Posts By Timothy Merrill

TIMOTHY MERRILL is an ordained minister and has served churches in Oregon, Minnesota and Colorado. His doctoral work at Princeton Theological Seminary focused on the apocalyptic nature of the preaching of the First Crusade in 1096 A.D. His work has been published in the academic press including the Patristica and Byzantine Review and the Westminster Theological Journal. His book, Learning to Fall: A Guide for the Spiritually Clumsy (Chalice Press) appeared in 1998.

The Apology

By Timothy Merrill / May 1, 2018

I am writing in the frenzied climate of the sexual abuse scandals hitting the political, media and entertainment industries. Big names are involved — Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Charlie Rose, Louis C.K., Matt Lauer, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey and others. Many of those implicated or accused have admitted wrongdoing and offered some sort of apology. But,…

Read More

Doctrinal Statements: Do We Need Them?

By Timothy Merrill / March 1, 2018

Recently, I visited over coffee with a pastor I had never met. I had anticipated the meeting eagerly. He was, after all, a recent arrival in the community, and I believed we might have a good, collegial relationship. I still hope for this. He asked a lot of questions about cultural, political and doctrinal matters.…

Read More

Designing for Joy

By Timothy Merrill / January 1, 2018

Joy is a hot topic right now. I base this conclusion on my extensive research — two books I read recently. They are: Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans (Knopf, 2017), and Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and…

Read More

I See Dead People

By Timothy Merrill / November 1, 2017

“I see dead people.” —Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), The Sixth Sense (1999) The church calendar has two three-day seasons, if you can call them that. I don’t know what to call them, actually. Three successive days in which something really holy and mysterious is going on — that’s all I know. The first is Good…

Read More

Here I Waffle. I Can Do No Other. God Help Me!

By Timothy Merrill / September 1, 2017

Waffle2 [wof-uhl] Informal Verb, waffled, waffling. to speak or write equivocally: to waffle on an important issue. Equivocally [ih-kwiv-uh-klee] Adverb in a deliberately ambiguous or questionable way. in a way that is doubtful in nature or of uncertain significance It comes as a surprise to me to realize how much we dislike hesitation, waffling, indecision…

Read More