This is the second installment of a series on the great hymns of Advent. To learn more about Advent, read my previous post: On Advent: What It Is & Why You Need It. The first installment on the hymns of Advent can be read here: O Come, O Come Emmanuel. “A Hymn of Advent” by Matt Scott from Poets and Saints (2013) Israel long awaits the promised king She will find, find in him her liberty When he comes, he will… Read more

This is the first installment of a series on the great hymns of Advent. To learn more about Advent, read my previous post: On Advent: What It Is & Why You Need It. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” by Sufjan Stevens from Songs for Christmas (2006) O come, O come, Emmanuel And ransom captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer… Read more

Check out these great Advent resources. Please buy from my links to Amazon and help support the Transcendentalish blog. Enter promo code HOLIDAY30 and you’ll get 30% off any one book.  The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper This brand new daily Advent devotional walks you through a biblical text and brief exposition by John Piper. God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas by Dietrich Bonhoeffer a daily devotional compiled from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s letters and other… Read more

Each year, the season of Advent commences on the fourth Sunday before December 25. Unlike the Gregorian Calendar (the calendar most of the world observes), the Church year or liturgical year begins not on January 1 but on Advent Sunday. It is no accident that the Christian year begins with Advent. This season frames how we ought to view God, ourselves, and the entire arc of human history…. not a bad reminder for the start of each new year. The… Read more

Spoiler alert (or should I say plot revealer?). If you don’t 1) already know what “Calvary” means and/or 2) don’t want to know some revealing details about the plot, read no further. As I said, this review is a bit of a spoiler – but no more than the title itself. If you know anything about what “Calvary” means, you’ll know how the film must end. Calvary is – get ready for it – the Anglicized version of the Latin… Read more

Academic work, for the modern imagination, is often dominated by the idea that school is but a stepping stone to the next best thing. This is the rat race: One goes to the best pre-K in order to get into the best kindergarten. One goes to the best elementary school to get into the best middle school. One goes to the best middle school to get to the best high school. One goes to the best high school to get… Read more

Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s newest film, may be duly described as spectacular. The film was released in the summer of 2014 and stars Ellar Coltrane (as Mason), Ethan Hawke (as Mason Sr.), Patricia Arquette (as Olivia, Mason’s mom) and Lorelei Linklater (as Samantha, Mason’s sister). If it fails to win Best Picture at the Oscars, I shall consider moving to Canada… or at least to Austin where I could perhaps bunk up in one of the many guesthouses on Linklater’s nearly 40-acre… Read more

For part three of the series on Science and Religion (Go here to review Part One and Part Two), we will explore reality in se and then take a look at various perspectives on reality, which include idealism, realism/critical realism. It’s helpful to recall that when talking about knowing reality, we are dancing on the floor of epistemology. Again, epistemology is the theory of knowledge or the philosophical line of questioning about knowledge and belief. Epistemology asks: How do we… Read more

In anticipation of the release of Lila, her latest novel, in early autumn (available for pre-order now!), I am taking a brief break from the series on science and religion to write an ode to Marilynne Robinson’s Pulitzer prize winning novel Gilead. I’ve read this beauty of a novel four times in the past three years and had the privilege of teaching through it thrice while adjuncting at Gordon College. It gets better with every read – one of the… Read more

In Part 1 on this series on the relationship of science and religion, I tried to debunk Richard Dawkin’s assertion that faith is belief in a thing without evidence and in the face of contrary evidence by unpacking the very bible verses he alludes to. If you are interested in reading this, click here: Science and Religion Part One.  In the next two posts, I hope to begin making the case for the leveling of the playing field between scientific… Read more

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