Post-Ascension to the Presidency: Why All the Uproar?

The rain fell at the inauguration of U.S. President Donald J. Trump. Supporters and critics interpreted the rainfall differently: the former as a good omen and the latter as a bad omen (Refer here and here). While not quite the occasion of a downpour, the event did lead to an ensuing uproar. In addition to the strong differences of opinion over the symbolic import of the weather, debate also raged over the size of the crowds in Washington, D.C. during… Read more

After Politics, How Much Emotional Space Is Left?

Michael Wear was President Obama’s director of his 2012 faith-outreach efforts. He is also a theologically conservative evangelical Christian. Some people might find that non-partisan placement a bit odd or problematic. Wear remarked in a recent interview with The Atlantic: One of the things I found at the White House and since I left is this class of people who aren’t driving the political decisions right now, and have significant forces against them, but who are not satisfied with the political… Read more

Jesus Is the Ultimate Humanist

“Humanism” is a dirty word in some Christian circles. It is often associated with secular humanism, which connotes humans liberated from the stifling constraints of religion and enslaving concepts of deity. The irony is that theologians like John Calvin for whom God was sovereignly involved in the affairs of humanity was a Christian humanist. He was critical of received traditions and went back to the original languages and sources for his arguments. Moreover, he affirmed humans as created in the… Read more

Pre-Inauguration: We Need to Move On—But How?

Americans are divided into several camps as a nation over Mr. Trump’s election victory, including those who are ecstatic, those who equivocate, those who have extricated themselves from the political process entirely, and those who are enraged. For some, moving forward involves making good on the best situation. For others, it involves making the best of a less than ideal situation. For still others, it involves getting by regardless and whatever the political situation. And finally, there are many who… Read more

When Jesus Returns, Will He Find Faith or Technology?

When Jesus returns to earth, will he find faith? Perhaps not, but he may find technology. I thought about this topic while listening to an interview where Martin Scorsese discusses his new movie Silence, his own personal story, and faith. Refer here for the interview. The film is based on Shusaku Endo’s book by the same title (I recently wrote about the movie in a post titled “Apostasy: Would You Ever Renounce Your Faith? Reflections on the Movie ‘Silence’”). The… Read more

Jesus Is Like a Rich Oriental Tapestry—Marvel at His Pattern

Many Christians celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord as well as his Baptism today. There is so much to marvel at when considering Jesus’ worth and these two events. Technically speaking, the Feast of Epiphany falls on January 6th, the twelfth day of Christmas. And yet, as a few articles referenced in this blog post point out, some churches move the celebration to the closest Sunday (today—January 8th). Epiphany marks the occasion of the manifestation of God’s Son who became… Read more

Apostasy: Would You Ever Renounce Your Faith? Reflections on the Film “Silence”

Have you ever experienced such trauma in your faith that you were tempted to renounce Jesus? Have you ever wondered what it might be like for Christians undergoing severe persecution in other countries, and how they might remain resilient? What if God does not rescue them, but is silent? The newly released movie Silence raised such questions for me. Based on the book Silence (Chinmoku) by Shusaku Endo, Martin Scorsese’s film version chronicles the journey of two Portuguese Jesuit missionaries… Read more

You Get One Shot at Life. Invest Well this Year.

This is not an NRA ad advocating for more ammunition, or a stock broker commercial telling you how to invest your money. It is rather a reflection following a funeral service. What a bummer in the new year! Actually, a funeral can be a rather life-affirming rather than morbid thing to consider. Funerals, like weddings, offer us opportunities to reinvest in life and relationships with renewed vigor and purpose. Such was the case with my friend Clark Blakeman’s funeral service… Read more

Mother Mary Stands at the Crossroads of the New Year

It is fitting that the Church celebrates Mary, the Mother of Jesus, on January 1st. While Catholics and Protestants have been divided over the significance of Mary for the Church’s life, she can and does serve as a point of connection, and not simply between the old and new year. I will develop this theme of connection in what follows. Today, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, which involves honoring her as “the Holy Mother of God” (Refer… Read more

Which Will It Be on New Year’s Eve and Day—Foolish Feasting or Joyful Solemnity?

No doubt, there will be a great deal of foolish behavior on display tonight as people welcome in the New Year. For others, a joyful solemnity will mark the occasion, as people prepare for the first Sunday of 2017. For some, the solemnity includes remembrance of Jesus’ circumcision. In the church calendar, obedience marks tomorrow, as various Christian communities celebrate The Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord. The biblical background for the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord… Read more

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