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 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?
by John Ellis We’re one day closer to Putin launching his nukes. While it may not necessarily be inevitable, it’s likely not even probably inevitable, but the beats of history make it sound inevitable. That’s a bold claim – a thuddingly dramatic opening sentence, I know – but if you haven’t heard, Putin has begun … Continue reading Untitled
Has J.R.R. Tolkien Been a Bad Influence on American Evangelicalism?
by John Ellis Okay. Hear me out. Well, don’t so much hear me out as prepare to interrupt me and provide counterpoints, because I’m not stating a thesis supported by well-crafted arguments. I’m sneaking a (possible) future thesis inside of a question. So, hear me out in the context that this article is like the … Continue reading Has J.R.R. Tolkien Been a Bad Influence on American Evangelicalism?
The Importance of Understanding Story/Narrative for Reading the Bible
by John Ellis Is understanding story/narrative helpful, if not important, to understanding who God is? I argue, yes. Most emphatically. God is the Storyteller, and being made in His image means, among other things, that appreciating and understanding story/narrative enables us to better understand who God is and implores us to worship Him. Unfortunately, evangelicals … Continue reading The Importance of Understanding Story/Narrative for Reading the Bible
Did David Rape Bathsheba?
by John Ellis If this article’s title is the first time you’ve ever been confronted with this question, count yourself lucky. Please don’t misunderstand; I’m not dismissing the question. It contains and touches on important points of application. By “count yourself lucky,” I’m referring to how this question has roiled the internet, specifically Twitter, in … Continue reading Did David Rape Bathsheba?
Kingdom Ethics: Equality of Outcomes versus Equality of Opportunities
by John Ellis A good friend of mine texted me a YouTube video containing a clip from a recent (year old) Real Time with Bill Maher episode. The title itself, “New Rule: Equality of Outcomes,” combined with knowing what I know about Bill Maher, was enough to generate an eyeroll from me. The clip itself? … Continue reading Kingdom Ethics: Equality of Outcomes versus Equality of Opportunities
Wanting An Audience Is (Can Be) God Honoring
by John Ellis I recently finished rereading Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis, who is one of my favorite authors. The book, a satirical take on Christian fundamentalism in America, earned book bans and burnings across the country as well as threats of violence towards its author. However, being a powerful and incisively cutting, if flawed, … Continue reading Wanting An Audience Is (Can Be) God Honoring