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Posts tagged "Jesus"


Mining Netflix: “Father Brown”

What do you get when you cross Sherlock Holmes with Pope Francis and Arthur Weasley? You get a slightly bumpling but brilliant Catholic priest who moonlights as a murder detective. “Father Brown” is the literary creation of G.K. Chesterton, and the BBC show based on him is now airing on Netflix in its entirety. I […]

How Jesus Solves the Trolley Problem

There’s a famous thought experiment called the Trolley Problem that goes like this: imagine you are standing by a trolley track, and an out-of-control trolley car whizzes by. Looking ahead, you see that five people have been tied to the track by an evil moustache-twirling villain, and they will die if the trolley continues on […]

Get Out While You Can: A Defense of Escapism

Escapism has a bad name nowadays. It’s usually equated with those who play video games for far too long, get lost in fiction books, or never come back from their Hawaii vacation. Escapists are the ignorant who bury their head in the sand in the hopes that they won’t be devoured. In Christian circles, they are the hermetic […]

Jesus Didn’t Have a Pen

It struck me last week (not sure how, or why) that Jesus didn’t have a pen. St. Luke apparently had a pen. He had to write prescriptions. Did they have prescriptions back then? Certainly to be the “Dear and Glorious Physician” one would have to have a pen, or a quill, or a facsimile thereof. […]

Whatever It Takes: Friendship and Avenging the Fallen

This one’s for Kristin and Anna; Andy, Blake, Caleb, Chris, Jeff, Nathan, Reed, and Trevor. Some spoilers follow. “If a man should importune me to give a reason why I loved him [his friend, Etienne Boetie] I find it could no otherwise be expressed, than by making answer: because it was he, because it was […]

The Death of Control

My wife has one unrelenting addiction: “Jeopardy!” If there is time, she will watch, and if I am there, I will sit through it. In his 35 years on the syndicated nightly show, Alex Trebek has become an icon. His hushed superiority, muffled humor, and obvious judgments of the players and the game are, now, […]

Hopelessly Devoted: Mark Chapter Nine Verses Fourteen Through Twenty-Nine

This morning’s devotion, “An Honest Prayer for Faith,” was written by Larry Parsley. It’s taken from his new devotional, An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel: Meditations on Mark, available through Mockingbird’s online bookstore and Amazon. “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do […]

I Am Not Karl Lagerfeld

A man who designed things died this week, but what ended was his central, lifelong design: himself. I design things every day, but I am completely clueless about my own design. Death imposes reflection on us, whether we like it or not. So when I see a person pass away who was virtually a cartoon of […]

80/20 Dirtbag

Christians are impossible. Have you noticed? They’re needy, demanding, insecure, oblivious, judgmental, hypocritical, weird and generally exhausting. And that’s just me. But seriously, there was a time in my (more)self-righteous youth when I wondered what was wrong with people who went to church. Why were they like that? So uncool? So difficult to be around? […]

The Duty vs. the Desire to Punish

A brief review of the Persistent Widow parable from Luke 18, which many folks heard at church this past Sunday. It’s a short little parable of a widow with a just grievance. The local judge, however, is corrupt, and he refuses to hear the case. So the widow relentlessly pesters the judge until he finally agrees to […]

The Meghan Trainor of Galilee

Someone told me recently that at his church they invite everyone to receive Communion, even if they are not Christians (which is a theological debate for another time). What got me was his reasoning. “Everybody’s welcome,” he said, “because Jesus never said no to anyone.” He said it like it’s a thing. Like something that […]

Chameleon Jesus

Throwing in some last minute thoughts about Christmas before tree burning commences. With the incarnation, God is presented as man, a man. That is part of the humiliation of Christ’s life. In other words, the cross begins at Christmas, when the second person of the Trinity is presented into a world of gravity and cold sores, where […]