Saving the Samaritan

GoodSamaritan

The namesake of my wife’s parish is the Good Samaritan.  So I have been more alert to that great figure in the teaching of Jesus than I might be otherwise.  Of course, the Samaritan has a proverbial and cross-cultural hold on our minds --- so he commands a bit of attention all on his own.  Along the way, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Samaritan could use some saving.What is striking to me is how little the parable is actually understood.It is not about what we should do.It’s about … [Read more...]

Ragged endings and hope-shaped lives

Hope

When I was a teenager I loved reading biographies.  (I still do in fact, but I have much less time to devote to it.)One of the things that fascinated me was the way in which people died.  It was probably a precocious neurosis, but in looking back on it, I think my preoccupation with the way people’s lives ended was also rooted in something for which we all long: for our lives to make sense, to mean something, to end logically, to finish in a way shaped by the same life-long dreams and con … [Read more...]

Wasted Words: Orthodoxy

Orthodoxy

Orthodoxy has become a dirty word.  It is treated as a synonym for “narrow,” “unthinking,” “uncharitable,” “mean-spirited,” “backward,” and “benighted.”But at root, orthodoxy is not about labeling things right for the sake of labeling them --- much less labeling other things “wrong.”It’s about accountability to something and --- even more importantly Someone beyond us.A wooden orthodoxy that needs “right belief” as a substitute for that Someone is misguided.  But a spiritual orientation tha … [Read more...]


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