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

varieties of shame

Following on from the last post, I’ve been thinking more about possibly helpful – or at least unavoidable – forms of shame. First, I want to acknowledge just how unhelpful some forms of shame can be.  I think shame is most unhelpful when it focuses on the person and not the behaviour.  “You should be ashamed of… Continue reading varieties of shame

on guilt and shame

It seems to be an unquestioned assumption in modern western culture that guilt and shame are bad, unhealthy and unhelpful.  Most of the moral discourse is dominated by statements that flow directly from these assumptions. I can relate!  Who wants to feel guilty?  Who enjoys shame?  Not only that, both guilt and shame are shot… Continue reading on guilt and shame

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

the uncomfortable freedom of Grace

I just finished a job at work, and not only did it take longer than I thought (I had to return to the job site to fix things), I didn’t do as good a job at it as I would have liked to.  The clients are satisfied and will pay the invoice, but the workmanship… Continue reading the uncomfortable freedom of Grace

active faith

Trust and obey, says the grand old hymn.  A lovely pairing, and a very biblical one.  This pair captures the nice middle ground between two extreme ways of understanding Christian life and discipleship. At one extreme (hint: extremes are bad… almost always), we have faith that is ‘aggressive’ in the sense that it is all… Continue reading active faith

ordinary

This Christmas I sit in our living room before heading to bed, typing out a festive blog post.  The room feels and looks very ordinary: couches, pillows, television, computer, DVD’s, books and more.  Life, most of the time, is ordinary. Life is exciting and varied enough as it is.  We don’t need too many sensational… Continue reading ordinary

dual tension

Christian discipleship in the kingdom of God, is well known to be characterised by what they call ‘eschatological tension’ between the ‘now’ and ‘not yet’.  The balanced tension helps us remember that, on the one hand, the kingdom is ‘now’, and we can and should expect to see evidence of it.  On the other hand,… Continue reading dual tension