Author: Nicholas Knisely

In the Kingdom of God there is plenty for everyone

Sermons and audio

According to gaming theory, any economic activity where both parties fully understand what is happening is a non-zero-sum game. We forget that a lot. We tend to think that buying and selling is a cut throat competition. Which it is if you’re not being honest with each other. But if you are, you both win when you buy or sell something. Think about that. The key is being honest and transparent. The Kingdom of Heaven […]

A loving God who consigns to torture?

Sermons and audio

There’s an apparent disconnect between the God Jesus describes in the Sermon on the Mount and the God imagined in this parable. Or is there? Notice that once the evil servant enters the social web of revenge and debts and debtors, the evil servant if forced by the system to face the consequences of what his is doing. The King treats him differently, but he is not willing to live into that form of relationship […]

A new community is dawning in a broken age

Sermons and audio

All three of the readings assigned for this week are about relationship. The Hebrew Scriptures speak of the first Passover and the new covenantal relationship between God and the children of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. The Gospel, read from St. Matthew’s account, tells us about how to live with one another when conflict arises in the community. And the third reading, from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, is about the guiding principles of the […]

God chooses to love us, and invites us to do the same

Sermons and audio

Unselfish giving is defined as love. Literally it is what we mean we say that Agape is love. In one of John’s epistles we find the one “is” statement about God. St. John writes that “God is Love.” (Actually it’s: God is AGAPE.)  We know about God because of God’s choice. And the fact that we as finite creatures have encountered the infinite in a comprehensible way means that the infinite has freely chosen to […]

What it means to be a true Church

Sermons and audio

There are some startling implications to be drawn from the Gospel passage this week. Jesus proclaims the nature of the Church and seems to tie it intimately to the recognition of the Creator in the Incarnation which is given to us by the agency of the Holy Spirit. Once again in this theophany, this unveiling of God’s nature, we see the actions of all three Persons of the Trinity. What you bind will have been […]

Calling all citizen scientists! Lunar photos needed for climate research.

Climate Change / Science

An old friend of mine, Peter Thejll, a senior scientist with the Danish Meteorological Institute, is asking for help on a project (#NewMoonSnap) that will help to measure the reflectivity of the Earth (its albedo). The observations will be used to improve our present climate models. This project is being done along with a research program being undertaken by a Danish astronaut who is presently on the ISS. You can read more about the project […]

Here’s why Rhode Island is the only state that celebrates Victory Day |

Current Affairs

Here’s why Rhode Island is the only state that celebrates Victory Day | “If ever a state was at the center of the American war effort in World War II, it was Rhode Island,” veteran political reporter Scott MacKay wrote in a 2010 essay. “From Westerly to Woonsocket and everywhere in between, Rhode Island was focused on winning what has become known as, in Studs Terkel’s famous words, ‘The Good War.’” The Navy had a […]

The tragedy of the commons is a false and dangerous myth | Aeon Essays

Climate Change / Current Affairs / Religion

I’ve certainly read people who quoted from Garrett Hardin’s 1968 paper in Science “The Tragedy of the Commons” often enough. It’s a cautionary tale about how, if humans are left unchecked, our selfishness will destroy the environment and the resources that are our common wealth. But it appears that this paper has some major flaws that I’ve not seen laid out before. There are deep lines of eugenic thoughts going through it and his subsequent […]

Don’t worry about how miracles happened, try to understand what they mean

Sermons and audio

Much of the literature and most of the sermons on this lesson focus on the miraculous nature of the event. Very few try to peer through to the meaning. The reason that so few people are spending the time to understand the lesson rather than merely trying to convince themselves that this event is believable is that most clergy and interpreters have been trained to explain the faith to the world around them. We’ve become […]