‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ – Thanksgiving Day as Lament

by John Ellis Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens and closes beautifully. As tributes to Chadwick Boseman, the highly anticipated sequel to Marvel’s 2018 smash hit plays all the right notes with its beginning and ending scenes, creating moving bookends for an excellent movie. Even the Marvel title card is a touching sendup of the talented … Continue reading ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ – Thanksgiving Day as Lament

If Twitter Is the Public Square, Donald Trump is the Golden Idol in Its Middle

by John Ellis Twitter is all abuzz with the news that Elon Musk has allowed ex-president Donald Trump back on the social media site. It doesn’t appear to be a decision that elicits a shrug from many people. Based on the reactions, many people vocally love the decision, believing that it’s a harbinger of better … Continue reading If Twitter Is the Public Square, Donald Trump is the Golden Idol in Its Middle

Up Next at Bob Jones University: Casting Crowns Playing the FMA Stage?

by John Ellis It seems that Bob Jones University is likely going to make it to its 100th anniversary after all. After weeks of very real angst on the part of current students, faculty, staff, and concerned alumni, the university’s Board of Trustees has awarded current President and CEO Steve Pettit another three-year contract. Yesterday … Continue reading Up Next at Bob Jones University: Casting Crowns Playing the FMA Stage?

Donald Trump: Future Saboteur of the GOP’s Dreams of Winning Back the White House in 2024

by John Ellis For most of the year, I’ve been stating that I believe Ron DeSantis will be the next president. While he hasn’t officially declared himself as a candidate, we all know, barring some unforeseen derailing event, he will. He didn’t go unnecessarily toe-to-toe with Florida’s biggest economic engine just to spend the next … Continue reading Donald Trump: Future Saboteur of the GOP’s Dreams of Winning Back the White House in 2024

Our Definition of Patriotism Works Against the Bible’s Expectation of Community

by John Ellis Expressive (radical) individualism is a phenomenon that has long intrigued and saddened me. Our communities barely function as communities because our social imaginary is so littered with expressive individualism that the disparate parts rarely collate into an actual whole. As a result, our communities lack ontological realness. And the effects are obvious. … Continue reading Our Definition of Patriotism Works Against the Bible’s Expectation of Community

Church History: Sacerdotalism and Church As State

by John Ellis (This is the slightly edited manuscript for the class I taught this past Sunday at my church. It’s been edited for others to read instead of it being written for me to speak. Even with that, though, there may be places where it hits your “ear” funny because you’re reading something that … Continue reading Church History: Sacerdotalism and Church As State

The (Possible) Slow, Strange Suicide of Bob Jones University

by John Ellis 1700 Wade Hampton Blvd in Greenville, SC, has had a strong gravitational pull in my life going all the way back to my first memories. Even as a nearly fifty-year-old man who holds zero degrees from Bob Jones University (although I was a student there for a grand total of almost twelve … Continue reading The (Possible) Slow, Strange Suicide of Bob Jones University

The Prophetic Vocation of (Theatre) Artists

One of theatre's great prophets: Augusto Boal by John Ellis Are artists prophets? Specifically, are theatre artists prophets? Your answer, in large part, will depend on how you define prophet (and artist). For me, the controlling definition of prophet is found in the biblical distinction between prophet and priest: Prophets speak to the people on … Continue reading The Prophetic Vocation of (Theatre) Artists

A Brief Discourse on Imago Dei: What Makes Us Our Self?

by John Ellis (This article was originally intended to be a short Facebook post, but it got away from me.) I’m rereading Charles Taylor’s Sources of the Self and am struck again by the simple profundity of this statement: “We are selves only in that certain issues matter for us. What I am as a … Continue reading A Brief Discourse on Imago Dei: What Makes Us Our Self?

Discipling the Christian Nationalists in Our Churches

Donald Trump as the Promised Seed of Genesis 3:15 by John Ellis Yesterday, I saw a clip of pseudo-historian David Barton claiming that the US Constitution is based on God’s words. His point was that only true Christians can govern in ways that allow for the Christian nature of the Constitution to fulfill its purpose. … Continue reading Discipling the Christian Nationalists in Our Churches