29 Jan 2018

Still Searching for God in the “Waves”

Up until a year or so ago, I’d never even heard of Mike McHargue, better known by his online moniker “Science Mike.” McHargue, a touring speaker and co-host of the popular “The Liturgists” podcast (and erstwhile contributor to Conciliar Post), has emerged as a prominent voice in the “post-evangelical” space occupied by writers like Rachel Held Evans, Rob Bell, and David Gushee. Curious to learn more, I read through McHargue’s memoir of faith, “Finding God

29 Jul 2015

The Transformative Power of Paradox

As a theologically-minded young catechumen, on the cusp of being confirmed into the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, few doctrines troubled me more than those surrounding the sacrament of communion. How could the Body and Blood of Christ be present “in, with, and under” the sacramental elements? How could the consecration of the elements, an act of human will, result in such a transformation? Years of soul-searching followed, which led me all the way from

23 Jan 2015

Seminal Christian Theologians: Pseudo-Dionysius on Hierarchy

Definition and Misunderstandings The concept of hierarchy is the singular motif through which the extant Pseudo-Dionysian corpus must be understood. Denys defines hierarchy as “a sacred order, a state of understanding, and an activity approximating as closely as possible the divine.”1 This article will explore his tripartite formulation by focusing on the following questions: “What is sacred about hierarchy?”, “In what way is hierarchy a state of understanding?”, and “How does hierarchic activity approximate as

20 Oct 2014

Dante: Poet or Mystic?

In my previous article I discussed medieval mysticism and some of the many factors surrounding its rise, including an increased literacy among lay people and the booming presence of vernacular languages in literature. When considering late medieval literacy and the rise of vernacular literature, the beloved poet Dante Alighieri is one of the most renowned and remarkable examples. His Divina Commedia journeys through hell (Inferno), purgatory (Purgatorio), and heaven (Paradiso). Dante is known now as

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

08 Sep 2014

Five Ways to Pray in Everyday Life

To be completely honest, it is much easier to cultivate a healthy prayer life during the major liturgical seasons than during the most ordinary days of ordinary time. Aside from morning Scripture readings, blessings before meals, and nighttime Our Fathers, most of us do not pray a lot during the day, especially days outside of Lenten fasting and Advent devotionals. Prayer, however, ought to be central to the everyday life of the Christian, even in