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Tim Kreider on the Pleasures and Perils of “Outrage Porn”

Imagine if we had chosen the path of retribution and revenge. Our country would have been dust and ashes. – Desmond Tutu, on the end of Apartheid Look, I’m mad too. I’m scared too. I’m anxious and exhausted and finding it hard to be kind too. These are dark days. Some fear, some anger, some […]

Law, Gospel, and “Cruel Optimism”: An Excerpt from The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience

There’s so much to love in Simeon Zahl’s latest monograph, The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience. In addition to being a theological tour de force, the book offers numerous outstanding reflections on how theology might explain the experiences of everyday life. The following comes from Chapter 4, “Grace in Experience”, pp. 172-75 (emphasisadded). [A vital […]

Caught Between Love and Shame

Another excerpt from The Soul of Shame by Curt Thompson. Toward the end of his book, Thompson makes the case that our everyday lives are marked by tension between shame and love, isolation and community, disintegration and integration. In this chapter on vocation, he uses Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians to discuss the role […]

The Shearing Effect of Shaming Children

For some light(!) summer reading, I picked up a copy of psychologist Curt Thompson’s book The Soul of Shame and blew threw it about a week or so ago. Thompson’s book is a remarkable look into the overlap of brain structure, psychology, and Christian spirituality. He outlines how shame functions in the structures of the […]

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, […]

Inheriting the Crazy Bible: My Grandfather and Me

In our family we have what has come to be known as the “Crazy Bible.” We know that religion was a huge part of my grandfather’s struggle with bipolar depression. It is well remembered in family stories and documented in the records from the military psychiatric facilities where he desperately tried to get well. We […]

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. […]

Self-Care for My Inner Child and Me

Not to rub it in, but we’re in better shape over here in Australia than you are in America (pandemic-wise). But I’m still smarting from the effects of lockdown and, in particular, homeschooling — although I know that both could re-emerge at any moment. When the lockdown walls first began closing in, I knew that […]

Mindful of Hope: O God, Our Help in Ages Past

Mindfulness has been a front-and-center staple of our collective zeitgeist for the past few years. As a certified mindfulness teacher, I am an advocate for the benefits of meditation and mindfulness practice in almost every aspect of life. On a personal level, as someone who deals with a steady state of low-grade anxiety, mindfulness has […]

COVID Stole the Wienermobile and Everyone Is Grieving

Well, the virus finally hit my small town in rural Pennsylvania last week, and it hit in a way that surprised us all. Don’t worry, we’re all fine and healthy for the most part. But the virus hasn’t just come for our bodies and spirits. The most recent casualty of COVID-19 was our annual town […]

Scared and Sacred, Faith and Fear

During the quarantine, I’ve spent many afternoons sitting quietly on the trunk of a tree that had fallen across the neighborhood creek—a small body of water that meanders through the woods behind my home. One recent afternoon, as my three young children splashed, I watched the sunlight in the treetops render the green leaves almost […]

From The New Yorker