That Is Very Christian of You


My favorite character on The Big Bang Theory is Sheldon. How to summarize seven seasons of him? He’s a theoretical physicist at Cal-Tech who holds four graduate degrees and started college at age eleven. Spock is one of his heroes. He has trouble detecting sarcasm but has made progress in employing it. He drives the other characters crazy with his arrogance, fussiness, and compulsive need for routine, even though they concede that they probably wouldn’t all be such good friends without … [Read more...]

The Fault in Our Logic

A Fault In Our Stars

  When I was young, I heard many a sermon that was based on math. Pastors would make simple calculations like this: “The time you spend in heaven and hell will be far longer than the time you spend on earth. You should do things that contribute to your ‘eternal bank account’ (i.e. reading Bible, praying) rather than your ‘spiritual bank account’ (i.e. getting good grades, being cool). Live for something greater. For something eternal.” The logic was that whatever is longer is … [Read more...]

Reflecting on Trinity Sunday with St. Augustine

St. Augustine opens his De Trinitate with a forward in which he recounts his efforts to complete this work which was suddenly interrupted by the theft of his incomplete manuscript. At first, Augustine refused to resume his efforts as an act of protest. But after much encouragement from Aurelius, the Bishop of Carthage, he agreed to complete the work on the condition that it contain a preface expressing his concern that the previously stolen work might, due to its incompleteness, not be … [Read more...]

Sherwood Anderson and the Platonic Touch

A couple of weeks ago, Leah Libresco wrote an excellent article suggesting that our society’s neglect of platonic touch is among one of the many things we need to address if we are to reverse the sexualization of contact that dominates our lives today. In lieu of alternative stories and models of interpersonal relationship, the “friend zone” becomes a dead end, an impasse to be overcome if greater intimacy is to be won. She writes: The friendzone is treated as a wasteland not just because … [Read more...]

Ignorance: A Blessing

There are some things that I know with certainty. The sum of two and three is five. All mothers are women. A triangle has three sides. My back hurts. I am currently writing a blog post and trying to think of another example that doesn’t sound too trite. I think most would agree that the degree of certainty which I have about these things is so high that I cannot not know them. On the other hand, there are many things that I cannot know with certainty. Some of these things are fairly … [Read more...]

To Work Is Not Quite to Pray

St. Benedict has often been (mis)quoted as saying, “Labora est Ora”. Or: “To work is to pray”. It is not clear precisely what was meant by this phrase when it first was propagated, but the guiding sentiment seems clear enough: Work - that activity whereby we take up and transform the creation towards some productive end -, can count as an act of worship.   The Christian tradition’s attitude towards work would seem to make such a sentiment attractive. For the Christian … [Read more...]

The Human Mystique


  This fall, more than 200 Christian women met at the American Bible Society in central Manhattan to talk about calling. Hosted by Q Ideas, the one-day event drew women—most between the ages of 25 and 40—to discuss identity, ambition, and work-life balance. Shauna Niequist, one of the speakers and a well-known church leader in the Chicago suburbs, gave a talk titled “What My Mother Taught Me.” Niequist’s mom had spent almost all of her adult life being a pastor’s wife, … [Read more...]