Does Anyone Else Pray for Fictional Characters?

In a Catholic Mass, the whole ritual is subdivided into two basic parts: the Liturgy of the Word (where we read parts of the Old and New Testaments) and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, where Christ offers us his Body and Blood.  During the hinge point, where we move from one part to the other, is a section called named the General Intercessions or Prayers of the Faithful where someone will read out a list of prayer intentions for the congregation.I don't quite zone out during this section, but … [Read more...]

7 Les Mis Takes (1/18/13)

--- 1 --- With my Javert medley of posts and the First Things essay on justice of yesterday, I may have exhausted (for the next few days at least) my Les Mis blogging, but, luckily, I've got the whole internet to draw on for this week's Les Mis clipshow.And I have to start with the Les Fiscal Miserables tumblr, which greatly lightened my heart during the fiscal cliff negotiations.  I am totally picking two of my favorites to embed:   --- 2 --- Friend of the blog Y … [Read more...]

What Do We Owe All the Valjeans?

Since Les Mis seems to prompt endless reprises on this blog, you won't be surprised to find I'm over at First Things today talking about Valjean, Javert, and what we owe to the prisoners in our criminal justice system. When Jean Valjean appears for the first time in the stage musical Les Misérables, he is in the process of being paroled, and he is in an argument with his former jailer. When Inspector Javert barks out “You are a thief,” Valjean replies, “I stole a loaf of bread.” For Valjean, his … [Read more...]

God and the Moral Law in Mormonism

After I wrote a review of The God Who Weeps, a book about Mormonism, I told Mormon readers to feel welcome to guest post to answer some of my questions or to add some clarifications.  (Oh, and meanwhile, Joanne McPortland has also written a review talking about the similarities between Mormonism and Gnosticism).   Over here chez moi, Carl Cranney has stepped up to the challenge. Here's how he introduces himself:Carl Cranney is a Mormon, yet is a PhD student in systematic theology at the C … [Read more...]

Cultivating Curiosity [Index]

Back in September, Bob Seidensticker of the Atheist channel took on a challenge to try 40 days of prayer, and he asked some of the Christian Patheosi what we thought he needed to do to give it a fair shot.  While other people talked about thankfulness and humility, I kinda ended up talking about Live Action Roleplaying (LARPing).  But seriously, I find this approach helpful for considering ideas and worldviews I disagree with, and short circuiting antagonistic feelings that may keep me from lo … [Read more...]

You’ve Already Got Your Quest-Object!

 One theme I didn't get to touch on in my discussion of Gary Thomas's The Sacred Search yesterday is his attack on the idea of a soulmate, one specific person that you are destined to be with.  (I have to note that xkcd, and Tim Minchin have very funny riffs on this idea).  Thomas says a lot of our rhetoric on this topic draws heavily on a speech near the end of Plato's Symposium, which is adeptly glossed in Hedwig and the Angry Inch below:So, in this telling, we're all on an … [Read more...]

An Outward-Oriented Marriage

I received a free review copy of The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas as part of the Patheos Book Club.At a recent lecture, the speaker explained the difference between apologetics and theology.  In apologetics, you are writing for the unconverted, so you have to make sure to explain your reasoning and make an aggressive case.  In theology, you're writing for people who share the basic tenets of your faith, so you can skip over the background and just plunge deeply into your tradition.  Although … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X