21 Oct 2014

Pagan Christianity?

You occasionally hear it from the talking heads or on the History Channel. Maybe you notice an article about it on your newsfeed. Or catch the random title while browsing Amazon or Barnes and Nobles. Pagan Christianity: What you do on Sundays is really from Ancient Egypt, Imperial Rome, or Royal Greece and certainly is not real Christian worship. Maybe you listen for a few seconds, start to read that article, or read the back

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15 Oct 2014

Whatever is Lovely

Art is a beautiful thing, and the ability to produce it is a wonderful gift from God. Whether it takes the form of music, the written word, hand crafted images, or even a film, a well-crafted piece of art can serve as an excellent manifestation of God’s good creation and the potential beauty of our world. However, the sinful nature of mankind frequently distorts and abuses the gift of art, as it has done with

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07 Oct 2014

Kierkegaardian Reflections on the Present Age

Some authors make a lasting impression on one’s mind, for good or for bad. For me, one such writer is Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55), whom I first engaged while an undergraduate at Valparaiso University. While reading Kierkegaard, one cannot help but be flummoxed by large portions of his prose—there’s simply too much there to engage in its fullness. You are like a kindergartener, who is desperately trying to make sense of a chalkboard filled with Einstein’s

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12 Sep 2014

A Word Aptly Spoken

“When Hugh and I went on a trip to Russia I almost didn’t get a visa because our travel agent put down my occupation as writer. Writers think. Writers ask questions. Writers are dangerous. She finally persuaded ‘them’ that I write only for small children and was not a threat. In any dictatorship writers are among the first to be imprisoned, and vocabulary is quickly diminished and language deteriorates.  Writers, if their vocabulary is not

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09 Sep 2014

The Seven Heavens and Planet Narnia, Part Two

My previous post introduced Michael Ward’s Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis,1 in which he argues that the medieval conception of the Seven Heavens serves as the basis for the seven Chronicles of Narnia, with Lewis using the characteristic ethos of each planetary intelligence as the paradigm for his books. In this post, we turn to an explicit consideration of how the evidence of the Chronicles of Narnia fits

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25 Jul 2014

Imagine

At times, I feel within me a burning conviction of the truth of something that is at once more difficult to put into words than the doctrines of my Christian faith yet as clear as crystal to my soul and my seat of “knowing.” When I feel this way, it is time to sit down in front of pen and paper and muddle through until I can capture a solid thought from the elusive world

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16 Jun 2014

How Then Shall We Speak?

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen R. Covey As the above quote from Stephen Covey notes, far too often “dialogue” consists of hearing the perspectives of others not so that we may understand them, but in order that we may show them where they are wrong. This is especially obvious on the internet, where 140 character Twitter interaction, sound-bite news, rhetoric-oriented politics,#hashtagactivism,

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16 Jun 2014

#YesAllWomen and the Failures of Modern Feminism

Modern feminism has failed. I proclaim this as a modern woman: I will soon graduate with a master’s degree, I am training to become a half-marathoner, and my fiancé and I make our major decisions together. My gender has never prevented me from education, sport, ownership, or participation. I owe a large debt to the men and women of the early twentieth century feminism, who fought for my right to vote, who petitioned for Title

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16 Jun 2014

What the Church Can Learn From Heavy Metal

With America still reeling from the recent Isla Vista killings, the blogosphere has since exploded with a smorgasbord of theories about what led to the carnage. I certainly do not wish to opine any further on this matter, however, one of the responses to that event – “We Created Elliot Rogers” posted at Ethika Politika – does offer a pertinent example for what I do want to discuss here.[1] The article’s author, Elisabeth Cervantes, moves

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16 Jun 2014

The Gray Hair Stays

It was early 2013, after a particularly stressful year, that I was at a friend’s house passing the time of day. As I got ready to leave, my friend looked strangely at the side of my head and then swooped in closer. “Amanda! You have a gray hair!” To my chagrin, I realized she was right. At the time, I was a mere twenty-seven years old—in my opinion, far too young for gray hairs. Since

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16 Jun 2014

Business as Usual

Manufacturing Costs=DM + DL + MOH The above equation is one of the important formulas learned within Accounting 221, one of the required courses all business majors at Wake Forest University take. Here we learn how to do internal accounting, making sure the business knows what costs make up its operations, thus being able to use that data in order to cut costs in the future. In this formula calculating the manufacturing costs that comprise

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16 Jun 2014

The Art of Grieving

Drip-drop. Drop-drip. Plink! Glorious Spring rain drips off the gutter-less eaves of my cottage this forenoon; every now and then one drop making a sharp ping off something metal below. Steady, strong notes to set the rhythm for the day, those water-drops. I draw icy water for the kettle, waiting for its warm whistle as a Southwest wind kicks up its heels. The song of the rain slows, softens, becomes silent. Whirling this way and

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16 Jun 2014

The Pursuit of Elizabeth Millhouse | Book Review

The Pursuit of Elizabeth Millhouse is a period novel set in early twentieth century America telling the story of the title character, Elizabeth Millhouse Brown. Following Elizabeth’s path of childhood rejection, marriage, and the challenges of a life amidst change and loss, author Amanda Barber paints a superb picture of the realities of the difficulties in life during the early 20th century, difficulties that find many a parallel in our current context. In this gripping

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