possibility and surrender

I met a friendly man today who, learning of my religiosity, asked me about my views on science and faith.  It was a good chat, not too long, and remained wonderfully amicable. The man was, by global and local standards, wealthy, educated and articulate.  At least some of the time, such a demographic can tend… Continue reading possibility and surrender

world + flesh + devil

The world, the flesh and the devil. These three entities have been said to be the three sources of sin and temptation for Christians.  That is to say that when we get it wrong, we can point to the influential lure of culture (the world), the weakness of natural desire (the flesh), and the overarching… Continue reading world + flesh + devil

good fear, guilt and shame

There are obvious reasons why fear, guilt and shame have a bad reputation inside and outside the Church.  There is really no need to illustrate this point, but… Fear of judgment, rejection or punishment can be crippling. Guilt that is exaggerated, overly-negative or simply mistaken is paralyzing. Shame, too, when it is insulting, degrading and… Continue reading good fear, guilt and shame

political Christianity

Let me open with an if/then statement.  If Christianity is anything more than B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth), and I heartily believe it is, then it necessarily has to do with how the wholeness of life is played out in the here and now.  This means Christianity necessarily has a political component to it. … Continue reading political Christianity

shame and suicide

In Aotearoa New Zealand, the recent loss of loved television presenter Greg Boyed has raised again the topic of depression and suicide.  Aotearoa, the “land of the long white cloud” has high suicide rates, particularly for teens aged 15-19, where it is the highest.  Too many of us have loved ones that have brought this… Continue reading shame and suicide

why so angry

I know almost nothing about the two speakers booked-for-but-now-banned-from the Powerstation in Auckland.  What I do know is that a lot of people are angry about them, their message (whatever it is), and the prospect of them having a platform to share it. All this anger actually piques my curiosity.  It makes me want to… Continue reading why so angry

moral fear

Ethical discourse, I suggest, is degraded and corrupted by fear.  I’m not talking about the healthy protective fear that flows from love, but rather the unhelpful power-grasping fear that is its own source.  Below I’ll suggest two equal-opposite examples of this power-grasping fear, and then I’ll offer a suggestion about a third, ‘middle’ way. On… Continue reading moral fear

ordinary sin

The doctrine of Sin has been something I’ve had an interest in for a while, and some of my research and writing has touched on both sin and the forgiveness of sin.  I think it’s a very important doctrine, and thus very important to understand with clarity and balance. Scholars of Aristotle and Aquinas will… Continue reading ordinary sin

‘media’ and liturgical formation

James K. A. Smith has written and spoken much about liturgical formation; that is, how humans are formed, shaped and influenced by ‘liturgical’ actions, rites or practices.  For Smith, all of life can be seen with a ‘liturgical’ lens, as the human species (‘homo-liturgicus’) engages in various patterns of repeated activity. One colourful example is… Continue reading ‘media’ and liturgical formation

human sin: an example

The sinfulness of humanity is nothing I am ‘proud’ to believe in.  Sin is tragic.  But, rather an illustrate this with a list of actions that are easily diagnosed as harmful, it’s more interesting to give an example where sin may not be so obvious.  Whether it’s an Olympic opening ceremony, a corporate philosophy or… Continue reading human sin: an example