A Coptic Priest’s Message to Those Who Kill Christians: “Thank You!”

incredibly powerful:The first thing we will say is “Thank you very, very much,” and you won’t believe us when we say it.You know why we thank you? I’ll tell you. You won’t get it, but please believe us.You gave us to die the same death as Christ–and this is the biggest honor we could have. Christ was crucified–and this is our faith. He died and was slaughtered–and this is our faith. You gave us, and you gave them to die. more (via Ivan Plis) … [Read more...]

Mourning and Weeping in this Valley of Brunch

Last week I did a speaking engagement in New York, on the topic, "Christianity Is the Most Materialistic of Religions." I did not choose this topic (BOOK ME, I WILL ROLL WITH WHATEVER WEIRD-ASS THING) and one theme that emerged from my unusually rambling performance was that Christianity cherishes and celebrates the body, but not in the way you might like. You can watch the videos here (in three parts, so check the order)--seriously, I always ramble and get tangled but this was an astonishing … [Read more...]

Tom Holland: The Tyrannosaur vs. the Crucified

excellent metaphor and accurate insight at the heart of this piece from a scholar of antiquity: When I was a boy, my upbringing as a Christian was forever being weathered by the gale force of my enthusiasms. First, there were dinosaurs. I vividly remember my shock when, at Sunday school one day, I opened a children’s Bible and found an illustration on its first page of Adam and Eve with a brachiosaur. Six years old I may have been, but of one thing – to my regret – I was rock-solid certain: no h … [Read more...]

“Escape from Detroit”: I watch “Don’t Breathe”

for AmCon, and end up ranting about the sacred Victim, obviously: Don’t Breathe, the new horror flick from director Fede Alvarez, opens with the flapping of wings and far-off sirens. Dawn is breaking on a deserted street, which we slowly approach from the sky. A man is dragging a blonde body through a city where everyone else seems to have vanished. more (also apparently I badly misremembered Wait Until Dark so apologies for that...) … [Read more...]

By the Light of the Cross: Christian Wiman’s “My Bright Abyss”

What makes Jesus credible--at least for those of us who are Christians? The answers are as diverse as the wild array of weird Christian spiritualities. What stood out to me when I converted was the violence and public humiliation of the Crucifixion. The lurid, tabloid violence of Jesus' death seemed to me to meet, in some way, the reality of a brutal world. If there could be reconciliation it would need to be a horrific reconciliation; and so that's what we got.I didn't notice this at the … [Read more...]

“Five Thoughts on Loving the Church”: John Cavadini

some lovely stuff here: 1) The closer you get to the Catholic Church, the closer you get to the Wounds of Christ.The Church is a communion in the blood of Christ. Contemplating the mystery of the Church is contemplating the blood of Christ, for “the Church is born primarily of Christ’s total self-giving for our salvation, anticipated in the institution of the Eucharist and fulfilled on the Cross” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 766). “The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by t … [Read more...]

It Always Rains on Ben Affleck: Short Movie Reviews

The Leopard: Burt Lancaster is the patriarch of an aristocratic Sicilian family whose role in society is inevitably being usurped by the rising middle class during the period of Italian unification. Directed in sun-soaked autumnal shade and color by Caravaggio--I mean, Visconti.Lancaster is so good at these autumnal roles (The Swimmer) and everything here is gorgeous to look at. My favorite social or psychological note was the complex role played by the Church/the family priest. The … [Read more...]