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The Glory of the World's Twilight: A Tribute to Autumn

The Glory of the World’s Twilight: A Tribute to Autumn

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2 Cor 4:16) The last day of summer hasn’t officially arrived, but it’s been autumn in my heart for over a week already. Foretastes of fall have been filtering...
12 Steps for the Recovering "Pharisee"

12 Steps for the Recovering “Pharisee”

Quoted from the book, Twelve Steps for the Recovering Pharisee (like me): We admit that our single most unmitigated pleasure is to judge other people. Have come to believe that our means of obtaining greatness is to make everyone lower than ourselves in our own mind. Realize that we detest...
Pandemics and the Theology of the Cross: Julian of Norwich's Hope

Pandemics and the Theology of the Cross: Julian of Norwich’s Hope

This post comes to us from Nathan White. White serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Faith and Resilience, which seeks to connect theology and social scientific scholarship with communities of faith. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Ps 11:3) The psalmist posed this...
A (Low-Anthropology) Guide to Quarantine Prayer and ‘Loud Time’

A (Low-Anthropology) Guide to Quarantine Prayer and ‘Loud Time’

Recently, over coffees and 1000-calorie donuts the size of our heads, a couple of friends and I discussed our morning spiritual routines. I expressed frustration, for the thousandth time, that establishing a morning routine of Bible reading / journaling / prayer / whatever is very difficult for me. And that...
Social Media and Choosing Your Own Narrative

Social Media and Choosing Your Own Narrative

This post from Stephanie Phillips was originally published on Mbird in October of 2014. Safe to say that it’s still incredibly relevant. I engaged in a Facebook fight recently. This hasn’t happened in a while. I try to avoid commenting on the status updates and posts that particularly (and regularly)...
Settling into the Strangeness: Pandemic Life as Exile

Settling into the Strangeness: Pandemic Life as Exile

Everyone is born a king, and most people die in exile. – Oscar Wilde With each passing season, the pandemic somehow feels fresh and new as it claims yet another area of life that had been previously untouched. This year’s Easter, lacking its usual fanfare, somberly came and went. Months...
Spiritual Consultants at the Gates of a Great Unraveling

Spiritual Consultants at the Gates of a Great Unraveling

The Great Unraveling they’re calling it, what’s happening to our society right now. A little melodramatic, I know; headlines are just words after all, and it’s gotten so hard to tell what’s hype and what’s not, how much of what we’re hearing is Internet-land hysteria and what’s actually, well, true....
Defund Your Inner Police

Defund Your Inner Police

*removes earrings, puts hair on top of head* Are y’all ready for some church drama? Last Friday our church put up the weekly newsletter. It was a good one. Having survived Laura here in Houston we were called on to reach out and serve those people battered by the storm....
Latest entries


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. […]

“Where is the Promised Joy?”

John P. McNamee’s 1995 memoir, Diary of a City Priest, traces a year of his parish ministry in inner-city Philadelphia. It’s a tough read. McNamee does his best to minister spiritually and physically to parishioners and neighbors alike, aware at all times that his efforts don’t begin to budge the needle of intergenerational poverty and […]

Settling into the Strangeness: Pandemic Life as Exile

Everyone is born a king, and most people die in exile. – Oscar Wilde With each passing season, the pandemic somehow feels fresh and new as it claims yet another area of life that had been previously untouched. This year’s Easter, lacking its usual fanfare, somberly came and went. Months later, a gloomy Fourth of […]

Another Week Ends: WEIRDos in the West, Feigning Wack-Jobs, the Twittering Machine, Enduring Work, and Lana Del Rey Talks to Jesus

1. A happy ending for a recovering alcoholic who was rescued from drowning by Paulist priests sailing by on a tiki bar pontoon. Not everything about 2020 is awful, folks! 2. In the first of two book reviews for your consideration this week, Judith Shulevitz reviews The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West […]

God’s Little Puzzle Pieces

The reflection comes to us from Casey Wilson: We are puzzle pieces. A strange thing to say, but it is true. Ever wondered what your purpose is? Or struggled with your identity? Or wonder where your life fits into the bigger picture in relation to the people around you? I’ve had moments like these in […]

The Glory of the World’s Twilight: A Tribute to Autumn

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2 Cor 4:16) The last day of summer hasn’t officially arrived, but it’s been autumn in my heart for over a week already. Foretastes of fall have been filtering in all this time, heralding […]

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 […]

When the “Cart Narcs” Come for You

Grateful for this post from Blake Nail:  Anyone who’s been to the grocery store is well aware of the temptation gnawing at you as the cart is emptied into the back of the car and an option is now presented before you. The cart corral is perhaps an aisle over, or maybe the sun has […]

The Sweet Smell of Sanctification by Grace

I think this is a remix of something Key Life’s Steve Brown once said, but the aged man who’s been in church longer than you’ve been alive isn’t necessarily holier than you; he’s just more tired. The fact that he no longer acts on impulses which drove him in his adolescence is due less to […]

From The New Yorker

Jamie Quatro Envisions Unconditional Love in New York City

After speaking at our conference last year, Leslie Jamison recommended a book that she had read in one sitting: Jamie Quatro’s Fire Sermon. Aptly named, this inferno of a novel is about desire, transgression, self-loathing and acceptance; I, too, read it quickly (not in one sitting, but quickly!). The protagonist, Maggie, is a writer wrestling […]

Performative Podcast Subscriptions (and Other Attempts at Justification)

I have a number of behavior patterns that have been with me for many years. One of the joys of getting older is realizing that all the cycles and habits you thought you would outgrow are still with you and will most likely be with you forever.  One of my behavior patterns is a cycle […]