church – Fragments Against Ruin http://tonywoodlief.com Wed, 11 Oct 2017 02:11:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 The worldly vision http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/03/28/the-worldly-vision/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/03/28/the-worldly-vision/#comments Fri, 28 Mar 2014 14:10:20 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4474 (Note: An expanded version of this essay—which attempts to address some of the objections leveled in the comments below as well as at The American Conservative—is over at On Faith.)   I am angry, and so I hope you will forgive me for whatever I write that offends, unless you need offending, in which case I hope you …

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The ministering parent http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/01/23/the-ministering-parent/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/01/23/the-ministering-parent/#comments Thu, 23 Jan 2014 18:43:45 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3794 Do you ever look on your children, and wish they had better than you? Back when we were shopping my embarrassingly confessional first book, my agent at the time told me I needed a ministry to accompany it. She said this as a realist, not an enthusiast. You need a platform to sell your wares. …

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On false compassion http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/03/04/on-false-compassion/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/03/04/on-false-compassion/#comments Mon, 04 Mar 2013 13:08:41 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3640 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 carries a subtle condescension, as in the first sentence of Dave Barnhart’s recent essay, …

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More than bread http://tonywoodlief.com/2012/02/02/more-than-bread/ Thu, 02 Feb 2012 14:14:06 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3355 When we don’t think we can control some things we take charge of what we can. This is why the functionary fastidiously maintains a constant distance between his stapler and his tape dispenser, and why the abused child has a ritual for pajamas and tooth-brushing and curling up tight that he enacts like the body’s …

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On sugarcoating http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/09/23/holy-cow-a-whole-bunch-of-words-that-dont-direct-us-to-something-tony-wrote-somewhere-else/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/09/23/holy-cow-a-whole-bunch-of-words-that-dont-direct-us-to-something-tony-wrote-somewhere-else/#comments Fri, 23 Sep 2011 14:05:37 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3311 I realized this morning that part of the reason I haven’t written here in so long, the reason I balk at the thought of it, is that I got the most hate-filled letter I’ve ever received, back in July, in the form of a comment someone tried to post here. The writer claimed I was …

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Sanctuary http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/02/24/sanctuary/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/02/24/sanctuary/#comments Fri, 25 Feb 2011 04:01:53 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3245 Sometimes I am overwhelmed, as I stand with my sons in the cathedral, by the feeling of safety. It’s not something I ever felt in church as a child. In those days I felt out of place. I thought I was pitied or judged because my parents weren’t there. I felt condemned by an angry …

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Ritual and vision http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/01/14/ritual-and-vision/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/01/14/ritual-and-vision/#comments Fri, 14 Jan 2011 18:43:44 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3211 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 believed in supernatural things. I believed there were rituals and incantations to invoke them, or …

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The found faith http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/07/14/found-faith/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/07/14/found-faith/#comments Wed, 14 Jul 2010 09:40:58 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=2527 Faith is this knowing in the center of you that will not leave. It has been to you a light that guides, light that illumines the worst of yourself, weight that steadies, weight that holds you where you do not want to be. Perhaps, when it first stirred inside your chest, you tried to build …

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The found church http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/07/12/the-found-church/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/07/12/the-found-church/#comments Mon, 12 Jul 2010 23:24:22 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=2522 Church is light streaming in, mingled voices, the expectation — sometimes against all experience — that this time God will meet you here, or at the very least, that you will leave your miserable ways long enough to meet Him. It doesn’t happen every week or even more than a few times in your life. …

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On the excommunication of a child http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/05/18/on-the-excommunication-of-a-child/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/05/18/on-the-excommunication-of-a-child/#comments Tue, 18 May 2010 03:39:01 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=2407 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 and we cried, and the doctors stood there, because this is all they were good …

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