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About Todd Brewer

Managing Editor for mbird.com. Phd in New Testament and Early Christianity from Durham University, England. On Twitter @toddbrewer_

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Author Archive
    

    The Parable of the Wheat (Beer) and the Weeds: Judgment and Grace

    I was talking with a friend the other day about the latest church dramas. We were at an outdoor bar and sat on socially-distanced opposite sides of the table, so I had to shout a bit to be heard. We were assessing the faults of others with pinpoint precision. It was perfectly cordial, but the […]

    Another Week Ends: Justin Bieber, the Tyranny of Meritocracy, Accidentally Going Viral, Pandemic Show Tunes, and More Strange Rites

    1. Leading off this week, the philosopher Michael Sandel has some hefty critiques of the idea of meritocracy, specifically its disastrous effects on social and individual wellbeing in a global capitalist economy. Within a meritocracy, success becomes the law to live by that ruthlessly judges personal failure, dividing the self-righteous deserving from the unrighteous lazy. […]

    Learning from Jesus’ Wife

    Sometimes, the truth is far stranger than fiction. In September of 2012, the world learned that Jesus of Nazareth had a wife named Mary, or so the newspaper headlines read. Harvard Divinity School Professor Karen King announced to a frenzied media that a new ancient text had surfaced in which Jesus speaks of his wife. […]

    Another Week Ends: Toxic Positivity, Justin Townes Earle, Boredom, College Reopening Disasters, and Unsolicited Advice

    1. Kicking off this week’s review is a fantastic reflection in the Wall Street Journal by Mike Kerrigan: “A Late Bloomer Learns to Forgive.” A lawyer by occupation, Kerrigan speaks of his long-standing, uncomfortable relationship with forgiveness: In his autobiographical “Confessions,” St. Augustine of Hippo, whose Feast Day is celebrated Friday, admits praying as a […]

    Learning in Coronatide: C. S. Lewis on Going Back to School

    On October 22, 1939, C. S. Lewis climbed up to the pulpit of the University Church of St. Mary in Oxford to preach about “Learning in Wartime” at the start of the school year. France and the United Kingdom were at war with Germany, and Poland had just been conquered. The day before, many of […]

    The Shape of Modern Morality: Swapping Jesus for Hitler?

    The hippies of the 1960s didn’t kill Christianity. Adolf Hitler did. Let me explain. From the 1960s onwards, discussions of the decline of Christendom and the cultural influence of the church gravitate toward a number of topics of moral controversy. The pill, abortion, youth culture, and the sexual revolution are all usually viewed as flash-points […]

    Chasing Perfection: “Do Not Throw Away Your Shot”

    Election season is in full swing and the candidates of both parties are set to vie for our loyalty. And while the most vocal of fans are ardent followers of the candidates, many profess that both political parties have their faults, with little that inspires support or anything resembling devotion. We don’t like imperfect options, […]

    Exorcising Regrets By Divine Amnesia

    Failure and sports go hand-in-hand. As much as we might hold up elite athletes as gods, perfection is never their goal. The best batters strike out 60% of the time. The best quarterbacks have 40% of their passes hit the ground. All-star athletes have to have remarkably short memories. They can’t dwell on their mistakes. […]

    The Folly of the Cross in Our Divided World

    Crucifixes are kind of everywhere, if you look closely enough. We wear them as necklaces, earrings, or tattoos; we use them to decorate our houses; and most churches usually place a cross front and center. Athletes make the sign of the cross when they excel in competition. Vampires are repelled by the mere sight of […]

    Another Week Ends: Tom Holland, White Fragility, Religious Fandom, J.I. Packer, and Cancel-Culture Fear

    1. High Profiles this week featured a fascinating in-depth interview with history writer Tom Holland about his intellectual journey, personal beliefs, Islam, secular liberalism, contemporary news, and Christianity more broadly. I think I am naturally conservative. I think I’m more moved by things that have been than things that might be. I feel the power of what’s […]

    For the Love of Dog

    Everyone is getting a dog nowadays. Adoption shelters are virtually empty and those wanting their dog from a breeder are met with long wait-lists or exorbitant prices. If you were on the fence about “man’s best friend” heading into quarantine, then the agony of the last few months pushed you over the edge. The kids […]

    A Newly Discovered (and Entirely Short-Sighted) Ancient Roman Letter

    A rare find that’s almost too good to be true: Demetrius to Celsus, greetings. I pray you may always be in good health for many years to come. I praise you for your inquiring mind to discern the truth and wish to pass on to you what I have learned about the new Christ cult. […]

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