Why Fast?

Christ in the Wilderness- Ivan Kramskoy- 1872

  For as long as I can remember, my dad has fasted every Wednesday and Friday – eating nothing but bread and drinking nothing but water. At a young age, the very prospect of fasting seemed not only daunting but ludicrous. Human loves exist to attract us to the things that are good for us. And food is obviously good. Why would you want to deprive yourself of it? The most obvious answer to this question is that you may want to abstain from eating for health reasons. But this very … [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 … [Read more...]

Venmo and Friendship

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  I'm a fan of Venmo, an app that makes it incredibly easy to send and receive money. Instead of scrutinizing piles of dollar bills to figure out how exactly to pay the tab among a group of friends, one person can pick up the tab and charge the rest of their friends the exact amount via Venmo. However, if Venmo gets more and more popular, and Forbes' prediction that it will be the "future of payments" comes true, then I will start to mourn the loss of something. I will be … [Read more...]

The Compound

compound

  Following a catastrophic nuclear attack, fifteen-year-old Eli has spent the past six years living in an elaborate underground compound with his parents and siblings--minus his twin brother, who happened to be separated from the rest of the family when the first nuclear warheads were launched. Ever the sucker for dystopian and speculative fiction, I found the premise of S.A. Bodeen’s young adult novel The Compound too good to pass up when I stumbled across it a couple weeks … [Read more...]

On God’s Side

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  Jim Wallis’s On God’s Side comes in two parts. In the first, he argues that biblical Christianity involves not only the personal, individual standing of the Christian before God and the individual’s relationship with Christ, but also a deeply communal element that inspires genuine concern for one’s neighbors. In the second, he fleshes out how these sometimes-competing concerns ought to inf luence Christian political thought and engagement. Wallis’s inspiration for the title … [Read more...]

Fandom’s Final Tragedy

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  I was talking with a friend recently, and I decided that her sister’s new boyfriend—who I’ve never met—is a bad person. I only know one thing about him, but it’s enough: he has always lived in Oklahoma, but claims to be a New England Patriots fan. For me, the Super Bowl is a time of reflection. After my team gets eliminated, the NFL playoffs lead me to ponder the meaning of sorrow, loyalty, and loss. This year I’ve been lucky so far: my Denver Broncos are in the Super … [Read more...]

The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography

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  For those who enjoy biographies and love books, what could be better than a good biography... of a great book? The Lives of Great Religious Books series promises many happy hours learning more about old friends and making new acquaintances, from Augustine’s Confessions to Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison, from the book of Genesis, to the Tibetan Book of the Dead. One of the latest books in this series, Alan Jacobs’s biography of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP), … [Read more...]


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