14 Sep 2016

Things I’d Rather Do on Sunday Morning Than Go to Church

The following, as the title of the article slyly implies, is a list of things I’d rather do on a Sunday morning than go to church. I am being only partly facetious with these. Make a fancy breakfast. I’ve taken a liking to the art of cooking these past couple years, and weekend mornings are an exceptional time to practice the craft. Duck confit rolled into crepes; poached eggs over arugula and toast, smothered in

Chris Casberg 2
05 Sep 2016

On the Catholic Use of Sacred Scripture

This is a response piece to Christian McGuire’s article entitled: “On the Misuse of Sacred Scripture.” Dear Christian, As we discussed privately when I first read your piece, I agree with your basic premise that Scripture cannot stand alone as an authority without the vehicles of the Church (her liturgy, her teaching authority) and Tradition (the Fathers, the Doctors). Together, these three prongs of authority (Scripture, Tradition, and Church Magisterium) balance to form and inform a community

Benjamin Winter 4
05 Aug 2016

One…One Flesh…One Body

Somehow, upon turning thirty-one, I became more interested in blog posts about relationships, health, and inspiring fictional characters. I started thinking more about my retirement plan and drinking Jasmine green tea. I’m still sane, I promise. My proof? I have not stooped to getting into yoga (probably because I’m not flexible—among other reasons). Nor have I taken to drinking copious amounts of pour-over coffee…or any other kind of coffee, for that matter. I save so

3
20 Jul 2016

The Desert Fathers Play Pokemon Go

Two monks left their cell and appeared before Abba Anthony, who was praying. “Abba,” said one of the monks, “My brother is in error, saying that Squirtle is the best starter when Charmander is clearly superior.” The other replied, “Nay, it is my brother who errs, for Squirtle has the best evolution.” Abba Anthony ceased praying and stood before the brethren. He pulled his own iPhone from within his robe and snapped it in half.

Chris Casberg 1
18 Jul 2016

Racial Reconciliation: Sundays, from 4pm until the Line Ends.

Since moving to the DC area, I have been going to mass at a Church that is at least half Hispanic. Many parishioners don’t speak English as a primary language, if at all. Since I don’t attend services in Español—despite two semesters of Spanish, I am about as ignorant of the language as is humanly possible—I wouldn’t normally notice this fact. After all, I am nothing if not unobservant. But confessionals can make it hard

Christian McGuire 2
07 Jul 2016

Some Women Just Don’t Know What’s Good For ‘Em

I’d like to ask the reader to take a moment and join me in a round of applause for women. I did not know this until recently, but they’ve all been fighting a very important battle in the Supreme Court these last few months, and it seems they have, at last, emerged victorious. I do not know how they all managed to cram in the courtroom at once, or even how they managed to do

Chris Casberg 1
29 Jun 2016

Ascension

This could be the sky Jesus flew up through And this could be the ground with the city around Where he left his disciples to wait for him too Because we still stand looking where he went Even though the angel is here we don’t seem to hear That he went away so we could stay and be sent Perhaps we are those same five hundred fed Who want to be given things and make

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
22 Jun 2016

The Ethics of Funny

Many moons ago, I wrote an article titled The Divine Art of Funny, wherein I described the nature and purpose of humor from a Christian perspective. In short, humor is the study of incongruities in life and the world, and those incongruities which elicit a pleasure response like laughter and smiles are what we call “funny.” Whereas materialists are only able to describe humor in terms of evolutionary and psychological causation, I suggest that there

Chris Casberg 2
08 Jun 2016

The One About Donald Trump

The world lost its mind while I was on vacation. I don’t believe this is my fault. However, I fully acknowledge this is not a very good excuse. If push comes to shove, I will take the blame—if for no other reason than to avoid the inevitable avalanche of tiresome op-eds about who is to blame for the world’s mind and the losing thereof. This will save time and, presumably, money for the publications who

Chris Casberg 6
01 Jun 2016

Coffee Hour

An essential part of any Orthodox Sunday morning liturgy is the coffee hour. Whether it’s literally just coffee and baked goods, or a full meal, this is where the Church, renewed as Christ’s body through the Eucharist, practices self-care before going out to work in the world. Everything culminates in coffee hour Not that being on time isn’t important, But the Kingdom will be blessed before you’re there Just like the food will be blessed

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
27 May 2016

The Shadow of the Sacred

The Shadow of the Sacred I recently had the extraordinary opportunity to tour Israel and visit a number of historical and sacred sites. And as I fully anticipated from the beginning, the trip’s most memorable moments by far were found within the city of Jerusalem. Seated at the intersection of three different faith traditions—Jewish, Christian, and Islamic—the city has been contested for centuries, and currently exists in an uneasy “status quo” arrangement predicated on mutual

John Ehrett 1
24 May 2016

To My Single Christian Friends; Why Wait?

In the world of Christendom, marriage is looked upon as a holy sacrament, a demonstration of Christ and the church, the subject of political debate, or worst of all the inevitable conclusion of a heart-connection between two people. The issue with this perspective is not that marriage is bad for relationships, but that for many people it has become a destination to reach, not necessarily a journey to be started. The difference is similar to

Charles Heyworth 4
29 Apr 2016

Does Apophatic Theology Denature Christianity? Part II

Does Apophatic Theology Denature Christianity Part I. I. The Reality of Sin in Apophatic Theology Viewing God as the ultimate embodiment of moral rightness means that moral action, and the moral life, is intrinsically oriented away from the self: one ought to sublimate one’s own will and desires when those sentiments impel toward self-aggrandizement or self-centeredness. Moral evil, then, is a self-oriented derogation from the moral perfection God epitomizes. Spong correctly (and in line with

John Ehrett 3
13 Apr 2016

Christianity is Nonsense

I have sometimes been accused of holding onto my faith for no other reason than rank stubbornness or some vague sense of tribalist loyalty. This assumes on the behalf of the accuser that Christianity is something like a philosophy to which one has proudly ascended and is now too entrenched in to give it up when something more certain in its veracity comes along, lest the believer become red-faced with embarrassment in front of his

Chris Casberg 3
29 Mar 2016

Thus Spoke Pontius

What do we know, and how do we know it? These are fundamental philosophical questions, and whether we realize it or not, how we answer these questions informs the very way we think about the world. In science, we rely on empirical thought; we know what can be tested. In history, we rely on corroboration of independent sources. Not every method of knowing can be applied in every circumstance. We cannot put five Julius Ceasars

Chris Casberg 16
18 Mar 2016

Sola Scriptura and Interpretive Paradox

In most Christian circles, the simple statement that “Christians interpret the Bible in a different way than they interpret the Constitution” would probably be largely uncontroversial. The intuitive objection to juxtaposing the documents in this way–that the Bible is the Word of God, while the Constitution is man’s words–does not directly address the interesting paradox: why do many political and theological conservatives use interpretively “liberal” language (“underlying purpose,” “culturally specific,” “not literal”) in their interpretation

John Ehrett 0
15 Mar 2016

Review: Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel

The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be, Ain’t what she used to be, ain’t what she used to be, The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be, Many long years ago. If one were to nominate a campaign song for the Republican party this year, I would submit “The Old Gray Mare” as my candidate. It’s American, old-timey, and perfectly enunciates the fears of many voters: our country

Chris Casberg 0
03 Mar 2016

No Longer Scandalized?

Revisiting Mark Noll in 2016 Though it’s had an outsize impact on evangelical intellectual culture, I’d never actually sat down with Mark Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind until this past week. Centrally, Noll (himself a Reformed evangelical) argues that the rise of fundamentalism drove a lasting wedge between mainstream academic inquiry and American Protestant communities. In Noll’s telling, this cleavage led to previously fringe theological positions (six-day creationism, flood geology, strict biblical literalism)

John Ehrett 7
22 Feb 2016

Is Sprinkling the Best Way to Baptize?

Here in the Bible Belt, sacramental Christians sometimes feel like the nerdy kid on the playground when it comes to explaining our practices of baptism.  In many Baptist, Pentecostal, and nondenominational congregations, baptism is only done “as John the Baptist did it.” That means getting dunked like an early morning cruller in hot coffee. For many in my part of the world, baptism means one thing: immersion. United Methodists actually aren’t against immersion (which is

Drew McIntyre 6
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

Chris Casberg 3