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Posts tagged "grace"


Keep Watch, Dear Lord: Life Behind “The Neighbors’ Window”

The beauty of the short film is that it can provide the same amount of catharsis of a full-length movie while demanding far less of a time commitment. At this point in my life, it feels as if the genre exists solely for parents of young children, for those of us who can fall asleep […]

Leslie Jamison on Grace Without a Backstory

“This is the story of a layover. Who tells that story? I’m telling it to you now. One January evening, my flight got delayed out of Louisiana, where I’d been talking to people about their past lives, and I missed my connection in Houston. I had a night there. Trying to have a travel experience […]

Human Being > Human Doing : A Favorite Piece of Spiritual Advice and Mary Oliver

In my first year of college, a few simple but profound words poured light into the deep, dark depths of my depression-riddled world. The words came to me thanks to an old friend of my dad’s who also happens to be a leader in a ministry I was beginning to dip my toes in. His […]

The Parable of the Pop Quiz

There once was a Chaplain who worked at a school in Virginia. As part of his work, he taught a course in Comparative Religion to high school seniors. His class was made up of students from around the world with varying religious and non-religious backgrounds. Given one semester to cover the major world religions, he had […]

“Like a Blaze of Summer Lightning”: Margery Lawrence, Heaven’s Reluctant Guide

She was being called out in The Sunday Express. The British novelist and poet, Margery Lawrence had been identified as a leading contributor to society’s ills, in print. Being a feminist critical of marriage in 1920s England marked you as a troublemaker. Take Lawrence’s novel, which was quickly turned into the film Madonna of the […]

When People Tell Me It’s Hard to Find a Church

People often reach out to tell us that they lean on our podcasts, sermons, and articles in lieu of church. While there’s something undeniably encouraging about the gratitude being expressed, at the same time it always makes my heart ache. I worry about who will bring them a casserole when their mother dies. I worry […]

Stormzy Takes Glastonbury to Church

Stormzy is a star in the UK and has the following to prove it. He’s the first black solo artist headlining at Glastonbury, but who’d have thought that a pop concert with tens of thousands of people–and no Kanye–would become a worship service? The lyrics are spectacular and the whole scene is profoundly moving.

ht JMGB

David Bentley Hart, on Grace Beyond Supply and Demand

An excerpt from David Bentley Hart’s provocative new book, That All Shall Be Saved. As this chapter’s title suggested, he’s “Doubting the Answers,” and he’s giving us something to think about:

… for Christian thought in general, the question of one’s just deserts before God is irrelevant—as it was, for instance, for the woman taken in adultery. If what the New Testament says about God is true, then it is God’s will not to repay us according to our merits, but simply to claim for himself those of his creatures who had been lost in slavery to death. I remain convinced that no one, logically speaking, could merit eternal punishment; but I also accept the obverse claim that no one could merit grace. This does not mean, however, that grace must be rare in order to be truly gracious, as so many in the infernalist party so casually assume it must. Grace universally given is still grace. A gift made to everyone is no less a gift, and a gift this is intrinsically precious need not be rare to be an act of the highest generosity. Conversely, that gift becomes no more precious—indeed, it becomes much less so—if it is certified in its value by being distributed only parsimoniously. Our very existence is an unmerited gift, after all (unless, of course, there really is an eternal hell, in which case it is also, and perhaps preponderantly, an unmerited brutality). More to the point, if Paul is right, then—whereas natural justice is wholly concerned with matters of law and proportional consequences—the supernatural justice revealed in Christ consists in God’s victory over all the powers that separate his creation from him, and to that degree is as “unjust” as any other act of wholly unmerited mercy is. (52)

Lessons in Love from the Nursing Home Lobby

The following was written by Grace Leuenberger. This summer, we threw a party to celebrate my grandparents’ 70th wedding anniversary. They were college sweethearts who married on June 11, 1949, a few weeks after my grandma’s 20th birthday. My grandpa proposed in the living room of my grandma’s parents’ house in Erie, Pennsylvania. “It happened […]

Taking a Walk? Godspeed!

Solvitur ambulando, or “It is solved by walking,” in Latin — a Roman quip probably effused on one of the many roads that leads to (or from) the travertine city. Note the passive voice, which permits the speaker to omit any specific notion of what is actually solved by walking. But perhaps that’s the point […]

When Reconciliation Was the Most Obvious Thing in the World: An Excerpt from Robert Farrar Capon’s The Youngest Day

From Chapter 14, “The Funeral,” in Robert Farrar Capon’s collection of seasonal musings, “The Youngest Day”: Late one evening I was with a group of people who were having an extended series of nightcaps after the funeral of a common friend. We’d all known him well, and as the night wore on and tongues got […]

Grace for ME: Kierkegaard, Sin, and the Self

A week ago my father asked me, presumably because I was the only suitable philosophical authority within a few miles, what “Existentialism” is. Being the word-merchant that I am, I deftly replied, “uh…well, it was kind of started by Kierkegaard — though it’s not explicitly Christian — and it deals with big questions, like, um, […]