Unity: God or the Church?

Unity in the church is a very important notion, especially now. It’s the champion concept of nondenominational churches, and particularly applicable to the fragmented sects of Protestantism. Even so, I consider it one of the most misused and abused concepts in the faith. I’d like to bring one case in point to the forefront. I cannot know for certain the deepest meanings of the words of Jesus in John 17, but brash interpretations by many warrant confrontation. Jesus says in John 17:11 “[T]hat they may be one, even as we are one.” “Ah,” says the common reader, “He must be … Continue reading “Unity: God or the Church?”

Pruned Branches and Full Silos

The skies were smoky orange last week. That doesn’t have anything to do with today’s piece; I figured it was worth denoting. I love living in California. About a month prior, I listened to a sermon on Luke 12:13-21. While I haven’t tackled this chapter specifically, its themes echo through articles I’ve already written (“Salvation for the Wealthy,” “The Imperative of Work,” “Resolutions,” “On Haman and Pettiness”). It is perhaps my favorite passage in the New Testament, so one could imagine that I was salty that the sermon felt slightly off (albeit admittedly adequate). I’d like to take a shot … Continue reading “Pruned Branches and Full Silos”

Usury in the Modern World

This is the final part of a three-part series in which I speak about ethical investing from a Catholic perspective (though there is a debate!) This series was prompted by an interview of Jacob Imam with Pints With Aquinas. In my first article, I addressed the question of ethical investing and how the USCCB has recommended Christians navigate the modern economy. In the second installation, I discussed the responsibility to invest. In this last piece, I break down usury and why (most) modern investing would not fall into this category. When discussion of investing arises in Catholic (and other circles), … Continue reading “Usury in the Modern World”

1 Corinthians 13 interpreted

1 “If I speak with the tongues of mankind and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give away all my possessions to charity, and if I surrender my body so that I may glory, but do not have love, it does me no good. 4 Love is patient, love is kind, … Continue reading “1 Corinthians 13 interpreted”

A Response to Jacob Imam

This article series will be a three-part series in which I wish to speak about ethical investing from a Catholic perspective (though there is a debate!) This series was prompted by an interview that Jacob Imam had with Pints with Aquinas. In this article, I will address the question of ethical investing and how the USCCB has recommended Christians navigate the modern economy. In my next piece, I will discuss the responsibility to invest. In my third piece I will break down usury and why (most) modern investing would not fall into this category. I want to first acknowledge what … Continue reading “A Response to Jacob Imam”

Life Isn’t Fair, and That Is a Good Thing!

Throughout history, when injustice strikes, the oft-made complaint by many people, in our nation as well as any other, is the powerful outcry, “this isn’t fair.” So strong is this invocation for justice that political movements grow and flourish when injustice occurs. Yet, whether politically or personally, these crusades for justice often find themselves causing injustice that spawns a crusade against the initial victim!  At this point, I should make clear that justice in the above sense is not actually justice but the desire that everything be split evenly. In a world void of love and evil, splitting things “fairly” … Continue reading “Life Isn’t Fair, and That Is a Good Thing!”

“What is This Babbler Trying to Say?”

Introduction Let me give you some dry theory—of the “analytic philosophy of language” variety—and then do something with it. I will be brief with the theory. If you find the philosophy tiresome, feel free to skip the next section; the doing that I do, I think, will be able to make do without it. To keep the reader on the hook: the “doing” in question is an explanation of why many college ministries, even those run by godly and well-intentioned Christians, are inherently self-undermining. Theory In his seminal work How to Do Things With Words, J. L. Austin divides a … Continue reading ““What is This Babbler Trying to Say?””

The Deception of My Sin

One of my biggest faults is pride. I constantly, implicitly and explicitly, think and act as if I am better than the vast majority of the world. I have a few favorite sins that I don’t struggle with and place them mentally as the greatest sins of all while ignoring my own sins I see to be minor. As I become more aware of my own faults I realize how desperately I need to be called out and corrected by those around me. Alone I can spiral in my thoughts into believing I am somehow above the day-to-day struggle with … Continue reading “The Deception of My Sin”