…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…” →
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” →
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” →
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” →
She spoke a language I could not understand. Standing a few inches taller than me, with dark hair tied up in a tight ponytail and her arms crossed, this young, bright poli sci student looked me in the eye and said, “I feel so sorry for you.” I gaped. The smile that accompanied these words signalled pity, but not, I thought to myself angrily, compassion. We stood by a table in the library hall. My apologetics team had propped up a poster with the question of the day (“Is religion poison to the world?”), and my new friend, attracted by … Continue reading ““I am not broken”: Rethinking a Christian Presentation of the Gospel” →
Growing up I often heard the phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin” used as a way to approach the complexity of living in a world where we are called to love a broken and sinful people. This phrase actually comes from St Augustine in his Letter 211 where he writes, “Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum” or “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.” The phrase, albeit simple, captures an important struggle of taking a nuanced look at each person, distinguishing the good from the bad. While the phrase is not direct from scripture, it is based on … Continue reading “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin” →
Welcome to Piece of Mind! Accompany Jonathan as he waddles through mysterious conversations about life, living, and other stuff with friends, enemies, axes, and allies. Today, we have some conversation with Troy about Nintendo, video games, and childhood.
The following is a conversational essay between Anisha O. (University of Texas at Austin) and Daniel S. (Loyola University at Chicago) regarding Mr. Sutkowski’s Baptism and Circumcision: Anisha: Thank you Daniel, for sharing your perspective in that article. I enjoyed learning about the relationship between baptism and circumcision and was glad to be reminded of how God sees Jews and then Christians as God’s people across the old and new testament. We both agree that baptism is a commandment that Christ gives us and should be honoured by Christians everywhere. On the other hand, we have significantly different beliefs on … Continue reading “Efficacious Baptism: A Conversation” →