God of Mischief and the God Who Knows: Loki 1.1, “Glorious Purpose”

Loki wants—as we all do, to some degree—to believe he has a “glorious purpose” he determines for himself.

Worship and Preaching

Living as Snakebitten People in a Snakebitten World

I was glad to serve as guest preacher and worship leader today at Advent Lutheran Church in West Chester, Pennsylvania. My recent interest in biblical storytelling drew me to focus on today’s Old Testament lection, Numbers 21.4-9. As I said in my sermon, it’s a strange story, but it’s not for nothing God’s people have […]

Superheroes Television WandaVision

What a Mess! WandaVisionEpisode 5 and the Doctrine of Sin

Episode 5 of WandaVision not only hints at exciting changes for the Marvel universe but also captures the complicated nature of sin.

Superheroes WandaVision

Sharing the Stage with “Real Persons,” Not “Characters”: Reflections on WandaVision, Episode 4

WandaVision goes mega-meta with its fourth episode, “We Interrupt This Program,” and raises questions about empathy’s importance.

Arthuriana Liturgical Year

The Monk Who Forgave King Arthur for Murder? (Feast of Gildas the Wise, January 29)

While my Presbyterian tradition offers many riches, our liturgical calendar is pretty scarce when it comes to weekday feasts and festivals. Growing up, the only weekdays on which I went to church were Maundy Thursday and Christmas Eve (when not a Saturday or Sunday, of course). I don’t recall ever attending a Good Friday service […]

Superheroes WandaVision

Review and Reflections on WandaVision, Episode 3

I try to avoid reading others’ reviews of WandaVision until I’ve thought through my own reactions. But I did see an online headline complain the show, in which each episode (so far) is styled and staged as a sitcom from a different decade, isn’t actually all that funny. I agree—it’s not. I think it holds […]

Star Trek

Timely Trek: “The Omega Glory”

“The Omega Glory” isn’t one of Star Trek’s finest episodes. But its reverence for freedom and justice make it timelier than ever.

Television WandaVision

Review and Reflections on WandaVision, Episodes 1 & 2

(Contains minor spoilers for the first two episodes of WandaVision) Want proof not all superhero stories have to feel formulaic? Watch WandaVision, the first original MCU content to hit Disney+. It’s not quite clear exactly what this limited series is, but in its own way its as much a departure from Marvel Studios’ previous productions […]

Books Star Wars

Book Review: Star Wars: Light of the Jedi

Way back in 1997, when I saw the Special Edition of Star Wars: A New Hope, I probably hadn’t seen the film in more than a decade. Seeing it on the big screen for the first time since I was a kid was a thrill. But I remember being especially struck by the scene in […]

Movies Superheroes Wonder Woman

WW84 and Praying for Salvation from the Status Quo

The most intense conflict Wonder Woman faces in “Wonder Woman 1984” is internal, and familiar to us all: Can we bring ourselves to wish for others?