Sand in the Gears

Legos in the Deep

Friday, May 1st, 2015 Posted in Faith and Life | 2 Comments »

Like many, I passed this spring through Lent. It felt longer than in past years, because there has been a kind of Lenten work being done within me, it seems, since last fall. Nothing terrible, nothing traumatic, just a gradual ...

Temple of bones

Monday, January 19th, 2015 Posted in The Sermons | 10 Comments »

Every baptism in the Orthodox Church entails an exorcism, as I learned last Easter when I was baptized into the Church. It was nothing desperate and dramatic like some of us remember from The Exorcist; in truth the devil and ...

The Cave of the Heart

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013 Posted in The Sermons | Comments Off on The Cave of the Heart

Here's an excerpt from my Christmas Eve post over at Good Letters: When I read about the boy hiding under his bed, first inviting the world he knew to watch him die, then hiding from it in that darkened place, I ...

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This is not a comment about the reasoning of a Slate essayist, who wrote recently that the white Santa is outdated.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

Sheep and wolves

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | 10 Comments »

Because I am a father I think about the parents of that boy torn to pieces, of his sister whose leg was taken. I think about those parents in Newtown, whose biggest Christmas purchases were coffins for their sons and ...

Benediction from a bad man

Monday, April 1st, 2013 Posted in Faith and Life, Fatherhood | 28 Comments »

I guess I stopped writing about personal things here because I didn't like the person I had become. I felt stupid, the faith and family writer who gets divorced. This was compounded by coming to DC and finding myself—though alongside ...

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 ...

Ritual and vision

Friday, January 14th, 2011 Posted in Faith and Life, Fatherhood | 5 Comments »

When I was a little boy, I was a pagan. Like our ancestors who had lost sight of God, yet saw visions of him in the luminescent peace of a harvest moon, or the spine-rattling fury of a thunderclap, I ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Powerless, powerful

Friday, December 25th, 2009 Posted in The Sermons | 1 Comment »

The writer who has inspired me more than any other, on the birth of the God-child: "But if there is the beauty of what is majestic and powerful, there is the beauty also of what is humble and powerless. Like any ...

Evening contemplation

Thursday, December 24th, 2009 Posted in The Sermons | 1 Comment »

A MEDITATION ON THE INCARNATION BY ST EPHRAIM THE SYRIAN We confess one and the same individual as perfect God and perfect Man. He is God the Word Which was flesh. For if He was not flesh, why was Mary chosen? And if He ...

The forever yearning

Thursday, November 19th, 2009 Posted in Faith and Life, The Art of Parenting | 9 Comments »

Yesterday morning Isaiah came to our bedroom, enacting his self-appointed role as Mr. Rise and Shine. He stepped on our knees and ankles and flopped about with sharp elbows until he staked a position between us. Isaac followed. Wife rose ...

Because circles, for the love of God, aren’t square

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 Posted in Theology | 68 Comments »

My family and I were on vacation, and so I missed the 500th anniversary of John Calvin's birth. I mean, July 10th happened where we were, it's just that he wasn't on my mind. I used to be a Calvinist. Many ...

Christ v. Christian

Monday, March 19th, 2007 Posted in Curmudgeonry | Comments Off on Christ v. Christian

Though I expected Michael Lewis's Blind Side to do for football what his Moneyball did for baseball, I found my stomach churning as I read the story of Michael Oher, a black child neglected for years in the slums and ...

Nice Church

Monday, February 19th, 2007 Posted in The Sermons | Comments Off on Nice Church

An acquaintance once told me about a wealthy benefactor in his church, a man who likes to point out that he "isn't one of those Bible thumpers." He just believes that it's a good thing for families to go to ...

A Glass of Water

Friday, February 9th, 2007 Posted in The Sermons | Comments Off on A Glass of Water

Several people asked me yesterday if I had heard the news that Anna Nicole Smith was dead. It was as if the whole world had been there to see her collapse, and had no one left to tell, which is ...