Christianity – Fragments Against Ruin http://tonywoodlief.com Sat, 07 Apr 2018 17:41:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 The Paradox of a Good Friday http://tonywoodlief.com/2017/04/14/paradox-good-friday/ Fri, 14 Apr 2017 16:04:32 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=5429 “Keep your mind in hell, and despair not.” This admonition from St. Silouan is appropriate for Good Friday, when most of Christendom commemorates Christ’s descent into hell, where he shatters its captives’ chains. Many modern Western theologians have abandoned this teaching, but even if you reject it you are still, if you are a Christian, …

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A Darkness That May Be Felt http://tonywoodlief.com/2015/03/09/a-darkness-that-may-be-felt/ Mon, 09 Mar 2015 14:30:27 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4595 Some of you may like my latest essay at Image, about the 21 young men murdered by ISIS in Libya. Here’s an excerpt: These stories are now fantasy to us, or nearly so. Abraham holds the knife to Isaac’s throat, Jacob wrestles a holy messenger, David fells Goliath—the action rises and falls in an old …

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On just saying no http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/07/18/on-just-saying-no/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/07/18/on-just-saying-no/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 13:08:01 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4529 Related to my previous post, I have an essay at Good Letters digging into the hypocrisy of evangelicals, as represented by the American Family Association, who simultaneously support the Drug War while demanding that we reject child refugees from that war. Here’s an excerpt: We sponsor both sides of this war; we constitute the primary …

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Thy kingdom come http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/07/03/thy-kingdom-come/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/07/03/thy-kingdom-come/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 14:28:27 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4521 I don’t think they love their children any less than I love my own, which tells me something about what their lives must be like, to send their babies away. Their children stream northward in droves—as many as 60,000 this year—and we don’t want them. We don’t want their skin lesions and their hungry bellies, …

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Easing the burden http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/03/14/easing-the-burden/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/03/14/easing-the-burden/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:30:45 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4386 “I’m sorry I shot you in the face with my Nerf gun. Do you forgive me?” My son knows he is supposed to ask for forgiveness, just as his brother knows that sooner or later he will be expected to say yes. He knows to say it because he knows he is supposed to forgive. …

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The Cave of the Heart http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/12/24/the-cave-of-the-heart/ Tue, 24 Dec 2013 13:41:13 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3760 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 thought about the cave where a savior was born. I thought as well about …

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The obscured man http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/12/12/the-obscured-man/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/12/12/the-obscured-man/#comments Thu, 12 Dec 2013 21:24:14 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3744 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, but also Jesus, is white. This is not a comment about the predictable crowds who …

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Gentle disagreement http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/06/25/gentle-disagreement/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/06/25/gentle-disagreement/#comments Wed, 26 Jun 2013 01:47:33 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3687 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 other hand, love doesn’t dictate that we pretend a donkey is a unicorn, at least …

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On feeling Godforsaken http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/03/29/on-feeling-godforsaken/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/03/29/on-feeling-godforsaken/#comments Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:25:02 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3662 Some of you might like my meditation on what Good Friday means to the parent of a dead child. Here’s an excerpt: “It is a great mystery to me, how God can know what it means to be forsaken, and because he is three-in-one, know also how it is to look on your dying child, …

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On the separateness of preaching and healing http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/03/13/on-the-separateness-of-preaching-and-healing/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/03/13/on-the-separateness-of-preaching-and-healing/#comments Wed, 13 Mar 2013 20:31:15 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3644 Preach and heal. This is what Christ asked of his apostles, before sending them out in pairs: “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matt. 10:7-8) Churches struggle to conjoin them. …

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