Social Sin: Who’s Responsible?

Is it possible to take sin seriously when all of one’s collective responsibilities are understood in terms of protecting the individual right to define one’s own responsibilities? I’ve heard it said that one of the great advances in Christian reflection over the 20th century has been the “discovery” of social sin. Consider, for instance, Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous interpretation of Luke 10: On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life's roadside; but that will be only an … [Read more...]

A Brief Theology of Coffee

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 The season of Lent has come, and I’ve spent the past weeks watching my more liturgical friends drop off Facebook and refuse beers, chocolate, and Netflix references. This season leaves me feeling guilty, not so much because I’m not giving up anything for Lent, but because I didn’t remember that it was Lent until I saw a friend post “Ash Wednesday” on Facebook. My spiritual calendar has been reduced to social media posts, which I now feel guilty about reading anyway.To cover this gui … [Read more...]

The Language of Narrative and the Recovery of Metanarrative: Part Two

What is truth? This, of course, is an ancient question.  Pilate’s response to Jesus doesn’t present us with an isolated instance of a doubtful mind, but rather it unearths the perennial condition of Man’s mind.  We are creatures capable of introducing doubt into any system of thought.  As a result, our late-modern culture may be accurately described as a culture that has embraced the idea that because everything can be doubted, nothing can be known.  This characterization of our culture began to … [Read more...]

The Language of Narrative and the Recovery of Metanarrative: Part One

In the closing chapter of C.S. Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet, (the story of Dr. Ransom’s adventure in Mars) the narrator explains that it was Dr. Ransom's idea, instead of publicizing this adventure in terms of fact, to relate it in the form of fiction: "It was Dr. Ransom who first saw that our only chance was to publish in the form of fiction what would certainly not be listened to as fact."The narrator goes on to quote Dr. Ransom: "...what we need for the moment is not so much a body of … [Read more...]

Virtuous Exemplars

My grandparents provided me with powerful examples of virtue which I would not have had had I grown up away from them.I was twelve years old the first time that I noticed that something about Granny seemed amiss. She and Gramps (my grandfather) had come over for dinner and were enjoying the pre-dinner appetizers that my mother had laid out in the living room. Granny allowed herself to be given a glass of wine before dinner, and had been sipping it for about half an hour when my mother … [Read more...]

Son of God

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 There is something of a vicious cycle in the world of Christian films. Pious people want to make a movie, but lack the necessary funds and skills. Undeterred, they make a movie anyway and rely on their message to make up for the lack of polish in other areas. So, most Christian films wind up cheaply produced, amateurish, and preachy. This in turn scares off others who might have the necessary technical know-how from even considering taking part in such productions. Son of God, the … [Read more...]

In Defense of Distrusting Chickens

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 Not too long ago I was approached by a gentleman who had read something about my farm in a brochure. He was concerned, he told me. Concerned that my attitude towards my livestock was “overly anthropomorphic”. He didn’t like that I named my pigs, or spoke to my sheep about the weather, or talked about my chickens as though they were in the business of forming conspiracies against the rest of the barnyard. Perhaps, he told me, there was no harm done, since I certainly must know better tha … [Read more...]


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