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...]

George Herbert

Just back from visiting a congregant at his workplace made me think about George Herbert, the 17th century English pastor and poet. He wrote: “The Country Parson upon the afternoons in the weekdays, takes occasion sometimes to visit in person, now one quarter of his Parish, now another. For there he shall find his flock [Read More...]

Free to Receive

Let’s face it. Evangelicals are a pretty grumpy lot when it comes to the arts and culture. We’re perpetually on the lookout for artistic evidence to prove that this is the most evil of generations. In fact, it seems as if many of us delight in being offended so that we can crow about the [Read More...]

The Secret of the End Times in Matthew’s Gospel

Everybody wants to know the secret of the end times. John P. Meier, in his commentary on Matthew, suggests that the “secret” is given in Matt. 11:27: “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to [Read More...]

Aleppo

Aleppo, Syria Jan. 29, 2013 This citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Revolution Against Assad’s Regime which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows dead bodies on a street. Syrian activists say at least 65 bodies, some of them with their hands tied behind their back, found on a river [Read More...]

Sur le motif: The Paintings of Paul Cézanne

  Last week, after finishing Alex Danchev’s stunning biography, Cézanne: A Life (Pantheon, 2012), I  flew to New York to see some of Cézanne’s paintings at the Museum of Modern Art. This is not exactly the kind of behavior one would expect from an evangelical on staff at a conservative Presbyterian church in South Florida. [Read More...]

The End of Evil and Escape from Planet Earth

On the plane today I was reading Marjorie Suchocki’s The End of Evil. A friendly flight attendant, while pouring my coffee, noticed the book title. “The end of evil?” she said. Do you think there’s going to be an end to evil? “Well…yes…I believe that. I certainly hope for it,” I responded (probably with a measured academic [Read More...]

Area Codes

  Whenever I call someone with Caller ID (which would be everybody these days), they’ll see my 617-Boston area code flash on their screen even though I now reside in Minneapolis. It explains why most of my local calls go straight to voice mail. Who in Minneapolis would be getting a call from Boston? These days, with [Read More...]

The Poetics (and Theology) of Painting

Last week I concluded a four-part series over at  Good Letters, the blog of IMAGE Journal. Entitled “The Poetics of Painting,” I explore four foundational aspects of painting as a studio practice: the relationship of the artist and her intentions to the work of art; the pictorial dynamics on the surface of a painting; the [Read More...]

A Murderous Monster’s Weapons Stash

How easy is it for an average citizen to acquire an arsenal of assault rifles and high powered hand guns in our country? So easy, even a convicted murderer who has been institutionalized for insanity can acquire a weapons permit, and then collect a stash of them (see the pic) over a period of years. [Read More...]


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