Archive for the ‘Theology’ Category

I was glad to see that Simone Biles was able to compete again in the Olympics and win a bronze medal on the balance beam.  She is an outstanding gymnast who has advanced the sport/art with new moves and a high level of execution.  Unfortunately, because of her very public withdrawal from some of the events for reasons of “mental health,” she has been subjected to some extremely harsh criticism.

The reactions both of her critics and defenders have been mostly superficial. What happened to Simone Biles is the result of the confluence of four currents in modern American society: the role of sports, the financial impact of sponsors, the ubiquitous presence of social media and its baleful influence on the self, which was already trapped in the hopelessly contradictory reality of mass society and the exaltation of its individual expression. Read the rest of this entry »

“… and those only that feel the keener wound are known as Lovers”[1]

I have lived a life of quite undeserved happiness and health.  However, a few weeks ago I was struck with a severe pain running down the entire length of my left leg from some pinched nerve.  At approximately the same time I was teaching from Julian of Norwich’s Showings and was struck by her desire for “three gifts of God” and how they relate to the mysterious role of suffering and a life of love. Read the rest of this entry »

Your choice of the thesis statement for your essay on the good life from the famous answer in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever,” is excellent.  However, reflecting on our conversation yesterday, I realized that I was presenting you with a difficult challenge to describe what it means to enjoy God.  Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander; so, I thought that I should give it a go.  Let me know what you think.  I hope that it is helpful. Read the rest of this entry »

I messed up.  A few years back, I read all the novels and short stories in the Modern Library edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writings, except the Scarlet Letter. I had read it as a young boy—too early, I will admit, since I had to ask my mother what the letter A was all about.  Still, I reasoned that I knew the plot; so, why read the book again?  Dumb, even dumber.  There is more to a great novel than just knowing the events of the plot.  On my second reading, I was profoundly moved.  The Scarlet Letter is a great novel about human sin, the guilt that it causes, and the costly redemption for the sinner and those affected by the sin that comes from confession. Read the rest of this entry »

The famed Swiss theologian Karl Barth once spoke of theology as “the most beautiful of all the sciences”[1] because God, its subject, is beautiful.  Theological aesthetics, by which is meant reflection on the nature and experience of beauty using the categories of the Christian[2] revelation, is a subject that only in the past few years has begun to receive serious attention.  It is, however, one in which theological exposition sheds a unique light on individual doctrine and lends itself naturally to worship and the quest for holiness. Read the rest of this entry »

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