featured articles
Installation of the Har...
After over 30 years of work and the support of nearly 700 STH alumni and...
Student of Verdi
Harrell loved to tell stories about his favorite musicians. One of them was the...
Troubled by Religious P...
I had hardly arrived at a teaching spot in Iliff last summer when the secretary...
popular articles

Give Her the Gas!

Now that I’m getting old I sometimes sit with old people — which means anybody who’s two years older than I am. I sat with an old bird in our town the other day and asked, “Anything interesting ever happen to you?”  He said, “Naw,” but there was a twinkle in his eye. I said, “Come on.” He said, “In the 1920s I ran a gas station between Concord and Lexington.  One day I was sitting...

The Campaign to Fund the H...

In April 2013, the first meeting of the Harrell Beck Committee met in Boston to begin planning the launch of the School of Theology’s “Campaign to Fund the Harrell Beck Chair.” Launched after Harrell’s death 27 years ago, it’s hoped that the remaining funds (approximately $350k) can be raised in relatively short order. When asked how the “Chair” works, Director of...

What’s Good for the World...

I belong to a culture that has lived by the assumption that “What’s good for us is good for the world.” It is touch and go as to whether we will be able to make the transition to the proposition that “What would be good for the world would be good for us.” I love my country. I love my flag – but I would like to serve my nation with my conscience. I’m smart enough to know that a real patriot...

No Commercial Value

I was at the University of British Columbia — went with a student pastor out to lunch.  He said, “It’s gonna take a few minutes extra. I gotta go by the post office to get to lunch.”  I said, “What are we going to the post office for?”  He said, “I’m gonna mail an American parishioner back to the United States.”  I said, “Where is he?”  He said, ”In the little brown box on...

What do you think your mot...

So, anytime you gather in the sanctuary, could the minister possibly say to you, “For whom are you dreaming dreams? For whom are you dancing dances? For whom are you writing poetry? For whom are you seeing visions? For whom are you writing poetry?” Can you hear me? A few years ago I got cornered into speaking to forty Methodist Bishops on a hot afternoon in July in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I wasn’t...

The Suffering Servant

For many years of my life I detested the text of Isaiah 53.10: “It has pleased the Lord to bruise the servant.”  So, I decided to go to the Jerusalem Bible to see if the Catholics could help me out. They read it, “It has pleased the Lord to crush the servant!” But then I’ve lived long enough to discover that the only people who have really made any difference in my life are the people whom...

Christ the Sceptered Dolph...

One of my teachers was a German by the name of Gerhard von Rad. I’ve had delightful times in his home. So after he died it was my business, ‘twas my duty, to get to Heidelberg and visit his grave. And on Gerhard von Rad’s tombstone are the following: his name, the dates of his life, and a dolphin.* And I said to myself, “Good heavens! What did he do? Slip a gear in his last years?” So then I went...

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