) have had tremendous say in what music we deem as sacred.Now, in our post-colonial, neoliberal marketplace, how shall we choose liturgical music?
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 1 year 51 weeks ago
What if music were ethics?You know, the art of listening and producing sounds as ethics? I'm just thinking on the old blog here. I'm preaching next Sunday and I'm thinking about listening and music and how we learn to be good to one another. Somewhere someone wrote "It is better to give than receive."
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 1 week ago
My children don't remember.I mean, the younger children in my church don't remember. It was eleven years ago. The oldest of them was six when the towers were destroyed and we went to war. I'm wondering how I talk to them about it. I wonder how I tell them the story without subjecting them to the trauma so many people experienced that day.So, no video footage. No point in giving the kids nightmares. I'm just going to talk about how many kinds of religions there are in the United States. No longer simply a liberal posture, it's an issue of national security, no? If we want to be at peace with our neighbors locally and globally, we need to understand them. We need to have something to work with, some kind of conecpt of how they live.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 2 weeks ago
Hello fellow Sojourners!This is a brief missive for your enjoyment. I just returned from the Wild Goose Festival in Corvallis, Ore.Yes, Oregon and not North Carolina. You see, in a fit of wisdom, the good people of Wild Goose found a west coast location. I hope it worked well for them because I'm sold on the place. I wish you could have been there. It was amazing. To tantalize you into attending next year, here (in no particular order) are Nine Good Reasons to Attend The Wild Goose Festival. 1. There are no bugs.None. Well, some flies, but this is Oregon and not North Carolina and though the nights are chilly and the mornings moreso (I awoke the last morning to see my breath in the air), the sun arose and everything warmed up to make for some of the most beautiful weather you'll ever experience. 2. All the notables are there.Rachel, Richard (and Richard), Brian, Nadia, Gareth, Bruce, Christian, Amy, Yvette, Hilary, Greg, Steve...So many people to meet and to know.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 5 weeks ago
 Psalm 78:1-8Hear my teaching, O my people; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.I will open my mouth in a parable; I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.That which we have heard and known,   and what our forebears have told us, we will not hide from their children.We will recount to generations to come   the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the Lord, and the wonderful works he has done.He gave his decrees to Jacob   and established a law for Israel, which he commanded them to teach their children;That the generations to come might know,   and the children yet unborn; that they in their turn might tell it to their children;So that they might put their trust in God, and not forget the deeds of God,   but keep his commandments;And not be like their forebears,   a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast,   and whose spirit was not faithful to God.I'm pondering the first few lines of this Psalm. They strike me as remarkably different from much of what we're saying these days about generations and faithfulness. It is, it seems, always the younger generations who fail us, who are stubborn and do not recognize the gifts of God. Every so often someone will throw the Baby Boomers (I mean, that's fun, right?) under the bus, but the majority of our attention has been on the future generations or those who are simply young now. We who analyze religious trends are practitioners of religious prognostication. 
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 5 weeks ago
Tony Jones has asked some of us progressive Theobloggers to chime in on God, you know, perhaps some kind of definition or doctrine (that word many of us progressives despise). You can read his invitation here. Tony doesn't want us to talk about Jesus, per se, but about God. I get that. He's in his evangelical context and he gets tired of all the Jesus talk. Lately it seems that the Emergent conversation has been all Jesus all the time. Now, that doesn't bother me, but then again I feel that in my end of the progressive mainline (free church progressive) we don't talk about Jesus enough. We talk about God all the time. Jesus, well, he's a bit of an enigma. What else is there to say? Nevertheless, Tony's invitation is an interesting one and I'm willing to chime in.One caveat: I'm doing this as a way to speak of one Person of a Trinity. To speak of the One is, in many ways, to speak of the Three and the Unity. But this is just a blog post and not a 20-page essay. So ... yeah.My answer: If you want to know God, get Religion. (Have you got good religion? Certainly, Lord!) Religion is a combined set of activities embodied by people. These activities are not limited to but may include the following behaviors: liturgy, charity, politics, and even theology (mystical and systematic), and doctrine. Religion can be communal or individual. Religion is the principal craft by which we know (cognition) and understand (hermeneutics) God.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 6 weeks ago
This is the third and final installment of my little series on Harry Emerson Fosdick, his sermons about Modernism and Science, and how these century-old sermons remind us that our present conversations about the same are anything but new. They may be necessary, but they aren't new. You can read my first post, “I Love How History Repeats Itself,” and my second post, “Science, Faith, and An Ongoing Conversation.”I want to continue to focus on the same two sermons, "Shall the Fundamentalists Win?" and "The Church Must Go Beyond Modernism," and finish up a line of thought about American Christian Fundamentalism and interlace a third and final sermon entitled, “The Greatness of God” in which Fosdick outlines some of his own understandings of atheism, science, and religion. Typical of Fosdick, there is a tome hidden in between the lines of that sermon. Nevertheless, I'll try to share some of it with you.What does Fosdick say is the trouble with Modernism? In “The Church Must Go Beyond Modernism,” he lists a few problems. Here's a list:“... it is primarily an adaptation, an adjustment, an accommodation of Christian faith to contemporary scientific thinking.”for this reason it tends “toward shallowness and transiency” and thus cannot adequately represent the Eternal;“Unless the church can go deeper and reach higher than that it will fail indeed.”“... excessively preoccupied with intellectualism” eschewing the heart and thus missing much of Christian spiritualityexcessive sentimentality, which means the eternal progress of the human character and the eradication of evil and the loss of moral judgment, scientific progress being equated with human moral progress“... modernism has even watered down and thinned out the central message and distinctive truth of religion, the reality of God.”
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 6 weeks ago
The evening was warm. Seated at the small desk by the windows I opened my Bible and started to read from Jeremiah, "Seek the welfare of the city to which I send you." The passage was also inscribed over the entrance to the cloisters of Richmond Hill, the old convent turned retreat center in the Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond, Va., overlooking downtown. I was on retreat and seeking a little inspiration.Seek the welfare of the city, said Jeremiah. Pray for the city, say the people of Richmond Hill. Love the city. Work for the good of the city. This is the city of God. Every city is the Holy City.The verse from Jeremiah actually continues on. It's a bit more involved than the brief passage inscribed over the entryway:"But seek the welfare of the cityto which I have sent you into Exile,and pray to the Lord on its behalf,for in its welfare you will find your welfare." (Jer. 29:7)Oh no ... I'm gonna have to work this out.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 7 weeks ago
In a recent post here on God's Politics, Derek Flood suggested (as many have lately) that Christian communities need to start taking this whole "faith and science" thing seriously.I posted some relatively snarky comment on my Facebook page about it (I apologize for the snark) suggesting that the authors of these recent posts about faith and science are ignoring about a century's worth of conversation and theology. Perhaps more.Let me give you an example of what I mean in Harry Emerson Fosdick.***As I said just yesterday, Fosdick was famous for lots of things, particularly the  sermon "Shall The Fundamentalists Win?" which he preached on May 21, 1922.It was a call to arms of sorts within the church, encouraging tolerance and a willingness to engage the minds of believers and unbelievers alike in a time of incredible scientific discovery.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 7 weeks ago
Okay... for all my friends out there. No, history does not repeat itself. Yes, history is a human construct. Now, if you will all just work with me, take a gander at this longish quotation from the Introduction to The Meaning of Prayer (1916) by Harry Emerson Fosdick (pictured here). The introduction was written by John R. Mott. It could have been written last week. These meditations and studies on prayer are most timely. Never have there been such extensive and such convincing evidences of the poverty and inadequacy of human means and agencies for furthering the welfare of of humanity; never has there been such a widespread sense of the need of superhuman help; never have there been such challenges to Christians to undertake deeds requiring Divine cooperation; never has there been such a manifest desire to discover the secret of the hiding and of the releasing of God's power. Interest in prayer is world-wide. This is shown in the prominence of this subject in addresses and sermons in all lands, as well as by the growing volume of books and pamphlet literature in different languages. The multiplication of Calls to Prayer and of Prayer Circles, and the formation of Prayer Bands and of Leagues of Intercession, constitute similar testimony. Among Christians everywhere, and even among those who would not call themselves believing Christians, there is being manifested an earnest desire to understand what prayer is and to engage more fully in its exercise.... An alarming weakness among Christians is that we are producing Christian activities faster than we are producing Christian experience and Christian faith; that the discipline of our souls and the deepening of our acquaintance with God are not proving sufficiently thorough to enable us to meet the unprecedented expansion of opportunity and responsibility of our generation. These studies and spiritual exercises in helping men and women to form that most transforming, most energizing, and most highly productive habit — the habit of Christlike prayer — will do much to overcome this danger.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 7 weeks ago
Old Crow Medicine Show's Ketch Secor and Critter Fuqua first met in the seventh grade in Harrisonburg, Virginia in Rockingham County, and began playing music together. They performed open mics at the Little Grill diner which was "really the first chance that . . Critter had to play on stage." Being "a bit younger" than the "college students at James Madison University who typically hung out there" Secor "was considered a townie." As Secor says today: "They knew that we had talent, but it was raw. I mean, I was up there beating on a jaw harp when I was 13." (wiki)Virginia boys.... Amen.Watch the video for the band's song "Wagon Wheel" inside the blog ...
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 8 weeks ago
This morning I read and sang this canticle.Come, let us sing to the Lord;  let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving  and raise a loud shout to him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God,  and a great king above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth,  and the heights of the hills are his also. The sea is his, for he made it,  and his hands have moulded the dry land. Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,  and kneel before the Lord our Maker. For he is our God,    and we are the people of his pasture    and the sheep of his hand.  O that today you would hearken to his voice!    Psalm 95:1-7 (Venite)Then I lamented. I lamented the work of human beings to tear down what God holds in God's hands. I lamented that my friends in the peace movement callously sent a press release decrying the gun lobby within what seemed like moments after the smoke cleared in Aurora. I lamented the inane anti-Darwinian posture of other Christians. We're all looking for something to blame. We cannot simply sit in our sackcloth and our ashes and lament ... lament our own failure, lament the actions of someone raised in church, lament our inability to protect the innocent, lament our powerlessness.We cannot and will not lament our powerlessness. We need to learn how. 
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 8 weeks ago
Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth;  for love is born of God, and can rest only in God above all created things.And so my musings on Thomas a Kempis, for whom Jesus the Christ was Love Incarnate, begin.Will it frame my day? Will it help me make sense of French class?
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 8 weeks ago
Maybe someone pursuing a Ph.D. in Liturgical Theology and Ethnomusicology is shouldn't be the one to offer this reflection.Heck, maybe a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering or in Astrophysics would be a wise economic choice. I can't say.I've been mulling over some of the news stories out there hyping either end of the (political?) reality of spending more money (and time, let's not forget time) on higher education. It leads me to a couple of questions:Does the present rate of student debt have a snowball's chance in Tartarus in being repaid? Will the students, especially the so-called "nontradtional student" like myself, actually see a return in their investment? If you believe NPR, the answer may be "no."
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 9 weeks ago
I haven't written about the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle yet. I think I posted about it on Facebook or Pinterest or somewhere like that. I'm excited by the discovery. Actually, I'm excited by discovery in general. Discovery is good stewardship. This particular discovery is particularly intriguing (Get it? I used "particular" since we're talking about particles! I'm so clever in the morning.).So, let me begin with a simple prayer. I want to get into this a bit.God of the moon, God of the sun,God of the globe, God of the stars,God of the waters, the land, and the skies,Who ordained to us the King of promise.It was Mary fair who went upon her knee,It was the King of life who went upon her lap,Darkness and tears were set behind,And the star of guidance went up early.Illumed the land, illumed the world,Illumed doldrum and current,Grief was laid and joy was raised,Music was set up with harp and pedal harp.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 9 weeks ago
Is the Mainline Liberal Church in decline? Numerically, sure. Absolutely. But what this means, I cannot say. Many have tried to make sense of it. In the wake of recent editorials, some theologians and others have offered up their thoughts. I surmised it might be helpful to collect one or two of the links here on the outside chance that you missed them. Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved - Ross Douthat offers some sharp critiques of the tradition. Once the bastion of the Social Gospel movement, the liberal mainline is not all "social" and very little "Gospel." "But if conservative Christianity has often been compromised, liberal Christianity has simply collapsed. Practically every denomination — Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian — that has tried to adapt itself to contemporary liberal values has seen an Episcopal-style plunge in church attendance. Within the Catholic Church, too, the most progressive-minded religious orders have often failed to generate the vocations necessary to sustain themselves."There have been a couple of good direct responses to Douthat's OpEd piece. 
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 9 weeks ago
The most amazing thing happened this week.Maybe you missed it.The Episcopal Church held their General Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. They gathered. They prayed. They sang. I'm told there were a few sermons, too! And you know they offered the Eucharist. They can't do anything without someone bringing bread, wine, and a blessing. God love 'em.This week they voted, too. They held up in their bicameral way of doing things and worked out some key issues. Among the issues at hand were whether or not to sell their offices in New York City and to find ways of investing their income in the future of the denomination. They did both. If you followed them on Twitter (Many did. #GC77 trended right up there!), then you know that there was hope and joy in their rooms. This is not why they made the news, of course. They made the news when they voted to formally allow for same-sex blessings within their communion.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 10 weeks ago
"If you tell a lie, it will be all over the country in a day or two. But if you tell the truth, it will take ten years to get there." ~ Eddie "Son" HouseAnd the truth is what Jesus offered the people of his hometown in this tale from Mark's Gospel. Jesus offered his prophetic witness of truth-telling. He held up a mirror and showed them who they were. He held up a mirror and said to them, "The Kingdom of God is with you."They were enraged that one of their own would do such a thing. He was utterly astonished that the people who had raised him were incapable of facing their own truth.He also knew that if they could not face the realities of their own complicated lives they would not be able to embrace the healing and forgiveness that God offered.Jesus had the blues. He had the hometown blues.So, rejected, he fled his hometown. Then he sent his apostles out into the world proclaiming peace, healing the sick and the lame, and prepared to face the same rejection. People don't like to be reminded of the complications of real life. None of us like the feeling of being judged when the mirror is held up before us.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 12 weeks ago
I have been thinking about the church of my youth. I have been remembering, if you will, as a guy who has read too much Updike (I'll never forgive him for the Rabbit books) might remember his youth.There is a melding of nostalgia for what was as well as what might have been. It's a mess, to be honest, a kind of lie that draws me in no matter how often I tell myself it is a lie. Sometimes these lies of memory are the heart's truth. 
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 18 weeks ago
The Church is not a purity cult. We try to turn our institutions into purity cultus of behavior or belief all the time. We're really good at it. We've fought wars over our theologies wrapped in nationalism. We've crusaded from west to east all in the name of the purity of the Church. "Ex filio" was a war cry a thousand years ago.Rachel Held Evans is right. Evangelicalism may very well be losing a generation and by extension, we all are. But then some of us have been losing parts of generations for a long time. Some of the Boomers walked never to return. More of Gen X did the same. Now the enormous generation of Millennials is having its say. Many are voting with their feet. They are tired of the culture wars. They are tired of the purity fights. Many people from various generations are. They are all voting with their feet. The same thing is happening in Catholicism though some are choosing to stay. If it weren't for the influx of Catholic immigrants to the US, we'd see the same statistical free fall in Catholicism that the mainline is experiencing.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 19 weeks ago
“Talk to me about your mother.”Such ominous words.But talk to you about her, I will. And it's not gonna be pretty.You see, my mother isn't perfect. Her love may be perfect, but she's not and like everyone else on the planet she has hurt the ones she loves the most in the very act of trying to love them.It's Mother's Day this Sunday and we'll honor our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, spouses, grandmothers and, and, and...We'll honor women and men who have mothered us. And we should.It's not easy work and Lord knows that Freud has helped us pathologize motherhood. In turn we have idolized motherhood and mothers. Neither approach works. Not really. So I would like to propose a via media for Mother's Day.Every Sunday as I'm driving to the church I serve I call my mother to check in. She lives by herself and I worry. I'm her son. I can't help myself.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 19 weeks ago
This is a response to some of the NPR coverage on pastors who are losing their religion. It's a heartbreaking series. I say that not because people are losing their faith, changing their minds about religion. I'm heartbroken because I'm not hearing about any Christian tradition other than American Fundamentalism. That's Christianity according to mass media and, apparently, according to the men and women who have stepped away from the Church. They believe so strongly in the arguments of Fundamentalism that they cannot imagine another form of Christianity. They cannot imagine another God. They believe that Fundamentalism is the only theology out there. They believe in One God, the Fundamentalist God. So, in breaking with that rhetoric, they have to break with the whole Church.We who believe something other than American Fundamentalism have failed these people. We have failed again and again to successfully offer the alternatives to Fundamentalism. Instead, we sit in our beautiful neo-gothic buildings or in our hip-coffee shops or under the dome of the Pantokrator and wonder why people do not know us. It's simply crap. If all there were in Christianity was American Fundamentalism, I would be an atheist, too. Perhaps the Fundamentalists have won after all.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 21 weeks ago
This weekend, if you can believe it, marks the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots that followed the verdict in the Rodney King trial that acquitted four police officers of any wrong doing. Maybe some of us are old enough to remember the beating that King took as he was being arrested.Maybe some of us are old enough to remember the violence that followed. Fifty people died in the riots.Why do we bother to honor such memories? Why do we hold them up? St. John of the Cross, the Carmelite mystic, writes of a temporal veil that separates us from God. It's an unavoidable separation, he said, that every creature encounters.We live in time. God does not. He also said, however, that by grace that veil can be torn, time and memory collapsing in upon one another and we are no longer separate from God.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 22 weeks ago
In City Journal, Pascal Bruckner has written an interesting essay critiquing "secular elites" and their (our?) predilection for an apocalyptic vision without redemption. He calls it the apocalyptic daze, a love for the cataclysmic and states that it's shaping our politics. Interesting stuff to read as Earth Day approaches. He writes: My point is not to minimize the dangers that we face. Rather, it is to understand why apocalyptic fear has gripped so many of our leaders, scientists, and intellectuals, who insist on reasoning and arguing as though they were following the scripts of mediocre Hollywood disaster movies.His is not a critique of the science of environmentalism but one of the rhetoric of the politics surrounding it.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 22 weeks ago
I've been navel gazing again and wondering how we come to know ourselves. I wonder what that right balance is between our inner-barometer of self-knowing and that external one that people reflect back to us. "Ubuntu," (I am because of who we are) or all the various "I am..." statements: "I think therefore I am" (Descartes) or "I am what I am and that's all that I am" (Popeye)...What statements might we add to this list? Bishop Desmond Tutu expands the notion of Ubuntu thusly: One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can't exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can't be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.I'm trying to wrap my mind about how we construct the self. Judith Butler, Catherine Bell (ritualization) and others inhabit my mind lately. Ritual, tradition, story, identity... the list goes on and on ...
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 23 weeks ago
Yesterday the Lord Awoke. You see, God had been sleeping. Entombed again. How long, O Lord, must we sing this song of You Entombed? We bury you again and again. We crucify you again and again. Then, when you show us (again and again) that death cannot contain you, we run away. We're afraid.  We cannot imagine a world in which Death has no sting. We cannot imagine a world in which Death does not hold the last word and our ability to deal in Death doesn't empower us. 
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 23 weeks ago
Good Friday. Is this something we can understand? What makes it so "good?"Sure, we have theologies about this moment in history. We have systematic notions about why who and what. We tell the story every year. Some traditions reenact the tale more than once a year. If you attend a church from one of the "liturgical" traditions, you here the story told during the Eucharist every Sunday. "Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again." It's the Paschal Mystery told again and again.  I also know some baptist preachers who tell the story of the Passion of Christ every Sunday. It is the Gospel, after all. This story, the Passion, is The Gospel for many of us Christian preachers. And to not share the Passion is to not share The Gospel. If their sermons don't end with the proclamation of the sarcifice of Jesus, well, then it just isn't Church.I'm still sharing that e-unspoken part of my faith again. This is not new. Nor is it unintegrated with the rest of my Christian spirituality. It's actually essential to it. So, in the spirit of clarity, I'm sharing this stuff with you.I have no idea what Jesus meant by giving himself over like this. We read the scripture last night at the Maundy Thursday service at First Baptist. "Not my will but your's." Lord, have mercy. Someone asked the question as someone does every year, "Why would God want Jesus to die? If it's God's will...Why would God will this to happen?" I have some practiced answers. This year I offered them as I usually do. "First, let me tell you what the tradition says..." I give a theological gloss and watch their eyes glaze over. Right. Of course. This isn't an answer any more than a stump speech is an indication of what will actually happen if one of these people in the news are elected to public office. So, I move on.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 25 weeks ago
Perhaps you have read Rachel Held Evans' post titled, "15 Reasons I Left Church." With over 800 comments, it has clearly struck a chord with some people. Similarly, Christian Piatt's post on God's Politics, Four Reasons Why I Came Back To Church, has been making the rounds on Facebook. Well, I posted it, at least. They are both about the authors' experiences of being a young adult in relationship with institutional Christianity. It's a difficult topic to write about ... there are trends, of course, but in general the journey is so particular that one cannot really generalize. I think both authors do a good job simply offering up their testimonies, affording the readers an opportunity to make whatever connections we find. So, in the spirit of connecting the dots, I offer this song and a wee bit of testimony.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 26 weeks ago
I'm on the flight home now. "Home." It's a curious idea, really. Home. As children we might make a game of it. You know, like when you play tag with your friends and you create a safe place where you can't be tagged. Even when we play games it's important to have a place to be safe...a "home."When we played this game as children, however, we had another rule. You could not stay at home forever. You had to venture out. Sometimes the rule would be that you could stay home for 30 seconds and no more. Home. It's safe. You can't be tagged there. But you can't stay forever, either.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 31 weeks ago
"I have found great beauty in religion and religion has shown me great beauty in myself and in the world," Tripp says, as he reflects on the 11 years since he's had a drink. "I'm still not sure I know what being beloved means. Somehow we forget that we are beloved....Today is the 11th anniversary of the day I was told who I was. It's a good day."
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 33 weeks ago
Krumbine posited a question, a quandary about how we go on "when the honeymoon is over." How do we sustain love? What do we treasure and how do we sustain the affection and even the excitement? This morning's First Thoughts is about Gratitude. As usual, your video responses and comments are needed to flesh this thing out. I'm only starting a conversation.Watch Tripp hash it out inside the blog ...
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 35 weeks ago
"Wisdom wants to be free. As a Christian, I believe there is actually some theology to this....Wisdom is a woman and she stands at the gates of the city and she cries out to the people, 'Be free. Be free to love and be free to share.'...What if we understood creativity to be wisdom?"Watch Tripp's v-log on SOPA, creativity, freedom and wisdom inside the blog...
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 35 weeks ago
I know it's late. I know you are done with the guy and the Broncos' season is over. Still, I have a question for you.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 36 weeks ago
Cee Lo Green got himself in some pop-culture hot water on New Years Eve when he changed the lyrics to John Lennon's "Imagine." You would think he was changing the Bible or something, but no, it was much worse. He changed the lyrics to a John Lennon song. "No religions" became "all religions" and all hell broke loose....Suffice it to say that people were put out. They defended Lennon's unchangeable artistic canon. Green's supporters suggested that all art can be reinterpreted...even John Lennon's. Personally, I didn't find it offensive at all. Instead, I thought it was a thoughtful (if momentary) update to the iconic pop song. Given the religious strife in the world, expressing a love for humanity through all the world's religion was generous and very appropriate for a New Year celebration.Alas, no. We're beset by fundamentalisms of all kinds (Lennonists?) and on all sides in this nation of ours. We're sufficiently afraid of religiosity that we've turned anti-religiosity into a religion and musicians become gods and their three minute songs become scripture...unchangeable holy writ.We're afraid and that fear strips us of our compassion.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 41 weeks ago
Jim Henson spent his life, like Mr. Rogers (a Presbyterian minister), trying to say to us and our children, "Hey, you're special and you're good." How is this a bad thing?
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 46 weeks ago
We're in this thing together or we're not in this thing at all.We should all be marching in the streets.We are the 100 percent.We are poor. We are well-to-do. We are those somewhere in the middle. We are aware of the struggles and unfairness of this world and for this reason we are sensitive to one another's needs. So, we love our neighbors as ourselves.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 49 weeks ago
"'The fruit for which your soul longed has gone from you, and all your dainties and your splendor are lost to you, never to be found again!' The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud ..." -- Revelation 18:14-15
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 50 weeks ago
Part of a university education is learning how to navigate the complicated and often competing value systems of different social groups.
Posted by Tripp Hudgins 2 years 51 weeks ago
The Gate of Forgiveness, Jerusalem. Photo by Deror Avi.