Dreading the Holidays

At least—to pray—is left—is left— Oh Jesus—in the Air— I know not which thy chamber is— I’m knocking—everywhere— Thou settest Earthquake in the South— And Maelstrom, in the Sea— Say, Jesus Christ of Nazareth— Hast thou no arm for Me? Emily Dickinson, Poem 377 Autumn is just a few days away, and with it comes […]

Let’s Talk About Sex

Every definition is dangerous. ~Desiderius Erasmus The only label I’m comfortable with is “Christian”.  Don’t bother trying to peg me as conservative or liberal because there are multitudes to my right and left. I would rather do the hard work of digging out the truth rather than buying wholesale into blanket ideology. All that said, […]

I’ll See You In Court

“When mores are sufficient, laws are unnecessary; when mores are insufficient, laws are unenforceable.” ― Émile Durkheim In 1 Corinthians 6:1–11, Paul criticizes the Corinthians for the divisive lawsuits among them and his language is harsh.  His concern is for the purity of the church and his parental scolding follows the theme of “I’m so […]

Are Christians Stoics?

“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think” ― Socrates Ancient Corinth was a sophisticated city – a Roman colony with Greek roots. The people valued the polished, courtly philosopher who could argue his case, regardless of the topic. The content didn’t matter as much as the eloquence. Paul said he did […]

God the Artist

Christians ought not to be threatened by fantasy and imagination. Great painting is not “photographic”: think of the Old Testament art commanded by God. There were blue pomegranates on the robes of the priest who went into the Holy of Holies. In nature there are no blue pomegranates. Christian artists do not need to be […]

Start With This One

“The good die first, and they whose hearts are dry as summer dust, burn to the socket.” ~William Wordsworth from The Excursion King Richard III was interred with dignity at Leicester Cathedral after spending the last few hundred years or so under a parking lot. Well, you know how it is – you live your […]

In Season And Out

“The effective Christians of history have been men and women of great personal discipline. The connection between the words disciple and discipline is obvious. To be a true, effective disciple of Christ we must seek to discipline our lives and endeavor to walk even as He walked. The thing that has hindered the progress of […]

The Rulers of This Age

1 Corinthians 2:6–8 | However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Walking the Talk

“The early Christians rejoiced when they were deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the Church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles o popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.” ― Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail  When […]

Your Brave New World

ALON. Now all the blessings Of a glad father compass thee about! Arise, and say how thou cam’st here. MIR. O, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in ’t! PROS. ’Tis new to thee. William Shakespeare, from The Tempest When Sir […]

Say What?

“You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’; but that ain’t no matter.” ~Mark Twain, from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain changed the game when he wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  It was one of the first major literary works […]

Settle Down!

Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly. This has always been the instinct of Christendom, and especially the instinct of Christian art. Remember how Fra Angelico represented all his angels, not only as birds, but almost as butterflies. Remember how the most earnest medieval art was full of light and fluttering draperies, of […]

The Seeker

One of the many mysteries of Emily Dickinson’s life is the exact nature of her religious and spiritual commitments. Much like her contemporary Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson apparently could neither believe nor be comfortable in her disbelief, as Nathaniel Hawthorne said about the author of Moby-Dick. In her letters, she often refers to herself as […]

Happy Mother’s Day

“The clocks were striking midnight and the rooms were very still as a figure glided quietly from bed to bed, smoothing a coverlid here, settling a pillow there, and pausing to look long and tenderly at each unconscious face, to kiss each with lips that mutely blessed, and to pray the fervent prayers which only […]

Glory Is The Proof

You’ll know it—as you know ’tis Noon— By Glory— As you do the Sun— By Glory— As you will in Heaven— Know God the Father—and the Son. By intuition, Mightiest Things Assert themselves—and not by terms— “I’m Midnight”—need the Midnight say— “I’m Sunrise”—Need the Majesty? Omnipotence—had not a Tongue— His lisp—is Lightning—and the Sun— His […]

You Hypocrite!

The Reverend Elmer Gantry was reading an illustrated pink periodical devoted to prize fighters and chorus girls in his room at Elizabeth J. Schmutz Hall late of an afternoon when two large men walked in without knocking. “Why, good evening, Brother Bains—Brother Naylor! This is a pleasant surprise. I was, uh— Did you ever see […]