May 27, 2013

Trigger warning: abuse, sexual abuse, Sovereign Grace; obscenely verbose and lengthy post The blogosphere has recently erupted with some big news about a neo-Calvinist non-denomination called Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM). Here’s what happened. SGM has been under fire for quite some time as a matter of fact. First, there was a leadership crisis that precipitated a split between its flagship church Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD, and its institutional headquarters. Then, a class action lawsuit was filed about alleged… Read more

May 26, 2013

You could say that Trinity Sunday is a day of curses. Traditionally, after all, it is the day to say the Athanasian Creed, the Quicunque vult, as it’s known in some circles. Here it is in its full English translation, as it is in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer (as in the Episcopal Church’s prayerbook), with all of its anathemas unadulterated: Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith… Read more

May 24, 2013

The blogosphere has been on fire with multiple comments about the tornado that has devastated Moore, Oklahoma. The most notable exchange has been the one initiated by Rachel Held Evans, in response to a tweet by John Piper from the Book of Job attributing the tornado to the sovereignty of God. As the case has been more than adequately covered by the brilliant journalistic talents of Sarah Pulliam Bailey, we’ll save our comments on it for a later post. (I… Read more

May 20, 2013

We just celebrated Pentecost Sunday by pulling out all the Pentecostal musical stops at our Anglican church: I was on piano and I hit a few charismatic chord progressions, i.e. the ones designed to manipulate congregants to raise their hands (old habits die hard, and I don’t feel bad about good music, unfortunately). Because I learned those chords from Pentecostals, I want to give thanks to the Pentecostals who shaped me into the Chinglican I am today. Several years ago… Read more

May 8, 2013

It has become a truism of late that some disaffected evangelicals want to become Catholic because Catholicism has so much more of a robust faith than Protestantism. (A few years ago, Eastern Orthodoxy was a big deal too–arguably still is!) While many more have a more informed account than the hipster one I will provide (I have some smart Catholic convert friends, you see), a typically recent narrative often goes something like this: Unlike the format of rocked-out worship songs… Read more

May 7, 2013

Jesus says in Sunday’s Gospel reading: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid’ (John 14.27). These words are also the preface in most Christian liturgies to the ‘peace,’ the section in the Eucharistic celebration where we greet each other in the name of Christ, reconciling with those whom we have wronged and joining together in love… Read more

May 4, 2013

There is a certain church popping up repeatedly on my news feed advertising a church service that will potentially reach the downtown of the city in which I live. It is an Anglican church, or more precisely put, it is a church that thinks it’s Anglican because it likes liturgy but doesn’t want to become Anglican-extreme, as evidenced by its pastor’s theological blogs on the ‘misconceptions of Anglicanism’ and the ‘dangers of Anglicanism.’ The bottom line of these posts is… Read more

April 9, 2013

I want to write a quick response to Churl’s post yesterday on love in academia.  Like Churl, I too am a doctoral student. Like all doctoral students, my topic is fairly narrow: I study how Chinese Christians engage the public sphere. Like most topics, its narrowness is fairly expansive, encompassing fields I thought I’d never study. Churl thinks that, unlike other people who seem to be doing more public service than him, academic work comes down to love. This is… Read more

April 4, 2013

Qoholet in Ecclesiastes instructs us to let our words be few when making vows to God. When I agreed to this blog, I swore to myself and by myself alone that I would never bring my actual academic work to bear on my comments. The day has come to break that oath, and I am glad that it was not professed as a formal vow.   My friend, Sam, has written quite the rant on a separate blog fulminating against… Read more

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