Jesus of Nazareth: A Savior with a Hometown

Marys-Well-Nazareth-The-spring-of-the-Virgin-Mary

 Seamus Heaney. Wendell Berry. William Wordsworth. Robert Frost. In my childhood exploration of words and books, I discovered these poets weaving tapestries of grandeur with the homespun yarn of the mundane. They unearthed to me the vastness of space in the soil beneath their toes and the glorious weight of people, time and place in the familiarity of walls, wheelbarrows, and water. Recently I opened a book of prose that paints a similar picture of the practical and profound. Reading … [Read more...]

Jesus and the Art of Presence

MaryAtFootOfCross

A poignant article rippled through my social media sphere three weeks ago. In "The Art of Presence," David Brooks describes a family’s lessons on how to support those who grieve or, as he says, “how those of us outside the zone of trauma might better communicate with those inside the zone.” Brooks calls for "a sort of passive activism. We have a tendency, especially in an achievement-oriented culture, to want to solve problems and repair brokenness ... But what seems to be needed here is the art … [Read more...]

Privilege, Repentance, Forgiveness

privilege

Identifying privilege offers insight into grace and allows us to take responsibility for both our own responses and the needs of others.Since graduating from college, I have received countless emails asking alumni for donations, most of which I have ignored. After the umpteenth solicitation, I started to think about why I should “give back” and reflect more deeply. “What benefits had I received from my elite education?” There were some obvious answers: social prestige, higher income, intell … [Read more...]

Breaking News: Pope Francis is a Christian

JoyGospel

 Some of the headlines about Pope Francis' recently-released Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium would have you believe that the Pope's central message is about decentralizing the Church, affirming populism, denouncing libertarian economics, or condemning capitalism as tyrannical. The Pope himself seemed to anticipate such reactions when he said in the Exhortation, "In today's world of instant communication and occasionally biased media coverage, the message we preach runs greater ri … [Read more...]

Disappearing Bodies

Thomas

 Many atheists and agnostics hold that they would believe in God if he would only show himself to them. After all, why couldn’t he, if he is all-powerful? Why wouldn’t he, if he is kind and loving, and if he really wants people to believe in him as much as he says he does? In response, Christians point to God’s incarnation as Jesus Christ, a man who lived on the earth just as we do. The people who lived in Christ’s time walked with him, ate with him, and touched his scarred hands. I’ve o … [Read more...]

What the Church Can Learn from the Reza Aslan Affair

RezaCrop

Reza Aslan has become famous for what has quickly become dubbed "Fox News' Worst Interview" about his new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. I agree with Robert Long's assessment at The American Conservative that the interview is motivated by bulverism, which attempts to show why a man has come to the incorrect position before demonstrating that he is incorrect. Bulverism in general accounts for a significant portion of religious reporting and indeed for any interesting subj … [Read more...]


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