December 17, 2021

Turns out books are controversial again. Some states are banning them. Amazon is doing likewise, but for different reasons. Just yesterday, a pastor-theologian type was hung out to dry for including a broadly acclaimed history book in his Top 10 List that – it would seem – the censors themselves haven’t read. It’s all madness. Into the madness, I submit my top 10 books of 2021. They are listed in no particular order. Malcolm Guite, Lifting the Veil: Imagination and... Read more

November 10, 2021

Is it possible to be committed to The Church if you’re not committed to a church? — Kevin Antlitz (@KevinAntlitz) November 5, 2021 This was a question I posed on Twitter last week and I was shocked at the response. It definitely struck a chord. Upon reflection, I suppose it makes sense that people have strong opinions about this, given the rise of the Nones as well as the prevalence of abuse in churches. Of course, this is not to... Read more

November 8, 2021

Visionings is a series that explores sight and seeing. Recap This is the third piece focused on icons. In the first, I offered a general introduction to icons. The last one was a guide to praying through them. In this piece, I am highlighting the work of a remarkable contemporary iconographer named Khrystyna Kvyk with an interview. Introduction Khrystyna Kvyk (1994 – ) is a Ukrainian iconographer. She is part of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, a church that maintains the... Read more

October 8, 2021

  Visionings is a series that explores sight and seeing. A Recap In the last piece, I offered a general introduction to icons. This will be a more practical guide to praying with icons. The next will highlight the work of a current iconographer, Khrystyna Kvyk, whose work I’ve come to know and appreciate over the past year. The image above is her icon “I am the light of the world.” As we learn how to pray through icons, I... Read more

September 22, 2021

Visionings is a series that explores sight and seeing. In the first installment, we considered the relationship between seeing and compassion. In the second installment, we will consider how religious iconography helps us to see God. This claim, that icons help us to see God, may seem strange to us in the West but is absolutely central to the Eastern Church. I’ll be making the case over the next few pieces. The first will be a general introduction to icons.... Read more

July 16, 2021

Visionings is a series that explores sight and seeing. In the first installment, we consider the relationship of seeing and compassion. Part 1 is called Whale Eyes. The title is taken directly from the title of a New York Times video essay: How My Life Looks Through My ‘Whale Eyes’. What I want to do is provide some commentary on the video essay in order to frame one way in which you can see it. Watching the essay is a... Read more

July 3, 2021

In his famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Frederick Douglass reflects on  how the peals of church bells and cries of jubilation commemorating this great nation’s birthday lands on the ears of the two Americas. The two Americas, of course, are White America and Black America. The riches of justice and freedom that this day commemorates are the inheritance of White Americans, not Black Americans. “The sunlight that brought life and healing to you,” Douglass... Read more

January 27, 2021

Yesterday there were less, tomorrow there will be more. How does one make sense of hundreds of thousands of untimely deaths? The answer is: I’m not sure one does. If you’re like me, it can be difficult to actually get a sense of the human toll this pandemic is taking. It’s easy to feel numb to the tragedy and loss. To fight this, I have found Malcolm Guite’s “Quarantine Quatrains” a faithful guide for processing and praying through this long... Read more

January 20, 2021

  The first world war, boys it came and it went the reason for fighting I never did get but I learned to accept it accept it with pride for you don’t count the dead when God’s on your side In one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs, the great poet describes the perennial American pattern of always assuming God is on our side. More American than apple pie, this is. In a not-so-subtle way, he traces this absurd pattern... Read more

June 4, 2020

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall... Read more

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