Joel J. Miller is the author of Bad Trip, Size Matters, and The Revolutionary Paul Revere. His writing has been featured in The American Spectator, Reason, and elsewhere. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and two children.

It’s the little sins that kill you

Judas Iscariot didn't begin with betrayal in mind, and David didn't intend adultery and murder. But then one day they sat alone, their minds consumed with guilt and recrimination, the deeds done.How? Judas was one of the twelve. David was a man after God's own heart. What went wrong? The question is important if we want to avoid our own personal and spiritual disasters.One thing I know: It's not the exotic sins that get us. We're mastered by the moral failures we've already made mundane … [Read more...]

St. Nick’s best gift

The memory of few saints is as cherished as that of St. Nicholas. Known as Nicholas the Wonderworker, he is remembered in the church on December 6 and closely associated with the Christmas season.While the legends around this humble bishop have swollen beyond recognition, the popular picture of the jolly fat man circling the globe dropping gifts to worthy children has some slender basis in fact.According to the tradition of the church, Nicholas was born at the end of the third century to … [Read more...]

Let the Bible elevate your mind

There's a conversation running right now on the relative value of certain Bible translations.Depending on who's talking and for what purpose, it might strike some as tedious. I happen to enjoy the discussion, and I think there's one strain that's worthy of consideration for those interested in how language might affect their spirituality.In discussing the recent republication of the Knox Bible, a mid-twentieth century translation, Michael Brendan Dougherty mentions one "fatal" flaw, the … [Read more...]

Following Philip and Andrew following Christ

Today the Orthodox church commemorates Jesus' first disciple, Andrew, a celebration that follows by two weeks the commemoration of his fellow disciple Philip.The stories of both men are captured in the first chapter of John's gospel, and I think the pair has something to teach us this Advent season.We first encounter Andrew standing with John the Baptist. It was the day after Christ's baptism in the Jordan and Jesus passed by the two men and another of the Baptists's disciples. … [Read more...]

Pro-life activist Chen Guangcheng named ‘rebel of the year’

While the gentlemen's glossy is best known for featuring models and celebrities draped in high-priced clothes and others draped in barely anything, the current edition of GQ has taken the surprising move of naming Chinese antiabortion activist Chen Guangcheng "Rebel of the Year" for 2012.While perhaps more symbolic than substantive, symbols are important. For decades the pro-life cause has seemed terminally unfashionable. But now there's Chen, the blind man who stood down an entire … [Read more...]

Forget your legacy, just do the right thing

My wife and I spent part of Tuesday in Atlanta with Alveda King, the daughter of A.D. King and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.During our time there we visited Ebenezer Baptist Church, which has now been carefully restored to its appearance during the civil-rights struggles of the 1960s. Following that, we walked down the street to the birth home of the King brothers.As we toured the building with Alveda and her daughter, a docent told us stories about the boys growing up: what … [Read more...]

Don’t ask God for justice

When we are wronged, do we ask God for justice? Maybe we should reconsider that impulse.After descending the mountain of the Transfiguration, Jesus sent some messengers to a village to prepare for his arrival. The villagers, however, did not want Jesus around and told the messengers to, in so many words, beat it.Jesus' disciples, James and John, were indignant."Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?" they asked.You can imagine their outrage. … [Read more...]