CategoryTheology

Against Public Music

In Fallout: New Vegas, you are an unfortunate courier who is shot in the head but has the fortune to survive it. For the remainder of the game you can choose to engage in various quests to find the man responsible. One major problem is that you live in a post-apocalyptic world which is still feeling the effects of a centuries old Atomic war. You not only have to contend with casino bosses who...

If The Church is Rockin’, Don’t Come Knockin’

If I ever manage to reach my golden years, I have great hopes of being a curmudgeon. A writer whose name I have forgotten mentioned that being a curmudgeon takes a fair amount of practice, and thus I consider this post an investment in my future curmudgeoniness. Being heavily involved in church worship and media production, I have the opportunity to view worship service post-mortems from a...

Do What You Will

For I know that there dwelleth not in me, that is to say, in my flesh, that which is good. For to will, is present with me; but to accomplish that which is good, I find not. For the good which I will, I do not; but the evil which I will not, that I do. (Romans 7:18-19 DRA) As St. Paul’s all too famailiar-in-experience soliloquy here illustrates, we humans often have great difficulty when it comes...

How To Be Oblivious

We all are oblivious from time to time, either missing what is right in front of our faces or forgetting the obvious that we should already know so well. We like to imagine that we are perceptive, but far too often our own preconceptions blind us to the reality that presents itself in unfamiliar ways. The term oblivious has an interesting etymology, coming from the Latin obliviosus, which itself...

Bad Trinity Formulations: Part 1

Getting the Trinity right is a difficult thing to do; in fact, given the utter transcendence of this mystery, it is and will forever be impossible to do so. At best our efforts aim at describing the eternal relations in as least inadequate a manner as possible. Yet the mystery of the threeness and the oneness of God is absolutely central to Christian theology, which means that while we will never...

How To Be A Luddite Iconoclast

I am convinced that one of the favorite pastimes for American Christianity is fear and self-loathing, and it is never afforded a better opportunity than when the Pew polling data on the state of religion in America comes out. Then come the predicable laments from some quarters about how the culture is packing up the hand basket to take a picnic to Hell, the rationalizations from other quarters...

How to Get God Wrong Wrong

Internet lists have become a rather ubiquitous (if not annoying) thing, and can range anywhere from the banal to… hmmm- well, whatever is slightly above banal. The best ones (by which I mean most amusing) are those which try to bring some sort of persuasiveness to an argument, either for or against something. And the cream of the crop naturally comes when someone tries to convince you that...

Effortless

There are rare moments in life where you come to a place of complete clarity, when suddenly the disparate pieces of reality seem to fit together and at least one thing makes sense of it all. I have had precious few moments like this, but one of the most memorable occurred when I was 16. (Kind reader will forgive a story probably recounted elsewhere, and thoughts refined from previous posts.) I...

The Serpent’s Kiss

What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips. (Job 2:10 KJV) This passage has always somewhat perplexed me. The story of Job is a familiar one: he is a righteous man in whom no blame can be found. Satan thinks he can get Job to curse God by taking his stuff and then ultimately bringing him to brink of death, and God...

We Will Never Break God’s Heart

Suffering is often the crucible in which our hopes and fears rise to the surface, the clarity of pain serving to purify the double-mindedness that too often plagues our existence. For better or for worse, to suffer can bring a certain perspicuity in its wake, for good or for ill, being a maker of saints and a breaker of sinners, often simultaneously. In the midst of duress of any kind, man has...

The Curious Case of the Antipodes

In a previous post I looked the universality of Christian belief in respect to potential future contact with extra-terrestrials. I posited that the Christian understanding of angels (especially the traditional explication thereof that understands each individual angel as its own species) involves an a priori acceptance of extraterrestrial races, and since it as such did not pose any particular...

Even E.T. Needs Jesus

Speculation about the nature of extraterrestrial life is perhaps fascinating, posing all kinds of intriguing questions. In a recent article entitled Is Your Religion Ready To Meet ET?, we are served up a volley of “cosmotheological” questions that the author believes will be appropriate and no longer merely speculative after (or, better put, if) we ever discover conclusive scientific proof for...

Rhetorical Effect

Words are powerful things, having the potential to change the way we think and shape our perception of things. Rhetoric was for this reason the sine qua non of the influential man in ancient times, for to hold men captive to your words was the power to mold the world as one saw fit. Rhetoric may have lost much of its ancient luster in the age of 140 character tweets, hashtags and memes, but we...

A God Too Small

To my everlasting shame, I must admit to succumbing to link bait this weekend. The truly despicable aspect of the whole charade is that I knew immediately that it was link bait, but chose to take the “I want to see how stupid this is” route to rationalization. But the thing about link bait is that it doesn’t matter if you are truly curious or trying to be ironic; the point of link bait is to get...

I Was Wrong About Harry Potter

As much as it pains me to admit it, I actually find the Harry Potter series fairly entertaining. The movies, mind, you not the books, for the movies made almost every correct decision regarding what to keep, what to jettison (E.L.F., anyone?) and what to change (Hagrid explaining wizard phylogeny rather than the far more unlikely Ron). Granted, the Harry-Hermione nearly nude scene was a little...

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