Sand in the Gears

Archive for the ‘Theology’ Category

Light in Darkness

Saturday, December 27th, 2014 Posted in Faith and Life, Theology | Comments Off

It feels almost unseemly, hurling another post at you so soon after the last, given my long absence before. Think of me as the gregarious but wayward uncle, come to inhabit your kitchen for the Christmas season. He'll likely take ...

The obscured man

Thursday, December 12th, 2013 Posted in The Sermons, Theology | 31 Comments »

This is not a comment about the reasoning of a Slate essayist, who wrote recently that the white Santa is outdated. This is not a comment about the Fox News talking head who took umbrage, asserting that not only Santa, ...

Gentle disagreement

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013 Posted in Theology | 1 Comment »

I've been wrestling for weeks with how to be at peace with fellow Christians who also happen to be harmfully heretical (and popular) teachers. On the one hand, we're all supposed to love one another and get along. On the ...

White ashes

Thursday, March 21st, 2013 Posted in Theology | 20 Comments »

Last I checked there were 36,000 mentions of Jimmy Fallon in the news, and 8,820 of Kermit Gosnell. It's understandable if you haven't heard of Gosnell. He's a Philadelphia abortionist on trial for, among other things, murdering newborns by snipping their ...

On false compassion

Monday, March 4th, 2013 Posted in Theology | 7 Comments »

The challenge when debating a liberal Christian is that he is bound by neither Scripture nor tradition but sentiment. He is therefore free to embrace both sin and sinner, and thereby appear more loving, more magnanimous, than his opponents. This magnanimity ...

The scandal of the evangelical intellectual’s mind

Thursday, February 21st, 2013 Posted in Theology | 1 Comment »

A reasonable response to the accusation that the evangelical mind is insufficiently expansive is to ask to what dimensions its critics would like to see it expanded. That question springs to the lips when considering Biblical scholar Peter Enns's contention ...

More on the little pope of Mars Hill

Thursday, September 13th, 2012 Posted in Theology | 1 Comment »

Those of you who read my recent post about Mark Driscoll's revisionist history of Esther might appreciate thoughts offered by Rachel Held Evans, who also promises to devote the next few Mondays to her own exegesis of that book: "To compare forced ...

The Christianity of Chris

Thursday, February 16th, 2012 Posted in The Artful Life, Theology | 4 Comments »

This is not one of those reflections on the death of Christopher Hitchens, in which the writer labors to bolt his meager little meteor to that man's literary supernova. I've read enough of those to make me retch, if not ...

Active love

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 Posted in Theology | Comments Off

Kansas City writer Vern Barnet on incarnational love: "But perhaps an even greater miracle occurs when human selfishness is transmuted into service to others, when one’s own suffering is embraced as the fee for saving others, when Christmas is not just ...

Careful what you pray for

Monday, December 20th, 2010 Posted in The Artful Life, Theology | 1 Comment »

“You that cry out so loud for right and justice, Do you mean justice? deed and word and thought Judges in yourselves by one eternal measure Of absolute and incorruptible right? I do not think so. When you call for justice You would make God ...

Christmas idols

Friday, December 10th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 6 Comments »

An interesting question for my friends who hold that icons are idols: "But why object to icons in church as idolatry if every December you put up your little Chrismass idols in your house or on your front lawn?" Read the rest ...

Pakistani justice

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 1 Comment »

Word is that the Pakistani president will pardon a Christian woman beaten, raped, and accused of blasphemy by a Muslim mob, but it's not yet official. Fundamentalist thugs there are calling for her murder if she's released from prison.

Bases covered

Sunday, November 21st, 2010 Posted in Theology | 1 Comment »

HT: Trent S.

Custom-built Pakistani frame

Sunday, November 21st, 2010 Posted in Theology | Comments Off

A Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan for allegedly saying some unkind things about the thin-skinned Mohammed is awaiting clemency from the country's president. Missing from virtually every bit of news coverage is her claim, in this article, that in ...

A theology of quitting

Friday, November 19th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 1 Comment »

Some of you may appreciate my essay on how modern theology has distorted a right view of vocation, in the latest edition of WORLD magazine. Here's an excerpt: "Christian leaders before our modern age of fatty, bureaucratic organizations considered these two ...

Religious freedom

Thursday, November 18th, 2010 Posted in Theology | Comments Off

This report from Hillary Clinton's team, condemning violence against Christians in Iraq (see that section, with links to the full report, here), is encouraging and laudable. At the same time, it seeks to thread a needle that is very narrow indeed, ...


Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 2 Comments »

Father Stephen Freeman, of Tennessee, writes about the importance of fasting as Orthodox Christians enter the Nativity Fast. His thoughts are useful for anyone, however, who wants to understand the value of fasting to the Christian. An excerpt: "If we fast ...


Thursday, November 11th, 2010 Posted in Theology | Comments Off

The religion of peace distinguishes itself further in Pakistan, as a Catholic mother awaits execution.

Yeah, there’s bombs and beheadings and stuff, but it’s a religion of peace

Monday, November 8th, 2010 Posted in Theology | Comments Off

The foreign policy academic arguing at CBS News that Islam is being unfairly caricatured as a violence-promoting religion ended one of his sentences too early for my taste (something he's not guilty of throughout the rest of the article, trust ...

Be ye exactly like the world, but not so icky

Sunday, November 7th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 3 Comments »

Please tell me this is a parody.

Heart versus head

Saturday, November 6th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 2 Comments »

Some of you may appreciate my latest WORLD post, contrasting intellectual theology with compassion, and based on a book I have been drinking in, The Mountain of Silence. An excerpt from my post, which is largely an excerpt from the ...

Christian vs Catholic

Monday, November 1st, 2010 Posted in Theology | 5 Comments »

Alan Myers addresses something that sets my teeth on edge: the occasional juxtaposition by Protestants of "Christian" with "Catholic," as if the two are mutually exclusive: "'. . . it is at best ignorant and at worst unChristlike bigotry to ask, ...

The devil is boring

Friday, October 22nd, 2010 Posted in Theology | 1 Comment »

Touchstone Senior Editor Russell Moore on the need to banish boring preaching: "For the sake of your congregation, limit your television and stop surfing the Internet for hours on end. Read some good fiction and some poetry, and listen to stories ...

Read the fine print, dear

Thursday, October 21st, 2010 Posted in Theology | 1 Comment »

Another charming feature of the religion of peace. Perhaps this should be required reading for women entertaining the notion of converting.

Culture’s catechism

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 Posted in Theology | Comments Off

Archbishop Chaput of Denver on the subtle catechesis of culture: "Our culture is doing catechesis every day. It works like water dripping on a stone, eroding people’s moral and religious sensibilities, and leaving a hole where their convictions used to be. Haugaard’s ...

Would you, could you, eat apostasy?

Monday, October 18th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 1 Comment »

I think the best part of Joe Carter's post over at First Things, about an Episcopalian "Seusscharist" (that's right, a Dr. Seuss-themed "Eucharist"), are the first two responses in the comments section.

Speaking of icons

Sunday, October 17th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 1 Comment »

Ignorant as I am, I didn't realize when I put up the last post that this is the day when the Church celebrates the fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, the last great Church council, where iconography was embraced as ...


Sunday, October 17th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 2 Comments »

For those of you totally geeked out on Eastern Orthodox Christianity (and you know who you are), occasional SitG commenter Adam DeVille has a site just for you. An excerpt from my favorite book review so far: "The Basilians are sometimes ...

Christian machismo

Saturday, October 16th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 4 Comments »

Some of you may like my latest post at WORLD, "Tough-guy Christianity." An excerpt: ". . . there’s little I trust less than a gathering of blustering, pontificating, macho men ready to kick the devil’s rear end and take back the ...

Literary whistling past the graveyard

Saturday, October 16th, 2010 Posted in The Artful Life, Theology | Comments Off

"And yet, one does suspect that the 'oblivion' of some intentionally obfuscating postmodern prose is often simply a form of linguistic procrastination, a concentrated refusal to consider the Nietzschean consequences of rejecting the Christian order." From Matthew Milliner's essay, "A Tale ...