Life Does Not Mean What I Thought It Means (Because I Have Never Watched Princess Bride)

©1987 20th Century Fox

I have received a great deal of criticism (and lost a lot of credibility) since I first acknowledged Tuesday that I have never watched Princess Bride. It was during a break in a discussion on Hegel. I tried to explain that I prefer wholesome family comedies like The Godfather trilogy. Even so, since my acknowledgment, all kinds of people have been alluding to the movie. Perhaps they have always been alluding to it, but I was just not aware.A philosophically minded friend named Eric wrote in … [Read more...]

Gluten Free—No Laughing Matter

For some, going “gluten free” is hip. For others, it affects the size of their hips and the state of their health. Regarding the latter group, “gluten free” is no cool thing or laughing matter, even though many discount it as a fad or make fun of those with such dietary restrictions.“Gluten free” can function as a fad, which reduces it to an object of humor for some people. Consider Jimmy Kimmel’s comparison of gluten to Satanism for people in Los Angeles and his show’s brief feature of pedes … [Read more...]

Mandate Vaccinations for Poor Communication and Fear of the Unknown

©2009 El Alvi, Creative Commons

Key to public health is healthy communication. Constant communication helps dispel fears. Lack of communication and knowledge lead to mistrust. It is important to answer objections in clear, patient terms on a consistent basis.A topic requiring consistent communication is vaccinations. As the measles outbreak grows, the majority of Americans want parents to be obligated to vaccinate their healthy children from preventable diseases, according to a recent poll (See here). But what do you do … [Read more...]

Fire Fighting and Religious Conflicts

©2007 Bureau of Land Management

Sometimes you need to put out a fire. Sometimes you need to start one.I am overseeing a doctor of ministry track that engages conflict and resolution. All too often, people think the key to conflict is to avoid it. While there are some conflict situations that one should avoid, like a charging bull or out-of-control car, many other conflicts require that we address them head-on. In fact, there are times when we should start the conflict.Take forest fires, for example. Sometimes fire … [Read more...]

“Blessed are the pure in heart”—not the double-minded and those with cloudy vision

©2012 Creative Commons

I still remember a friend of my Mother asking her, “What has happened to Paul?” I was a high school student at the time; she said that my eyes had become dark. I had cloudy vision. My eyes were a reflection of the conflicted state of my soul during that troubling season in my life. Perhaps you have heard the expression, “The eye is the window to the soul.” Jesus said as much, as have some scientists.In Matthew 6, Jesus declares, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, yo … [Read more...]

Don’t Be Indifferent to Religious Persecution. Make a Multi-Faith Difference at Lent.

©2015 John Ragai

By Paul Louis Metzger and John W. MoreheadScores of people “celebrated” the beginning of Lent yesterday with an observance of Ash Wednesday. Lent is a time when many Christians give up consumer comforts like chocolate or coffee. Pope Francis encouraged Christians to go beyond renouncing such comforts to fast from indifference toward others. The Pope spoke of indifference as a global problem: “As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I don’t think about those less well off. Today, t … [Read more...]

Valentine’s Day and Fifty Shades of Love


Author's note: The movie "Fifty Shades of Grey" has been strongly critiqued for its portrayal of an emotionally and physically abusive relationship. This should be duly noted. See for example the review in Relevant Magazine. In no way do I wish to endorse such abuse, but am referencing the movie as an illustration of our culture's obsession with various novel notions of love and romance.Movie theaters and retailers of various kinds are cashing in on people’s fascination with the film Fifty Sh … [Read more...]