Sand in the Gears

Archive for the ‘Theology’ Category

Light in Darkness

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

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This is not a comment about the reasoning of a Slate essayist, who wrote recently that the white Santa is outdated.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 ...

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 Curmudgeonry, 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Without

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 ...

Civic religion

Monday, October 11th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 2 Comments »

Seton Hall history professor William Connell offers an informative defense of Columbus Day: "The holiday marks the event, not the person. What Columbus gets criticized for nowadays are attitudes that were typical of the European sailing captains and merchants who plied ...

On what we know, don’t know, and think we know

Thursday, September 30th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 10 Comments »

I suspect the reality about American religious knowledge is actually better and worse than the results indicate. The internet is crackling with a minor fire about the results of a Pew survey which, as many news outlets put it, indicates ...

Pentecost

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010 Posted in Theology | Comments Off on Pentecost

"For they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, 'Whatever could this mean?' . . . Then Peter said to them, 'Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission ...

On Christian sentimentality

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 Posted in The Artful Life, Theology | Comments Off on On Christian sentimentality

"Disentangling beauty from sentimentality is unlikely to be accomplished until it is recognized that evil (as with God's saving grace) cannot be accommodated within systems that seek to 'make sense' of all things within closed cosmological and metaphysical systems... In a ...

On the excommunication of a child

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 Posted in Faith and Life, Theology | 24 Comments »

I remember, the day they told us our three year-old daughter would die, sitting on her hospital bed, Celeste and I together, holding her and weeping. We never really knew despair, I don’t think, until that day. We held Caroline ...

The missing third

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 Posted in Faith and Life, Theology | Comments Off on The missing third

Inevitably, in secularized society, after some particularly heinous butchery there is the news article that might be titled: "Searching for Answers." In this article the reporter speculates on what might have gone wrong in those two-thirds of the murderer -- ...

On the facilitation of murder

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 Posted in Faith and Life, Theology | 6 Comments »

Reading Bruce Falconer's article in last month's Atlantic, about Swiss suicide facilitator Ludwig Manelli, I was struck by a husband's repeated employment of animal metaphors to justify his wife's poisoning. "You wouldn't leave your dog on the kitchen floor when it can't ...

Blood and mystery

Monday, April 26th, 2010 Posted in Faith and Life, Theology | 7 Comments »

One of G.K. Chesterton's arguments in Everlasting Man is that the ancient pagans never really revered their petty gods and spirits and magical tree stumps nearly as much as the modern humanist, overflowing with tolerance and reverence for any belief ...

The risen King is love

Sunday, April 4th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 4 Comments »

Leave it to John Piper to devise an Easter message without using the word love. It's from 1983, and to his credit by 2009 he comes up with an Easter sermon that does use the word, though not applied to ...

Deeper than we know

Sunday, March 21st, 2010 Posted in Theology | 5 Comments »

"The Father turns His face away. . .", goes the song. How comforting, then, to read in the 21st Psalm (22nd in the Protestant Bible): Nor has He turned away His face from me; And when I cried out to Him, He ...

Following

Friday, March 12th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 3 Comments »

Christian Radio Pirate derives the new Christianity from a sampling of seeker-friendly churches: "Christ Follower: Someone who has made the decision to be an emotionally well adjusted self-actualized risk taking leader who knows his purpose, lives a 'no regrets' life of ...

Barring the doors

Thursday, March 11th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting, Theology | 11 Comments »

In Colorado, a Catholic school has refused readmission to the children of two lesbian parents. "Parents living in open discord with Catholic teaching in areas of faith and morals unfortunately choose by their actions to disqualify their children from enrollment," ...

The weeping Christ

Thursday, March 4th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 2 Comments »

From David Bentley Hart's First Things article, "Tsunami and Theodicy," rightly called once again to our attention, in light of recent disasters, by Civitate: "I do not believe we Christians are obliged -- or even allowed -- to look upon the ...

Because the Church has a history between Acts and 1536

Thursday, February 25th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 8 Comments »

“But what proof is there that we have a right belief in God, that we have a trustworthy and devout understanding of Him? It is that we confess the same faith as our God-bearing Fathers." (St. Gregory Palamas, Homily On Faith- Delivered ...

Image

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

"Conversion is a return to nature, from what is contrary to nature to what is proper to it."  (St. John Damascene)

Hospital, not courtroom

Monday, February 15th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 1 Comment »

"Did you commit sin? Enter the Church, repent for your sin, for here is the physician, not the judge. Here, one is not investigated; one receives remission of sins."  (St. John Chrysostom)

Old, old, old school

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 Posted in The Artful Life, Theology | 1 Comment »

"There is a strange idea abroad that in every subject the ancient books should be read only by the professionals, and that the amateur should content himself with the modern books . . . This mistaken preference for the modern ...

Heresy, thy name is Legion

Sunday, January 24th, 2010 Posted in Redbox Reviews, Theology | 3 Comments »

Perhaps you've seen commercials for the movie Legion, which appears to be two very different movies, depending on whether you've seen it advertised in the theater or on your television. On television, the premise appears to be that a host ...

Pat Robertson, pagan

Thursday, January 14th, 2010 Posted in Curmudgeonry, Theology | 17 Comments »

Believing, as Pat Robertson does, that the suffering of those you despise is inflicted by a god on your side, and that the suffering of those you pity is the result of a devil's curse, seems to come awfully close ...

The myth of the myth

Saturday, January 9th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting, Theology | 5 Comments »

Leslie Fields muddles about in Calvinism and Darwinism before arriving at good advice for every Christian parent, which is to pray your child toward Heaven. I think "the perfect parent myth," however, is itself a myth. None of us envisions ...

Happy sappy Christians

Friday, January 8th, 2010 Posted in Theology | 4 Comments »

The thing is, I despised the happy sappy Jesus talk before I became a Christian, and I still do. You know the lingo: My personal relationship with Jesus will see me through any storm; Jesus is bigger than any of ...

If only that communion bread were really holy…

Thursday, January 7th, 2010 Posted in Curmudgeonry, Theology | Comments Off on If only that communion bread were really holy…

It's no secret, my belief that, no matter how fetching or emotionally available a vampire is, the only proper response to him is a stake through the heart. Now Father Orthoduck opens a new can of worms, suggesting that one ...