Addressing the Allowance of Evil

How can a good God allow evil? Here is a place where philosophy shifts its focus to the practical. How do we make sense of the suffering all around us, and is the suffering consistent with the existence of a good God? The problem of evil is that if God is all-knowing, all-powerful and all good, as envisioned by classical theism, then how did he create a world with so many qualities of misery? The argument from evil grows beyond that to claim to say that such a God with the presence of evil is irreconcilable and therefore, the existence … Continue reading “Addressing the Allowance of Evil”

Christian Midrash: The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord

Given my staple here as a writer who submits to and defends the authority of the Catholic Church, I am taking a bit of a step back in these three articles where I will explore some random theological ideas. The articles are based on a paper I wrote in undergrad in which I hope to take what good has come from Midrashic texts and blend it with Christianity. In my first article I explained what Midrash is and how Christian Midrash can exist. Now I will go into what I see to be a form of Christian Midrash, The Dolorous … Continue reading “Christian Midrash: The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord”

Parashat Mishpatim

This is adapted from a drash Z. S. will read this weekend at Devar Emet Messianic Congregation. A drash is a brief takeaway from the weekly cycle of texts. This Week’s Readings: Torah: Exodus 21:1-24:18, 30:11-16, Numbers 28:9-15 Haftarah: 2 Kings 12:1-17 Brit Chadashah: Matthew 22:15-22, 34-40 From time to time, I’ll chat about politics with someone and they’ll say “Oh, I am sure so-and-so will win.” Sometimes I’m skeptical if they’re really so sure. I like to test their purported conviction by asking them if they would bet money on the matter. More often than not, they back out of … Continue reading “Parashat Mishpatim”

The One About Demon Possessions

All right, everybody. It’s time to go off the deep end. We’re talking about demon possession today. Before I continue, it’s important to address the caveat: how, if I don’t believe in magic, do I believe in demon possession? To that, I cite the Bible, which references magicians and magic but not the process, the extent, or the scale of the magic. The magicians described in the Bible are frequently inept, and those who are “successful” do so to entertain an audience. If you replace the so-called magic with the simple parlor tricks of a cheap Vegas act, it would … Continue reading “The One About Demon Possessions”

Christian Midrash: An Adventure in the Fusion of Theological Methodology

Given my staple here as a writer who submits to and defends the authority of the Catholic Church, I am taking a bit of a step back in these three articles, where I will explore some random theological ideas. The articles are based on a paper I wrote in college in which I hope to take what good has come from Midrashic texts and blend it with Christianity. In this article I will first explain what Midrash is and how Christian Midrash can exist. In the next article I will go into what I see to be a form of … Continue reading “Christian Midrash: An Adventure in the Fusion of Theological Methodology”

Parashat Vaera

This is adapted from a drash Z. S. will read this weekend at Devar Emet Messianic Congregation. A drash is a brief takeaway from the weekly cycle of texts. Torah: Exodus 6:2-9:35 Haftarah: Ezekiel 28:25-29:21 Brit Chadashah: Revelation 15-16 Do you remember the early days of the Coronavirus? I remember studying Va’era last year, in late January, and thinking, “this virus in China might be kind of similar to the plagues we’re reading about.” Well, here we are, again reading the same parashah a year later with some hindsight. I hope this week’s parashah can give us some perspective on … Continue reading “Parashat Vaera”

Neighbors and the Ninth Commandment

The Ten Commandments are a mainstay of modern Christian doctrine, if not Christian doctrine through all times and places. They are a solid set of rules that echo in nearly every Western culture. That isn’t to say that their interpretation hasn’t degraded over the years. The most common point of contention is the third commandment, but the misinterpretation that intrigues me the most is that of the ninth. See, most Christians speed through the final five commandments as a list of things not to do: no murder, no adultery, no stealing, no lying, and no envy. While that’s certainly true … Continue reading “Neighbors and the Ninth Commandment”

Small Graces for Great Glory

Something I have been learning about is the magic of ordinary days. God has a way of making small things, things we see as mundane, quite beautiful. He has been teaching me how important it is to live in holiness and happiness in every small moment of our lives. As we thank him for our meals, we see that he chose to make sweet raspberries with their bitter seeds to thrill our palates, and that he made vegetables such a dazzling array of colours from the golden of a pineapple to the deep purple of an eggplant. The stars that … Continue reading “Small Graces for Great Glory”

A Review of 2020

This article was inspired by Joseph Gnehm’s piece on Romans. These past few months I have found myself both thinking and writing on the intellectual side of theology. While I am grateful for what I have learned, given this article’s place on Christmas, I want to take a page from Gnehm’s book and just appreciate Christ. I am truly grateful for 2020. I know this is not the apt thing to say for many people. In many ways 2020 has been an extremely difficult, challenging, and unforeseen year. Between a rise in political/racial tension, a pandemic, and an economic downturn … Continue reading “A Review of 2020”