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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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08 Aug 2014

The Sublime and the Sacred, Part I

What the New Evangelization Can Learn from the Aesthetics of Burke, Kant, and Mallick “Humility is the luxurious art of reducing ourselves to a point, not to a small thing or a large one, but to a thing with no size at all, so that to it all the cosmic things are what they really are–of immeasurable stature…to the spirit which has stripped off for a moment its own idle temporal standards the grass is

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06 Aug 2014

Round Table: Christian Unity

A central task of Conciliar Post involves the gathering together of Christians from various traditions in order to reflect upon important issues. As author Stephen Sutherland reminded us in a post a few weeks ago, however, we must understand the purpose and appropriate use of ecumenism: “If good rules make for good neighbors and housemates, maybe a clearer understanding of what it means to be ecumenical can do the same here.” The topic of this

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05 Aug 2014

On Interior Design and the Border Crisis

I recently decided two things. First, oil-based paint truly scales the great heights of human devilry. Second, if I’m right about that, then the mindset of fear surrounding the surge of foreign unaccompanied minors across the U.S.-Mexican border dances on the very pinnacle. I know that sounds like a non sequitur, but stick with me. My wife and I just bought a house, and it fell to me to repaint the hideous interior. After a

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