01 Mar 2016

A Sonnet on the Occasion of Super Tuesday

For this pack of wolves, it is now the time To the cameras howl and bear shiny teeth All are future kings, if just in their minds But none are better than a common thief I’ll be at my desk away from all the din Fighting ignorance, which is our disease Not with sword and shield, but the humble pen. Let us not forget holy charities Love the Lord thy God with mind, soul, and

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16 Feb 2016

Review: God in the Gallery

Today I discuss Daniel A. Siedell’s God in the Gallery, subtitled A Christian Embrace of Modern Art. I realize I may have missed the boat on producing a timely review of this book, as it was published in 2008. However, there are two factors I believe make the book worth revisiting today. The first is Christianity Today critic Alissa Wilkinson’s recent (and highly worthwhile) essay “The Critic’s Job and Why it Matters”, where she reminds

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02 Feb 2016

On Our True Fairytale

In my previous article, I stated there are only two stories (or two worldviews) that are internally consistent enough to be lived. The first is nihilism. The second is Christianity. In today’s article, I describe the second story in the form of a fairytale. Once upon a time, in the very place we now sit, was nothing. There was no ground to stand on, no air to breathe. There was neither light to see nor

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19 Jan 2016

On Choosing Our Stories

For whatever reason, God made human beings inside of time. We are creatures of linearity, of cause and effect. We experience events in single direction. There is no going backwards, not even in memory; for when we remember things, we are creating a new story in our minds, one that becomes hazier and more indefinite the further removed we are from the events in question. Even if we were to somehow invent a machine to

Chris Casberg 2
24 Nov 2015

Stephen Colbert’s Ministry of Joy

Every weekday evening at 11:35 Eastern, and 10:35 Central time, a camera flies over an applauding and cheering audience and then zooms in on a man dancing with a melodica—a cross between kazoo and a keyboard—who bids the crowd to welcome the night’s host: “Please welcome, Stephen Colbert!” The man of the hour arrives on stage with a twinkle in his eye and a smile playing across his lips, outfitted with his trademark pressed suit,

Chris Casberg 1
10 Nov 2015

Was Tolkien Manichaean?

“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate….For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:15,19)1 Perhaps I am being a smidgen anachronistic, but I am starting to wonder if Paul, in composing those famous lines in his letter to the Christians in Rome,

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27 Oct 2015

The Divisive Fruit of the Reformation

This Saturday is October 31st, the day of annual celebration in which children array themselves in strange and wonderful costumes, visiting their neighbors under the cover of night to nail a list of ninety-five grievances to their front door. I am, of course, speaking of Reformation Day, the commemoration of Martin Luther’s famous protest against the excesses and errors of the Roman Catholic Church. Timothy George over at First Things wrote of the holiday, “It

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13 Oct 2015

A Christian Defense of Video Games

Friends, family, fellow writers, and dear readers: I have a secret that I fear I can no longer hold in. Though we have long peacefully sipped our tea here in this ecumenical garden of theology and philosophy and literature, quoting our Chesterton and Tolkien as we read our Milton and laugh gaily together about the foibles of our denominations and, yea, even of the world, an unspoken darkness lingered just below the surface of this

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18 Sep 2015

Round Table: What Is Christianity?

What is Christianity? That seems to be a simple question. At least until you sit down and have to precisely and concisely answer it. Is Christianity a religion? A relationship? A worldview? A movement? An institution? A set of doctrinal beliefs? A series of philosophical arguments? All of these? None of these? Some of these? This month,  Conciliar Post has collected no fewer than fourteen answers to this important question of definitions. Ranging across a

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15 Sep 2015

On Zombies and Scripture

Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down with a couple fellow Conciliar Posters for an all-too-brief book club meeting over Google Hangouts. I was a little surprised—and more than a little nervous—about the book the choice; it was a book I wrote. Well, it’s the book I wrote, as currently there is only one. It’s called Genesis of the Dead, and in it I reimagine the early histories told in the Bible as a

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01 Sep 2015

Saints Spitting Fire

In my previous post, I attempted to describe writer Rod Dreher’s “Benedict Option,” a nebulous ideology Dreher himself unhelpfully described as “an inchoate phenomenon in which Christians adopt a more consciously countercultural stance towards our post-Christian mainstream culture”1—a definition one could be forgiven for dismissing as a curmudgeonly grumble. Still, I believe Dreher’s nascent philosophy is one worth pursuing, despite its half-formed state and its numerous critics. Before we go further, I’d like to add

Chris Casberg 2
18 Aug 2015

What is “The Benedict Option”?

Over the past couple years, there’s been an increasing discussion in the Christian blogosphere over the “The Benedict Option,” an idea proposed by The American Conservative editor Rod Dreher as a response to the perceived end of Christianity as a Western cultural force. What is the Benedict Option, and why do we need it?  In today’s post, I’ll explore answers to these questions. While I have my own opinion on the matter, my aim here

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04 Aug 2015

Trimming Hedges in the Garden of Eden

Twenty-four hours ago, my back yard featured a pair of mammoth lilac bushes perhaps fifteen feet in diameter apiece, both towering some nine feet above the earth. Behind the wall of green leaves and purple flowers, lilac bushes are dense forests of thin, whiplike branches that bend backwards and then shoot forward, raking your arms, legs, and face. If you’re me, these branches will whip the cigar you’re puffing as you push through the foliage

Chris Casberg 3
22 Jul 2015

Review: Finding Your Way Back to God

Finding Your Way Back to God Dave Ferguson & Jon Ferguson Multnomah Books, 2015 $22.99 His name was Chris. For many years, there was a book he hated. He said it was the worst book he ever read! One day he told this to the Executive Officer (“XO”) of his Marine Corps unit. This is the story. Before a long holiday weekend, Chris’s unit commander called for every Marine to have their personal vehicle inspected

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07 Jul 2015

The Definition of Terrorism

I’ve sometimes heard that there is no definition of terrorism. I wish somebody had told the Marine Corps this; as a young Lance Corporal I had to take a distance course on terrorism that included a written test that, among other things, asked for a definition of the term. It would have saved both young Lance Corporal Casberg and the Marine Corps time and energy if someone had the good sense to decide terrorism was

Chris Casberg 2
23 Jun 2015

Secular Jeb

The fire of love kindling in my soul for the GOP presidential hopeful has finally been quenched. In March, a Weekly Standard profile of Jeb Bush sparked an inward light, and learning more about this “other Bush” fanned the flame of my affection. A pragmatic conservative with a track record of results? A cautious thinker with a heart for immigrants? Who is this man, and how do I give him money? Alas, it was not

Chris Casberg 4
09 Jun 2015

Empathy Amidst Change

Come gather ’round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone If your time to you Is worth savin’ Then you better start swimmin’ Or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin’1 Thus sings the prophet Dylan. Released in 1964, his folk ballad was an anthem for an era of social upheaval. The U.S. was

Chris Casberg 3
26 May 2015

Apocrypha Now! The Wisdom of Solomon in the Age of Ultron

Ancient texts are not irrelevant to today’s debates for the plain fact that they are ancient. Rather, ancient texts prove that today’s debates recapitulate eternal questions of the human condition. Last week I had the pleasure of reading The Wisdom of Solomon and viewing Avengers: Age of Ultron, both for the first time. These artifacts are separated in birth by two thousand years but united in one purpose: to describe the nature of God, and

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12 May 2015

A Dead Hand Grasping at God

About this time of year a decade ago, on a moonlit highway that snakes south of Santa Fe through hills of juniper and cholla and dirt, a troubled young man drove an old Jeep Cherokee with flaking red paint and a whining A/C. Night had fallen and his headlights, their luminance obscured by a coating of dead insects, cast a faint light on the road ahead. I don’t know if that young man fit the

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28 Apr 2015

Dialogue on Religion is Dead—and I Killed It

Back in January, I wrote an article about the dangers of individualism, warning that the dignity and agency of human beings is at risk in a society where we are required by law to treat others as black boxes and consider sacrosanct the freedom to close ourselves off from people and ideas. The recent controversy over the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act brought these thoughts back to my mind. Since then, I’ve again been wondering

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