Sand in the Gears

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This is not a comment about the reasoning of a Slate essayist, who wrote recently that the white Santa is outdated.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

On scientism

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 4 Comments »

Those of you who read what I scribble here and elsewhere know I nurse a few curious theories about science, like that it ought to remain distinct from scientism, and that the scientific process taught in schools is hokum, and ...

Good guy or bad guy?

Friday, September 20th, 2013 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting, The Sermons | 15 Comments »

One of my sons asked about an historical figure, or maybe it was some living politician whom history will soon forget. My son wanted to know whether this man was a good guy, or a bad guy. This is our most ...

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 ...

In defense of The Hobbit

Thursday, February 7th, 2013 Posted in Redbox Reviews, The Artful Life | 4 Comments »

Look, it's not like The Hobbit is Holy Scripture. It's not even, last I checked, part of the Apocrypha. It seems to me that the standard for judging Peter Jackson's film rendition, then, ought to be whether it succeeds as ...

The found church

Monday, July 12th, 2010 Posted in Faith and Life, The Sermons | 3 Comments »

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 ...

Quietly amazing

Friday, February 12th, 2010 Posted in Fatherhood, Snapshots of Life | 2 Comments »

Caleb is now ten. He's a "ten-ager," as he likes to say. The boys come to work with me on their birthdays. I don't know what they'll do once I'm a world-famous author who writes full-time for a living. Perhaps sit ...

On miracles

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 Posted in Theology | Comments Off on On miracles

"A miracle is not the breaking of the laws of the fallen world, it is the re-establishment of the laws of the kingdom of God..."  (Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, Living Prayer, p. 71-2)

Of God and Baal

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 Posted in The Artful Life, Theology | Comments Off on Of God and Baal

The great division within man is rooted not in ideology or religion or tribe, but in darkness and death, counterposed against light and life, which comes not from man but is placed within him. The line separating dark from light ...

U2 and the pharisees

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 Posted in The Artful Life | 16 Comments »

I saw U2 in Norman, Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago, so my ears are attuned to all things Bono of late. With that in mind, I figure this is a good opportunity to introduce you to something you should ...

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 ...

The light burden

Thursday, January 15th, 2009 Posted in Theology | 23 Comments »

This past Sunday I took a couple of my sons to St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral in Wichita. If you're not familiar with the Orthodox services, a good portion of them are conducted while the congregation stands. After a particularly ...

Eloquence vs Utilitarianism

Friday, October 10th, 2008 Posted in Theology | Comments Off on Eloquence vs Utilitarianism

After reading John Wilson's delightful review of Denis Donoghue's On Eloquence, I made a note to eventually read the book. Listening to John Piper's recent muddle-headed misinterpretation of Wilson makes me wish I had time to read the book right away. In ...

Modern madness

Monday, July 14th, 2008 Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Modern madness

A quote from my patron saint, were I to have one, which maybe I do and simply don't realize it: "A time is coming when people will go mad and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack ...

A Father’s Creed

Thursday, June 19th, 2008 Posted in Snapshots of Life, The Sermons | 6 Comments »

"Dad," Eli asks me in a whisper, "why did Abraham kill Isaac?" We are in his bed, looking out at the darkening sky and listening to crickets. In his bed across the room, our Isaac is already asleep, a lamb ...

Renaissance Radical

Monday, April 2nd, 2007 Posted in The Artful Life | Comments Off on Renaissance Radical

Something that has always bothered me about the theological enterprise is an undercurrent of arrogance, the notion that we possess so clear a discernment that we can build mental boxes to contain the wild God of the ages. I once ...