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About Todd Brewer

Phd in New Testament and Early Christianity from Durham University, England. I have a love for all things alt-rock, Pixar, football (American style), hockey (on ice), poetry, and good, short literature. On Twitter @toddbrewer_

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Author Archive
    

    Comfort to Afflicted Saints

    Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3) The pithiness of some of Jesus’ teachings, coupled with their familiarity in the church, often empties them of their radicality and counter-intuitive divergence from commonsense. Translated into the language of ethics for what Christians must do or become on the […]

    Good News That Never Goes Out of Style

    Ideas are sort of like clothes. Like when you find a new jean jacket and it instantly becomes your favorite. The fit is impeccable, as if it were designed for only you. You wear it everywhere with pride and are the envy of everyone. The jacket becomes your signature accessory and it assumes an almost […]

    Human Maturity Between Sin and Righteousness

    An oldie-but-goodie from Paul Zahl’s “Grace in Practice” (p.123):

    “My status from God’s side is unassailable and indefectible. My substance from my side, from the analysis of anyone who knows me, is good and bad at the same time, or rather, mostly the same old, same old that I have always been, though now covered over by the thin red line, the imputing blood of Christ. We could say that this position of the simul-iustus-et-peccator self [at the same time righteous and a sinner] is the last word in what the world calls ‘maturity’. That is, the simult iustus-et-peccator self is secure in the love of another, and at the same time cognizant of its limitations, faults, and insufficiencies – its sins, in other words[…]

    This is the place where Christianity becomes a matchless definition of human maturity. It is the key to living, because it lives in hope and belovedness (iustus), while at the same time accepting the limitations of a fallen, tripped-up character (peccator). This is integration. Simul iustus et peccator integrates the human object. It combines imputation, the fact that God brings everything to the table as far as my identity is concerned, and the fact that I bring nothing to the table whatsoever. The No pronounced on my sin, which I shall carry in my body and person for the rest of my life, is united with the Yes pronounced upon that sin. Imputation makes it all right for me to live as I am and also in light of what I ought and want to be.

    And for more info on PZ’s most recent book click here!

    A Useful Lie: The Music Man and Imputation

    Extended home life has led to some unusual TV viewing these days. Case in point: we all watched a 12-hour documentary on an exotic zoo owner. The shortage of content recently led me to watch the old 1962 film, “The Music Man”. The musical has almost canonical status in theater culture and is a staple […]

    Another Week Ends: Kierkegaard, Resurrection Sufferings, Pandemic Deadly Sins, Strategic Inefficiency, Cathartic Humor, and our Groundhog Days

    1. Over at Marginalia Thomas Millay reviews what looks to be a fantastic book on Søren Kierkegaard, by Sylvia Walsh. She provocatively contends that Kierkegaard believed humans were incapable of actually becoming virtuous. The virtues, for him, are the means to measure failure. The Christian life is not the progressive accumulation of successes, but continual […]

    Exorcisms, Jesus, and Modernity

    You’ve probably never met a demon, at least not face-to-face. And so far as I know, neither have I. Jesus, by contrast, met them all the time—he even chatted with them a bit on some occasions. The disciples often do much of the same, both during and after Jesus’ ministry. The idea that demons are […]

    More than Lament: the Strange Boldness of Christianity

    Our experience of the pandemic has changed on an almost daily basis. I live in the New York area and it seems that the country has moved from laughing at the inconveniences of social distancing, to the stresses of home isolation, and now to the tragedy of knowing people who have contracted the virus, some […]

    Another Week Ends: Werner Herzog, the Annunciation, Pandemic Dating, Hope, Loneliness, and Humor

    1. I’ll get to articles on our coronavirus life soon enough, but first I wanted to feature this amazing NY Times interview with filmmaker Werner Herzog. It’s everything you don’t need right now and more: a wide-ranging, thoughtful, and disarmingly funny back-and-forth with perhaps the most interesting person in the world. And that story of […]

    Romans 7 for Everyone: Death by the Hands of the Law

    Disclaimer: This post does not mention the Coronavirus pandemic, Zoom, Zinc supplements, or social distancing. For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing […]

    Hoarding in a Crisis, Stealing from Your Neighbor

    I walked into Trader Joe’s yesterday and the line wrapped around the entire building. Fresh produce was abundant, so I was hopeful for success. I had my toddler with me so I was committed to making the most of this. As I turned to the freezer section I realized what was going on. It was […]

    The Trial of Atticus Finch: Aaron Sorkin’s To Kill a Mockingbird

    It’s a common complaint of fans that adaptations aren’t really as good as the books. Not everything in a novel can make it into a film. Themes, characters, and scenes are inevitably cut for the sake of running time. Even still, I didn’t expect the Broadway remake of To Kill a Mockingbird to be such […]

    Another Week Ends: the Cross of Christ, Not Giving Advice, Temptation, Jean Vanier, Pixar’s Onward, the Dating Market, and Reclaiming Moral Language

    1. As we enter into Lent, Fred Sanders has a wonderful reflection on the centrality of Jesus’ crucifixion, arguing “The Cross Changes Everything.” Whether from the Apostle Paul, Charles Wesley, or the Apostle’s Creed, the salvation wrought by Jesus at Calvary is a refrain worth repeating again and again. The centrality of the Cross changes […]

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