Kierkegaard’s Unrelenting Questions About Faith

Today is the birthday of the Danish Christian philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard (May 5, 1813 to – November, 11 1855). Among those who have heard of him at all, he is known for such classic works as Fear and Trembling and Sickness Unto Death. Over his troubled life Kierkegaard stayed true to his faith, but wrestled incessantly with its most visceral implications. As a result of this torment, he died prematurely, exhausted from the test. He was depressed. His unstable childhood ill-prepared him… Read more

My Struggle with Antidepressants: An Epic Slog

Continuing my series, this Mental Health Awareness month, about my journey to quit antidepressants, this post describes the point when I made the decision to finally be rid of them. A passage from John Milton’s Paradise Lost captures the picture of my relationship with antidepressants at that point, and the struggle to be rid of them: “[You] feel by turns the bitter change; Of fierce extremes, extremes more fierce From beds of raging fire to starve in ice Their soft ethereal… Read more

Before Starting Antidepressants, Please Think Again

The month of May is Mental Health Awareness month and thus is it a good opportunity for me to share what I have learned about antidepressants and how they often frequently worsen the symptoms associated with mental health. You read that right. Many years ago, during a difficult period of my life, I was prescribed by a general practitioner an antidepressant that falls into the category of an SSRI (Selected Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor). From that time until the time I was… Read more

Happy St. George Day! And Who Is Saint George?

April 23 celebrates the date of the martyrdom of St. George, a little-known saint by Americans, but one who, through the centuries, has stood as a shining star among all saints. He is also the patron saint of England. His origins, however, are obscure. George is thought to have been a British soldier who was put to death in April a.d. 303, under Diocletian, though the story’s origins are uncertain. According to the fifth-century Apocryphal Acts of Saint George, he held… Read more

The Brontës’ Grand Hope for the Master Wave of Calm

PBS recently aired an episode called To Walk Invisible, exploring the short, vaulting and tragic lives of the Brontë sisters: Charlotte — author if Jane Eyre; Emily — author of Wuthering Heights; and Anne — author of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. The episode was as gripping as it was despairing, as these talented literary giants languished in a desolate home environment that crushed their spirits and their aspirations. Yet, by means of low whispers and darting glances, they began… Read more

Thoughts That Console Me on Maundy Thursday

The Thursday before Easter Sunday is called Maundy Thursday in some traditions. I have attended many of these services and the feeling of desertion and despair, such as our Lord himself experienced that last night of his life, is always palpable. Entering a dimly-lit sanctuary you would see glowing candles adorning the altar, while all crosses on the altar are shrouded in red linens. As the service would commence the priest might pray, “Mercifully grant that we may receive the… Read more

The City of God v The City of Man

by Wendy Murray Amid the perpetual dissent that arises from President Trump’s many actions and policies, I have been perplexed by some who have appealed to the teachings of Jesus as the reason for standing against him. (This has been especially true in the case of his Executive Order on the status of refugees coming from hostile countries.) Some Christian leaders have gone so far as to say that a person cannot support Donald Trump while calling him or herself… Read more

My Visit with Fred “Mister” Rogers, Part Two (Audio) ~ Television as Holy Ground

By Wendy Murray Continuing my conversation with Fred Rogers on the day we met in his office in October 2000,  I probed him on his desire to go to seminary as part of his preparation for the work he was doing in television. What was behind his desire to study theology? In what way did he see seminary training as germane to the work he was already doing in television? [Listen to Part One of this interview here.] In the… Read more

A Picture of Civic Beauty: Be Kind to One Another

by Wendy Murray A man keeled over and hit the floor hard one morning when I sat in my town’s public library. I wear earplugs when I work there, but even with those, the muffled THUD that I heard somewhere about me caused me to lift my head. There he was, lying in a heap on the floor under the desk at the computer station, his gray hair falling wildly about him. Those of us who saw this from afar… Read more

My Visit with Fred “Mister” Rogers, Part One (Audio) ~ His Family & the Puppets

By Wendy Murray This posting marks the first of what I hope will be ongoing audio portions of actual interviews I’ve conducted with thought leaders and fascinating people over the decades of my career in journalism. In October 2000 I had the opportunity to travel to Pittsburgh to spend a day with Fred “Mister” Rogers and his colleagues for a cover story that appeared in Christianty Today. The project had been a pay-off assignment for me in the aftermath of… Read more

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