29 Apr 2019

L’Arche and Being Human

For the last five years, I have taught an introduction to humanities course at a local community college. Each semester I begin and end the semester with the same question, “What makes us human?” I ask students to think about a pet dog or higher primate like the gorilla. Certainly, we have some characteristics in common with other members of the animal kingdom. Yet, in spite of these similarities, our human intuition imagines that there

04 Sep 2017

Holding All Things in Common

“All who believed were together and had all things in common (Acts 2:44 NRSV).” This article is a part of a continuing series on the early Christian church as depicted in Acts 2:41-47. Past articles in the series can be found in the author’s archive. In the previous article in this series, we examined how signs and wonders in the early church were the result of the Spirit’s presence and the in-breaking of the kingdom

21 Aug 2017

Signs and Wonders

“Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles (Acts 2:43 NRSV).” Having analyzed Acts 2:42 in a four–part series of articles, this week we turn our gaze toward the subsequent verses that elaborate on the daily and weekly rhythms of the early Christian church. Acts 2:43-47 offers a briefly sublime account of the church after the day of Pentecost. The first believers shared all things in common and

17 Dec 2015

Good News for Hard Times

These are hard times. All we have to do is look around us and we see that our world is in serious trouble. Where can we turn, where can we go? People try to blame guns, abortion laws, or terrorism. But until we see ourselves in Christ as the solution to these problems we will never make any progress. We are not helpless. When it comes to sin, nothing is really new under the sun.

16 Jun 2014

The Church and Almsgiving

Introduction Awhile back, I found myself defending the Catholic Church to a few strangers. One young man—I will call him Adam—was convinced that the Church was not actually doing anything good in the world, least of all for the poor. (I was waiting for him to suggest that we should just “sell the Vatican.”) Crossing his arms, he asked me concretely: what is the Church actually doing for the poor? Although the answer would have