February 21, 2021

Episode 7 is here! This episode features a conversation with Dr. Hanni Stoklosa. Hanni is the Executive Director of HEAL Trafficking, an emergency physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) with appointments at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Dr. Stoklosa is an internationally-recognized expert, advocate, researcher, and speaker on the wellbeing of trafficking survivors in the U.S. and internationally through a public health lens. She has advised the United Nations, International Organization for Migration, U.S. Department of… Read more

February 11, 2021

It’s a memorable quote from Shawshank Redemption, one of my favorite movies. The lead character Andy Dufrense (an innocent man who is incarcerated for murdering his wife) is having a dialogue with his friend Red on his plans of spending the rest of his life in coastal Mexico upon his release. Red, unlike his friend Andy, worries about parole; ultimately released when he has very little life left to live. In contrasting perspectives, Red chastises Andy on the dangers of… Read more

January 21, 2021

To celebrate his legacy, another gem from Martin Luther King Junior in Strength to Love, on the measure of one’s character, along with what a true leader is: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others.” Character, like physical structures, is revealed only… Read more

January 13, 2021

A mic drop for universalism, whether or not you’re attracted or revolted by the concept, from David Bentley Hart’s That All Shall be Saved: “The position I want to attempt to argue, therefore, to see how well it holds together is far more extreme: to wit, that, if Christianity is in any way true, Christians not doubt the the salvation of all, and that any understanding of what God accomplished in Christ that does not include the assurance of a… Read more

January 7, 2021

Sagely advice, another classic in the “dichotomy of control” from Marcus Aurelius’ famous Meditations. And after 2020, I couldn’t think of a better quote to ring in the New Year: “Things have no hold on the soul. They stand there unmoving, outside it. Disturbance comes only from within – from our own perceptions” Prior to this sentiment, Marcus writes about our “inward power” and how there is always a choice on how we can respond to adversity “by going within”… Read more

December 22, 2020

Episode 6 is here! This episode features a conversation with Vance Morgan, a fellow Patheos Progressive Christian neighbor. Vance is a Professor of Philosophy at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island, where he has taught for the past twenty-seven years. He is an award-winning teacher and the author of five books, most recently Freelance Christianity: Philosophy, Faith, and the Real World (Cascade Books, 2017) and Prayer for People Who Don’t Believe in God (Wood Lake Press, 2019). In this podcast,… Read more

December 15, 2020

The Canaanite slaughter. Whether or not you’re a Christian fundamentalist or a strident atheist (or far from either), if it hasn’t brought a chill down your spine; you haven’t really thought about it deeply enough. Christian apologists like to ask who are you to judge God or give arguments on the greater good beyond a perceived abhorrent command by God (by taking their lives they were sparred from hell, for example). But how does this jive with the idea of a loving… Read more

December 6, 2020

For those intoxicated by the Why is there something rather than nothing? question, I’m confident they’ll find Jim Holt’s book Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story an outstanding read. Part biographical, part “existential detection story” (book subtitle); it soars on both fronts. In style, it reads very much like Lee Strobel’s Case for Faith, though Holt’s would be more a Case for Agnosticism, but in a good way. Though I differ in his conclusion, the depth of the journey, both… Read more

December 1, 2020

Latin for “unconquered”, I remember hearing these incredible words for first time in the film Invictus, spoken by Nelson Mandela (played by Morgan Freeman). Mandela would reflect upon these words while he was imprisoned. The prose is actually from the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley. It’s worth sharing in its entirety: Out of the night that covers me,       Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be       For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance… Read more

November 25, 2020

It’s one of the most famous heavyweight debates in philosophy of all time on the question of God’s existence, Frederick Copleston (classical theism) vs. Bertrand Russel (atheism) in a 1948 BBC broadcast. Copleston opens up with the cosmological argument (expressed specifically with the argument from contingency): “in order to explain existence, we must come to a Being which contains within itself the reason for its own existence, that is to say, which cannot not exist”. Copleston defines God as the Necessary… Read more

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