Relax, People: “The World is Not Ours to Save”

What are we going to do about all those fired-up youngsters who are running around trying to save the world (and acting like they have only four minutes to do it)? There has been a sea-change in the church. Like so often happens, Christianity seems to be swinging over to a concern with social justice [Read More...]

Playing the Victim

While in Jerusalem last week, with plans to go to Bethlehem, the US State Department issued a travel warning against US citizens entering the West Bank. There had been violence protests on one street over ongoing Palestinian prisoner treatment in Israel. Disappointed, we canceled our Nativity visit, only to be persuaded to change our mind [Read More...]

The Poetry of an Erased de Kooning

  One of the more notorious and inexplicable works of art of the last sixty years is Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953) in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Influenced by a resurgence of interest in the work of the Dada artist Marcel Duchamp and performance art, Rauschenberg [Read More...]

Holy Spirit Conference

I’m heading tomorrow to Regent University for a conference on “The Holy Spirit and the Christian Life,” hosted by the Divinity School’s Center for Renewal Studies. It looks to be a very good conference lineup, with topics including Aquinas on the Affections, Hugh of St. Victor on the gifts of the Spirit, Monasticism, Kierkegaard, and [Read More...]

The Futility of Painting

  Yesterday my review of a new monograph on the Spanish realist painter Antonio López García, entitled “Jousting the Quince Tree,” appeared over at Books & Culture online. Although I was aware of his work, my respect for López García  increased dramatically in the process of studying his paintings. In addition, I stumbled upon a documentary film, [Read More...]

Vocation and the Artist’s Studio

Last week I was in Pittsburgh to speak on modern art and grace at the annual Jubilee conference, an event that brings 2,000 college students together to connect their faith to their work. After my presentation, a person working in campus ministry asked me how he could support two students who happen to be artists. [Read More...]

Quantity vs Quality

Today’s guest post comes from Jim Wolaver, one of an excellent class of students from Bethel Seminary who recently studied the intersection between faith, vocation and work. Christians affect those around them the same as anyone else. One aspect of my personal ministry that concerned me until recently was the number of people I ministered to. I am [Read More...]

Just In Time for Lent

For 14 years I have preached an annual sermon series on the Church Fathers, those personalities who over the early centuries of church history fashioned our faith and codified that which we have come to embrace as orthodox Christianity. As there have been numerous noteworthy Church Fathers (and Mothers) it seemed sensible to tackle them [Read More...]

The IOC is Giving Up Wrestling for Lent

Cutting the oldest Olympic sport from the Olympics is a bad idea. But that’s exactly what the IOC is proposing for 2020. Once it is out of the olympics (to make room for modern pentathalon, wakeboarding, wushu and a few others).  I’ve got nothing against those sports (I don’t know what some of them are), [Read More...]

Getting What You Pray For

Giving, fasting and prayer are the traditional Lenten disciplines due to Jesus’ mention of them in Matthew 6. I find prayer to be the hardest. I find giving and fasting hard to do too, but at least they seem more tangible. You can see the results of giving and feel the results of fasting. But [Read More...]

Cézanne, Inventing Abstraction, and the Glen East Workshop

One post on the paintings of Paul Cézanne’s is not enough and so I explored his relentless engagement with nature in “The Creaturely Work of Paul Cézanne” over at ThinkChristian, where I blog from time to time.  Cézanne was relentless in his desire to do one thing: paint nature. Yet it was by returning the artist and [Read More...]

Anyone Can Change: A Westboro Baptist Defector Proves it

Anyone familiar with the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS (and who isn’t?), knows that they are synonymous, in public perception, with their “God Hates Fags” protests. They are a public nuisance, a blight on Christianity’s witness to society, and filled with hate. They are firmly entrenched in their insipid theology of hate and fear, [Read More...]


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