“Sister Outsider”: I watch “Beyond the Hills”

at AmCon: “Beyond the Hills,” the wrenching new movie from Romanian director Cristian Mungiu (“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”), is easy for American audiences to misunderstand. The Washington City Paper‘s review thinks it’s about the sufferings of an unbeliever trapped “within a world of intolerance.” It’s about “a battle between salvation and love.” This is badly missing the point. more (fairly spoilerous) … [Read more...]

Ha!

One caveat: Talk about mystery and paradox can easily morph into yet another way of putting God into a box. You can write a book explaining why God utterly exceeds our grasp—and by the time you're done, you may be feeling pretty smug. Then your dear friend and fellow believer comes along: "What's all this about a 'hidden God'? He's not hidden at all!"--from the end of this review; via Wesley Hill … [Read more...]

“Bonhoeffer’s Argument Against Religious Blackmail”

Wesley Hill: Bonhoeffer suggests, contra Stendahl, that if we’re really to preach about the sin of humanity, we have to avoid yoking that preaching too closely to the feelings of guilt that may or may not be a feature of our hearers’ experience. Regardless of what a person may feel, Bonhoeffer implies, the gospel truly addresses them and lays claim to their lives. The truths of sin and redemption aren’t dependent on the rising and falling of human emotional states. And to dismantle a faulty view … [Read more...]

From “Demons”

"That's all lies, you are a very wicked man, and I conclusively expressed your groundlessness to you just now," the girl student replied disdainfully, as if scorning too many explanations with such a man. "I precisely told you just now that we were all taught by the catechesis: 'If you honor your father and your parents, you'll live a long life and be granted wealth.' It's in the ten commandments. If God found it necessary to offer a reward for love, it means your God is immoral. These are the … [Read more...]

From Denise Levertov, “To Live in the Mercy of God”

Such passion— rage or joy?                               Thus, not mild, not temperate, God’s love for the world. Vast flood of mercy                       flung on resistance. … [Read more...]

The Mountain Goats: Disco Purgatorio

I listen to an album, at AmCon. … [Read more...]

From Peter de Vries, “Overture”

“God,” I said, “like Alfred Hitchcock, vouchsafes us only glimpses of Himself. I have often thought of this. And also that we make a game of trying to spot Him in this scene and then that, till we’ve squandered the revelation of the whole instead of simply accepting and enjoying what He has created.” --actually via Helen of course … [Read more...]


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