If you are not with me…

…you are against me! In that famous scene from Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker stares at Obi-Wan Kenobi with fierce eyes and quotes… Jesus? In an ever-so-subtle slight against Christianity, Star Wars puts a version of Christ’s words in Darth Vader’s mouth when he says, “If you are not with me, then you are my enemy.” Now, Vader does not take Christ’s full words to heart, for he neglects the command to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44). Yes, it would appear that choking your wife, slicing political … Continue reading “If you are not with me…”

Toward a Conversational Christianity

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant —  Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth’s superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased  With Explanation kind The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind.   — Emily Dickinson, quoted in Peterson   I was fortunate. I read Eugene Peterson’s Tell It Slant—a book concerned with “out-of-the-way, unstudied, and everyday conversations” (3)—in the company of friends who relish out-of-the-way, unstudied, everyday conversations. From these friends I have gained a very valuable lesson in run-of-the-mill holiness, that is, the sanctity of that which seems … Continue reading “Toward a Conversational Christianity”

Christian Midrash: In the Church Today

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 four articles where I will explore some random theological ideas. The articles are based on a paper I wrote in University 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. In my second I went into what I see to be a form of Christian Midrash, The … Continue reading “Christian Midrash: In the Church Today”

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”

The Desert and the Well: Finding Valuable Discussion

Whether dedicated or foolhardy, I’m a strong believer in engaging others in argumentation. When played right, they help to exercise the mind and shape perspective. However, what should be a search for the truth often turns into mindless attempts to score points, unwinnable efforts where ethos takes the place of logos and everyone’s time is wasted. In an age where debaters are anonymous but more commonplace, Jesus provides useful advice with regards to parsing productive discussions from unproductive ones. The discussion between Jesus and Nicodemus (John 3) ended in disappointment. Nicodemus comes to Jesus acknowledging His divine influence, under the … Continue reading “The Desert and the Well: Finding Valuable Discussion”

Apostolic Succession Part 2: Heresy, Hooligans, and the Holy

This article is a continuation of a previous post, where I begin my three article journey responding to Zach. In this piece I will look at Apostolic Succession through a historical lens, bringing together many of the “Fact Checks” from my previous post. We will clearly define what is meant by Apostolic Succession and why theological cohesion was sought by the early Church, as well as the condemnation of heresy. In my next article I will discuss scriptural and historical evidence for Apostolic Succession. As with many debated topics, Apostolic Succession can be made into a straw man by its … Continue reading “Apostolic Succession Part 2: Heresy, Hooligans, and the Holy”

Apostolic Succession Part 1: Addressing History

Zach posted a series of articles (here, here, here, and here) from early Church history into the middle ages. While I found the first article agreeable, it is clear that he is painting a Reformed interpretation of Church history. In my patient waiting for him to complete his series I have been able to do some research and provide a bit of a fact check on the narrative he put forward. In this first article I will simply be responding to some of the logical jumps Zach makes that aren’t merited. In my next article I will explain why Apostolic … Continue reading “Apostolic Succession Part 1: Addressing History”