Theologian Valentines

This is lovely. Share these with those you love.

The Monday Heretic

A few years ago, I saw some hilarious Valentines based on dictators. And I thought, I should totally do that with famous theologians! (Because, you know, that’s how my brain works.) So here you go!

Also, if you don’t present the Calvin valentine with a bouquet of tulips, you are missing out on a prime pun opportunity. Just sayin’.


Disclaimer: I have the greatest respect for all of these folks from church history and their contribution to the faith. I also think they might have found these amusing.

Any alternate caption ideas or ideas for theologians who aren’t featured?

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#30 The Nones

Popping Collars Podcast

Betsy, Greg, Liz, and Vivian talk about the Netflix series Master of None and where it intersects issues of phases of life, diversity, and vocation.

Musical Interlude Credit: “I Want to Change You” by lo-fi is sci-fi (

Season 2 Theme: “Revolution Now (Instrumental)” by Josh Woodward (

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The Knight and The Gardener

Gardeners see themselves—and all people and things—as part of the growth of a great, cosmos-spanning Garden, one that can flourish further if aided by well-meaning and inspired people. Gardeners believe the primary calling of good people is to cultivate the Garden through planting, good planning, the pursuit of transformative discovery, invention and innovation, and artistic revelation. Any constructive endeavor is a Gardener’s endeavor.

For religious Gardeners, God is the creative force whose greatest attributes are imagination and creativity. Gardeners view themselves as imbued by the Creator with the divine creative spark and charged with growing the Garden beyond its current borders. Christian Gardeners, for example, spread the Gospel to restore broken people so they can rejoin the ongoing creation process, and to awaken others to their meaningful role in tending the Garden.

A Gardener looking down on the world from a space capsule would see a great Garden of…

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My Emancipation From American Christianity

“If religion it is to be worth holding on to, it should be the place were the marginalized feel the most visible, where the hurting receive the most tender care, where the outsiders find the safest refuge.”

john pavlovitz

chain-breaking-freeI used to think that it was just me, that it was my problem, my deficiency, my moral defect.

It had to be.

All those times when I felt like an outsider in this American Jesus thing; the ever-more frequent moments when my throat constricted and my heart raced and my stomach turned.

Maybe it came in the middle of a crowded worship service or during a small group conversation. Maybe while watching the news or when scanning a blog post, or while resting in a silent, solitary moment of prayer. Maybe it was all of these times and more, when something rose up from the deepest places within me and shouted, “I can’t do this anymore! I can’t be part of this!”

These moments once overwhelmed me with panic and filled me with guilt, but lately I am stepping mercifully clear of such things.

What I’ve come to realize is that it certainly is me, but not in the…

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#GivingTuesday is here!

Help Support our Students as they Answer God’s Call on their Lives. Please Help us Raise $5000.00

On December 1, 2015, American Baptist Seminary of the West will participate in #GivingTuesday to encourage support for the seminary’s Seminary Fund. Retail stores all across America celebrate “Black Friday” and online retailers tout “Cyber Monday” we hope offer an opportunity for God’ people to leverage social media and to participate in a national movement dedicated to giving. Our goal is to use #GivingTuesday to raise $5000.00 to support our seminary fund.

All donations made on #GivingTuesday will receive a portion of matching funds, and we’re even eligible for cash prizes to further this cause – so now’s the time to get involved! Please consider making a donation and sharing this campaign with your friends and family to help us reach our goal.

Giving online is easy and fast, and your support will make a real difference.


General Secretary Medley Reflects on the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Originally posted here, these words are a good reminder for us all. 

Dear American Baptists,

In the midst of all the harsh rhetoric spoken and actions taken with regard to allowing Syrian refugees to resettle in America we can take inspiration from the Baptist community of Lebanon. Though a very tiny community, the Baptists of Lebanon have been in the forefront of compassionate efforts to assist the thousands of refugees fleeing from Syria to Lebanon. They do so out of a simple gospel principle: Christ calls them to love. As a response to this incredible response of welcome and care, many of these refugees are now found in Baptist churches on Sunday. One of the Muslim leaders put it this way, “In all the history of our faith, we have never seen such love toward us.”

In the midst of the fear mongering we can make a difference as the American Baptist community in simply being who Jesus calls us to be and extending compassion to those who have lost everything in the strife in the Middle East. We all look back and wonder how nations could have turned aside Jewish families seeking refuge as Hitler rose to power. May the same not be asked of us.

Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley
General Secretary, American Baptist Churches USA

I will do better. #SyrianRefugees

Fear mongers abound. We are afraid of Syrians. We are afraid of angry young white men. We throw around statistics like they were meaningful data points. We prooftext holy writ as if that was ever a convincing argument to someone who disagreed with us. Words like “always” and “forever” litter my social media streams. – Tripp Hudgins

I was thinking about the reasons for my withdrawal from social media over the last couple of months when I came across a friend and colleague’s post (Thanks Tripp Hudgins.) I’ve mostly been thinking about one ethicist’s analysis of our predicament. In essence he argues that we have no shared basis for providing rational justifications for our assertions and therefore we are left with a clash of wills. (To my grad school friends – don’t worry I remain no fan of McIntyre) So we may spout off statistics and facts or pseudo-facts like we are in some rational debate but because we share no common premise of the good and the right all we are really doing in our discourse is trying to over power each other. And here of late all I see in my social media feed (Nextdoor, Twitter, Facebook, SeeClickFix) is a power struggle and it hurts. It hurts because I believe that at some fundamental level the point of communication is to work toward empathy and seeing the world from the perspective of the other. As a communal practice it should lead us toward the construction of the common good, in the parlance of the secular, or the Beloved Community in that of the sacred. Perhaps I am just too impatient as we struggle to come to grips with life’s complexities and tragedies and need to be reminded of the fuller nature of human struggle for “we struggle not against flesh and blood….”

Leslie Bowling-DyerIn addition to being loved by Jesus, Leslie Bowling-Dyer is a mother, wife, daughter, neighbor, preacher, teacher, PhD student, bicycle commuter and wishes she was a good hip hop dancer. She is also an alumna of ABSW.