It’s the Feast of Saint Cecilia, So Here’s the Pet Shop Boys

She's the patroness of musicians. … [Read more...]

A Story of Peacemaking in Prison

It's framed as a post about John Howard Yoder, his work and his abuse of women, but I'm posting it because of the exceptionally compelling personal story: ...I did not become peaceable by reading Yoder. That happened to me long before when I became Christian in prison.I was convicted of arson in 1994 and served four years in a state prison as a result. I was an angry and very violent young man when I entered.My hatred and resentment toward others eventually crushed me, when I realized I … [Read more...]

Yoda and the Giving Tree: The Leaf-Green Faces of the Enemy

Two points connected solely by my desire to use this title.First, I am not going to say much about the long exchange in the comments to the post I was just talking about. You'll know pretty quickly if it's the kind of thing you can read without wanting to throttle a swan. But I wanted to register my full-throated agreement with Gabriel's disapproval of the Yoda line, "Do or do not. There is no try."People. This is very close to the opposite of the truth! First of all, many people who … [Read more...]

“Crawl of Faith”: Me at Acculturated

on Balanchine's "Prodigal Son" ballet: I’m glad nobody told me anything about George Balanchine’s choreography for The Prodigal Son before I watched it. The librettist, Boris Kochno, made a lot of changes to the Biblical story, and all of these changes sound like terrible ideas. more--from my series on portrayals of penitence. I really like how this turned out. … [Read more...]

“Thanks for Sharing”: Let Your Inhibitions Run Wild

Helen Rittelmeyer is obviously right that we're in a cultural moment where addiction and recovery provide almost the only common language we have for exploring subjects like grace, penitence, and hope. Thanks for Sharing, the sex-addiction romcom starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark "Ruffalo Ruffalo ruffalo ruffalo ruffalo Ruffalo ruffalo" Ruffalo (...sorry), is yet another example of Helen's point. Ruffalo (ruffalo) is a recovering sex addict named Adam, who after five years of sexual sobriety is … [Read more...]

“Sorry for (Communist) Partying”: I review “After the Revolution”

at AmCon: The engine which runs “After the Revolution,” a play by Amy Herzog that will show at Theater J (the theater of Washington’s Jewish Community Center) through October 6, is a generations-old betrayal: A fledgling leftist activist from a family of Communist Jews learns that her much-honored grandfather spied for the Soviet Union during World War II and then perjured himself in front of HUAC denying it.The revelation shatters Emma Joseph’s trust in her family and in her own righteo … [Read more...]

The Words of Love in Whispers and the Acts of Love in Screams

A postscript: It's entirely possible to explain Christian morality to someone who does not know that God loves her. It's just that your words won't mean what you wanted them to mean. Even and maybe especially if she accepts the truth of the moral precepts, the conclusions she draws will be profoundly opposed to the Gospel. If she has never been tempted in this area or has overcome profound temptation (so far) then she may receive your moral teaching with self-righteousness; if she is especially … [Read more...]


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