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19 Aug 2014

Love Thy (Illegal) Neighbor

“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” (Lev 19:33-34)1 Last time, I covered approaching the topic of illegal immigration (specifically the recent surge of unaccompanied minors across the U.S.-Mexico border) with

Chris Casberg 1
18 Aug 2014

Christ and Consumer Culture

We are all consumers. As finite, dependent, embodied human beings, all of us need goods and services to survive, flourish, and enjoy the lives we each possess. For Americans, the vast majority of our consumption comes by means of the wages we receive from our employers, rather than home production as in agrarian societies. So the simple question arises, “How should Christian congregations and individuals faithfully engage with the modern market economy as consumers?”1 This

George Aldhizer 4
15 Aug 2014

The Fog of Holy Mystery

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “divine mystery”or “holy mystery”? Desert mystics wandering in flowing robes? Gilded saints on chapel ceilings? Clouds of incense wafting upwards in a beam of light? I confess, I have never had even a loose grasp on the mystery of the divine. My ideas were—at best—shadows in my head, nothing substantial enough to imagine even vague images.   Fog and roiling clouds hang low today, giving

Johanna Byrkett 2
14 Aug 2014

Past Tense Christianity

Lieutenant Dan: “Have you found Jesus yet?” Forrest Gump: “I didn’t know I was supposed to be looking for him, Sir.” The further I drift down this long and winding road called Christianity, the more I come to realize why I had problems with the Christian tradition for much of my life. One thing that has always been troubling for me is the tendency to speak about religion in the past tense. This past tense

Chris Smith 9
13 Aug 2014

The Sublime and the Sacred, Part II

This is the second post in a series examining what the New Evangelization within Roman Catholicism can learn from the aesthetics of Burke, Kant, and Malick. To read the previous post, click here. This sublime, one should note, is not a kind of masochism. Rather, it is something which catalyzes an awful delight from the passions. On how sensations of pain and pleasure integrate, Burke writes, “The person who grieves, suffers his passion to grow

Ryan Shinkel 0
13 Aug 2014

“myself am Hell”

Me miserable! Which way shall I fly Infinite wrath, and infinite despair? Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell… (b.4 l.73-75)1 Satan’s lament in Paradise Lost is striking. These lines, and the thoughts behind them, came to mind while perusing A Severe Mercy. A Severe Mercy tells the story of Sheldon Vanauken’s relationship with his wife, Jean. Early on, while explaining some of the ground rules of their relationship, Vanauken records an interesting

Jeff Reid 2
12 Aug 2014

“Unto What Then Were Ye Baptized?”

One of the largest controversies within Christianity has been the rise of three movements associated with the fresh indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I consider myself to be a part of the Spirit-filled traditions. The confession of sin and acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savior does not necessarily bring this baptism of the Spirit. There have now been three ‘waves’ of the Spirit: Pentecostal, Charismatic and Third Wave movements. Each of these has placed

Stuart Kerr 2
11 Aug 2014

The Virgin Mary in “The Lord of the Rings”

Author’s Note: This post falls as part of a series on female saints, but since there is so much that can be said about the greatest of all saints, the Blessed Virgin Mary, I chose to focus on her as represented in the literature and movies of the Lord of the Rings, which provides a familiar common ground for many of us. The Lord of the Rings books and movies depict some of the strongest

Laura Norris 5
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