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01 Oct 2014

Round Table: Communion

Perhaps no facet of Christian theology is more important and more often debated than understandings of Communion. Instituted by the Lord Jesus the night before his death, the practice of communing with fellow Christians using bread and wine (or, in some early Christian communities, cheese and wine) reaches back to the earliest Jesus Movement and continues to form and define Christians today. In order to demonstrate both the unity and diversity of Christian perspectives on

Various 40
30 Sep 2014

The Divine Art of Funny

As an adult who’s spent the last year of his life writing and revising a Christian novel he helplessly describes as a “rock n roll zombie comedy,” I’ve wasted a considerable number of hours pondering that psychic disturbance we call funny. What is funny? What is it made of? Does it get good mileage on the highway? I’ve come to the conclusion that at the core of the best and the purest of humor and

Chris Casberg 2
29 Sep 2014

Christ and Consumer Culture: The Market’s Moral Morass

As I type on my computer screen, I look to my left and see a bag of fast food I grabbed from the University food court. I know not where the various ingredients came from nor what’s actually in my food. I don’t know how well the employees are paid or are treated at the fast food establishment, but I know the cost was cheap and the food seemed fresh enough. The food appeared as

George Aldhizer 4
26 Sep 2014

Tending the Tree of Friendship

Think for a moment of the most famous friendships in history and literature. What names come to mind? For me it is always King David and Jonathan; Frodo and Samwise; and Anne and Diana. In my own life there are nearly a dozen soul-knit friends, kindred spirits, whom God has seen fit to bring into the dark places when all other lights go out. Usually they come singly, but sometimes in pairs. Always they bring

Johanna Byrkett 0
25 Sep 2014

Our Tower of Babel

Probably no story from the Bible better exemplifies human arrogance than that of the Tower of Babel. This story, found in Genesis 11, tells of a time when the entire world was united by one language and a single race. In that time of unity, the people built a great city and attempted to construct a massive tower capable of reaching heaven. For this monumental delusion of grandeur, God humbled the people by “confusing their

Chris Smith 2
24 Sep 2014

Participatory Community

Community. It’s one of today’s popular catch phrases. Thanks to that popularity, though, its meaning is a bit fuzzy. It usually seems to refer to an ideal interaction with others. What that ideal is, though, is hard to pin down. Recently reading Bonhoeffer and Lewis brought additional clarity to this puzzle for me. This clarity came from their comparison of heavenly and hellish forms of community. Bonhoeffer set the stage with the suggestion that, “The

Jeff Reid 2
23 Sep 2014

Speaking Through Stories

A friend of mine recently commented that he sees too many references to C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien in the blogging world. As someone who tries to stay connected to the conversations of the interwebs, I can confirm that there are indeed a plethora of perspectives penned on these great 20th century authors. Indeed, hardly a week goes by without seeing an article evaluating what Lewis would have thought about this, or

Jacob Prahlow 2
22 Sep 2014

Julian of Norwich, Margery Kemp, and English Vernacular Mysticism

Most historians of Christianity will note that mysticism peaked in the later centuries of the Middle Ages. Christian mystics experienced direct encounters with God, often through ecstatic visions of heaven and the divine. In relation to the increase in literacy of the laity during these centuries, many mystics wrote in their vernacular languages and gained followings among the laity. Thus mysticism itself bears different traits depending upon the region and language. Furthermore, while there were

Laura Norris 2
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