Hot as Hell

Well, it’s official. 2012 was the warmest year in United States on record, a full degree warmer than the last record in 1998. In Australia, 113 degree temps are helping fuel raging fires in the southern part of the country, giving new definition to what it means to be “down under.” From NOAA: The year [Read More...]

In Memoriam

Robyn O’Neil, Hell (2009-2011) This time of year brings the remembrance of those whom we have lost during the last twelve months. In the aftermath of hurricane Sandy in late October, which flooded the neighborhoods that make up Chelsea on the lower west side of Manhattan and the center of the art world, many artists [Read More...]

Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?

In circles wherein I tend to travel, this existential question, along with its companion query on human consciousness, serves as a theological bulwark against which atheism crumbles. So naturally I was drawn to Jim Holt’s bestseller on the question. Serving as an “existential detective,” Holt seeks first to define “nothing” (no small task), and then [Read More...]

Larks that Cannot Sing: The Work of Claudia Alvarez

Claudia Alvarez, Flower Girl, ceramic, 2011 Art is like a magnet, attracting, collecting, and accumulating our thoughts and experiences over time. This process peels back new layers of the work, which those thoughts and experiences seem to reveal. A good work of art interprets us, works on us, forces itself on us and invades our [Read More...]

Good King Wenceslas

December 26 is a day marked on the church calendar as The Feast of Stephen. Now some of you hail from countries where December 26 is also known as Boxing Day. Contrary to popular opinion, Boxing Day has nothing to do with boxing up your Christmas trash, with after-Christmas sales or with punching some irritating [Read More...]

An Advent Meditation with Gabriel Orozco

  In my day job as curator of LIBERATE, the online resource ministry of Tullian Tchividjian and Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, I was searching for a suitable image to pair with a sermon by one of our contributors, Rev. Nick Lannon, on the Advent theme of waiting. And I happened upon a photograph by contemporary [Read More...]

“Holy Innocents” and the Birth of Jesus

Jesus was born into a world of violence. A world where demented people kill innocent children. It’s right there in the infancy narrative of the first gospel (in the order in your Bibles). It’s easy to miss, because we don’t often focus on it in our telling of the Christmas story–understandably so. Matthew 2:16-18 tells [Read More...]

300 Million Guns and Counting

As the conversation invariably moved over to gun bans and gun control in the horrific wake of last Friday’s massacre, I recalled Jeff Goldberg’s piece in a recent Atlantic. There are 300 million guns already in the hands of Americans. Another 4 million new guns enter the market each year. The dog is off the leash [Read More...]

Re-Imagining Patronage

Gustave Courbet, The Source of the Loue, 1864. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York The over-heated art market, driven by insecure and short-sighted collectors, who, churning through the season’s aesthetic fashions to use art to leverage their cultural power, have produced an impatient and distracted art world incapable of separating artistic quality from auction house [Read More...]

Unspeakable Things

My heart is heavy and my prayers go out to those touched by the horrific events of today. Earlier today, I posted a bibliography of sources related to “perspectives on evil and suffering.” Then I learned about the tragedy in Connecticut. As one headline accurately read, “there are no words.” These are unspeakable things. The [Read More...]

Evil and Suffering: A Select Bibliography

This next quarter, I will be teaching one of my favorite courses: Perspectives on Evil and Suffering.  Here is a select bibliography that I will be offering to my students. These essays and books do not constitute, necessarily, the best on the topic, but the entire list is meant to provide a range of perspectives on a variety [Read More...]

Get a Free Book! (The Holy Nomad)

Not too long ago I participated in a Patheos book club discussion of The Holy Nomad, by Matt Litton. In my reflection, I noted that Litton’s book, in which he jolts us to find a little more joy for the journey, reminded me of the quest approach to the Christian faith: To me, that’s a natural (or [Read More...]