From the Rector

The blog of the Rev’d David O. Browder, Rector of St. Thomas’. Law and gospel, grace, pop culture, links to interesting articles and videos.

Autonomy and Divine Justice

autonomy and divine justice

by David Browder There is a deep and inherent disconnect in the human condition that is the source of much tension and consternation. We desire complete and unfettered personal autonomy and, at the same time, we long for divine justice. Personal autonomy is located in the subjective: to be autonomous is, literally, to be “a…

Type A Students

type a students

by David Browder People who might not be as well-off financially often have certain preconceptions about those who are: sometimes they even believe them to be of an almost entirely different species. We humans feel compelled to break ourselves into tribes based on our shared characteristics. This compulsion is so pervasive that, in seminary, our…

Escaping to our own Worlds

in our own worlds

There are a lot of really smart people in this world. Very smart and very creative. Just think of all the movies, music, stories, shows, and books that have come out of the minds of these smart, talented people. I was thinking the other day about the sheer variety and quality of the many things…

Our Greatest Problem?

our greatest problem

by David Browder Self-righteousness is the greatest problem we face. I really have come to believe that as I’ve studied and thought through the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector over this past week. I believe that if you think about it, you’ll find this is a no-brainer, too. Another unspeakable tragedy happened…

Harvey Remembrances

harvey flood

It has been quite a sight seeing the old Lower School and Scottish Arts buildings come down. People with deep ties to our community have watched with sadness and hope as these buildings that hold so many memories have come down. The Middle School is next. That era of life is infused with the powerful…

The Boys Are Not Alright

And they haven’t been for some time. A few years ago, I brought in The National Center for the Development of Boys (which is headquartered at The McCallie School for Boys in Chattanooga, TN) to speak to us at St. Thomas’. The audience almost filled the church — and they were mostly moms of boys.…

Kenyan Mission Trip Report

by Michelle Graves Six months ago I searched on Google Maps for “Rafiki Foundation Kenya,” after reading about a Christian orphanage and classical school there. You can see on the map the sharp turn in the road there and a photo of the solid steel gate topped with silhouettes of grownups reaching down to hold…

Pulpits Aflame

“Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America The Fourth…

REST: Don’t be a Neurotic Nut!

neurotic nut

On the last day of school, I had a little fun with our students and their parents. People who attend high-achieving private schools tend to have Type A personalities. I can relate to that because I tend more towards the Type A personality myself. We Type As are very competitive, with lots of self-criticism and…