23 Sep 2015

Laudato Si and My Baby Sister

The All-Encompassing Call of Love The beeps and whirs of surrounding machines and that too-clean smell of the hospital room washed over me as I held my newborn sister for the very first time: my parents’ fifth child and first girl. My mother observed how beautiful it was that we were all present, together as a family, to share in her first moments in the world. Her words made me realize, for what felt like

Deion Kathawa 2
17 Sep 2015

Billy Budd and the Lesser Magistrates

A Counter-Narrative In the unfolding controversy over Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis’ refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, an old Calvinist doctrine appears to have entered the public debate. This “doctrine of the lesser magistrates” suggests that public servants ought not comply with laws that violate their consciences, stemming from the general adage that “an unjust law is no law at all.” Other thinkers have critiqued the inherent epistemic fragmentation in this doctrine

John Ehrett 3
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

Chris Casberg 8
11 Sep 2015

Wanderlust

All those golden autumn days the sky was full of wings. . . The wings and the golden weather and the tang of frost in the mornings made Laura want to go somewhere. She did not know where. She wanted only to go. “Let’s go West,” she said one night after supper. “Pa, can’t we go West when Uncle Henry does?” . . . “I know, little Half-pint,” said Pa, and his voice was very

Johanna Byrkett 6
07 Sep 2015

Vatican II Catholicism: Nostra Aetate §4 and the Jewish Faith

“Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures … Furthermore, in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel’s spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.” —Nostra Aetate (1965) Nostra aetate translates as,

Benjamin Winter 1
02 Sep 2015

Homoousios and the Dignity of Children

In the days of the Nicean Council, during the Arian Christological controversy that rocked the early church, the absence of a single Greek letter made a great deal of difference. Per the formulation that later became the Nicene Creed, God the Father was understood to be of the same (homoousios) essence as God the Son, not merely similar (homoiousios). This doctrine continues to govern Christological thought today, and forms an essential component of a proper

John Ehrett 2
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
31 Aug 2015

Fear, Love, and Identity in Age of Ultron

“Yeah, what kind of monster would allow a German scientist to experiment on him to protect his country?” “We’re not at war.” “They are.” And with one short exchange, Age of Ultron immediately signaled something new and powerful; at least in this one instance, the enemy is a friend. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are the Captain America of another nation, a nation just as valuable as our own, a nation filled with loves, hates, fears,

Pepper Darlington 1
25 Aug 2015

Courtship in Crisis | Book Review

As I thought about writing this book review, I realized that I couldn’t write it as only a typical book review. Every so often books are published that represent significant paradigmatic evolution within a culture or discourse. Courtship in Crisis: The Case For Traditional Dating by Thomas Umstattd Jr. is one such book. I feel this post could reasonably be titled “How Courtship in Crisis Has Changed The Christian Matrimonial Discourse as We Know It.”

Justin Megna 2
20 Aug 2015

Bullet Points and Worldviews

Late last week, I found myself embroiled in a long online conversation with an acquaintance over my review of the recent film “Straight Outta Compton.” The movie, which charts the rise of controversial rap group N.W.A., is a well-made biographical drama that raises challenging questions. It also, as one might expect given the subject matter, contains a good deal of content that will be off-putting to certain viewers (and is undoubtedly inappropriate for audiences beneath

John Ehrett 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

Chris Casberg 9
12 Aug 2015

The Procreation Problem

A Philosophically Conservative Rejoinder to What Is Marriage? What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, authored by Ryan T. Anderson, Robert George, and Sherif Girgis, is widely recommended as the foremost defense of “one man/one woman” marriage based on natural law principles. The book has undoubtedly been influential, even to the point of being cited by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in his United States v. Windsor dissent. Significantly, the book does not rely

John Ehrett 2
07 Aug 2015

Why Study the Stars?

From time immemorial, humans have been fascinated by the stars. With the advent of a “blue moon” in July, my Facebook news feed was inundated with astrological speculation. Also popular were stories on the topography of Pluto, given the success of the New Horizons mission. And of course, the world is still reeling from the fact that scientists were able to land a probe on a speeding comet. The study of phenomena in this wide

Benjamin Winter 4
31 Jul 2015

The Liturgy of Home: Place and Practise

Fog diffuses light and shadow, shrouds the world around me in unfamiliar shapes, bringing with it the damp smells of earth and balsam. Raucous calls emanate from the rook perched amongst the pines. Watching, listening, I sit still—allowing the morning’s wild silence to feed my soul. I revel in weekends and mornings; their hours hold out strong fingers of life and help to me. A cheery kettle often whistles its tea-song as I poach an

Johanna Byrkett 0
30 Jul 2015

Strange Bedfellows: Church and State

As another presidential primary season begins to boil in the wake of a dramatic Supreme Court decision, I found it helpful to revisit Chris Casberg’s excellent article series, The Future of Christianity in America. In this article, I present five examples of church-state integration (including American), and then close with the ultimate example of stateless Christianity. CHURCH VERSUS STATE When Jesus promised to build his gathering of believers in Matthew 16:18, he did not call

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20 Jul 2015

Dogma and the Boy Scouts

I read recently that the executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America voted in favor of a resolution allowing openly gay adult leaders, and that the longstanding ban could be repealed as early as July 27. As an Eagle Scout, member of the Order of the Arrow, and a longtime Assistant Scoutmaster, my feelings are (to say the least) complex. Up front, it is worth noting that there is a material difference between the

John Ehrett 1
15 Jul 2015

The Gayest Wedding Cake, Reprise

A few months ago, I wrote about why making the biggest, gayest wedding cake for the glory of God might not be the best way to love one’s gay neighbors. At the time, I understood that the gay marriage issue was in the home stretch. The writing was on the wall. Gay marriage was going to happen. I was all set to articulate the ways I believed we ought to respond to the change in

Amanda Hill 2
09 Jul 2015

Dating, Courtship, and What Really Matters

By Justin Megna “Date to the glory of God.” “We teach our kids to court instead of date.” “I kissed dating goodbye.” “Modern dating is broken.” “Courtship is God’s way for romance.” “Courtship is in crisis.” Such are some of the one-liners that mark the complex social arena of modern American Christians and their pursuit of romance and matrimony. For such a normal and age-old activity, finding a matrimonial partner has become a rather convoluted

Guest Author 3
06 Jul 2015

Embracing the Aesthetics of the Lab

I often enjoy visiting the various Smithsonian museums, particularly the National Museum of Natural History – and this past weekend, I did just that. Yet this time was different: wandering through the Hall of Mammals and into the Hall of Human Origins, surrounded by old fossils and countless instances of the the “millions and millions of years ago” language criticized by some as Darwinian indoctrination, I was abruptly struck by a hitherto-unfelt realization. The aesthetic

John Ehrett 0
19 Jun 2015

Creativity Begets: How Story Inspires

As the cerulean sky bleeds into water-coloured grey storm clouds, my thoughts are somewhere between Middle Earth and Pluto. Ringing in my head is a stunning symphonic melody about Saturn—its strength in Beauty has captured my memory. Reverberating in my ears is the sound of Tolkien’s prose—read aloud to hear the simultaneously earthy and heraldic tones played in his words. Treading the paths of my thoughts are an interesting pair, hand-in-hand. The first is a

Johanna Byrkett 0