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Posts tagged "Jesus"

The Death of Control

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chameleon Jesus

Throwing in some last minute thoughts about Christmas before tree burning commences. The incarnation is, in a way, God being made in the image of man, which is part of the humiliation of Christ’s life. It seems to me that the cross begins at Christmas, when the second person of the Trinity is pushed out from between Mary’s unshaved […]

Grace in <i>A Most Violent Year</i>

Grace in A Most Violent Year

2015’s cinematic rendition of the Rich Young Ruler comes to us from J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year, which opens with the lead man, Abel, running—fast. Abel later explains that only cowards run, because they are too afraid to face the truth; Abel himself, however, firmly believes that he’s running towards something, not away from […]

The 21 Beheaded Egyptians Make Me Proud to Be a Christian

The 21 Beheaded Egyptians Make Me Proud to Be a Christian

From Cairo to Rome and beyond, the reaction to the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians by ISIS has been swift and profound: anger and condemnation, sadness and solidarity. Yet, as I have thought over this horrific event, another emotion has swelled within in me: pride. For while the Islamic State considers itself to be following in the footsteps […]

<i>Serial</i>, Contradictions, and the Jesus Stories

Serial, Contradictions, and the Jesus Stories

The Gospels are full of contradictions. There, I said it. Take, for example, the differing accounts of the resurrection. In Matthew, the two Marys – Magdelene and Jesus’ mom – are at the empty tomb, greeted by an earthquake and an angel. In Luke, Joanna and other unnamed females are added to the mix, and […]

Another Week Ends: Overprotected Kids (and their Legos), Disney Therapy, Katims Gold, Malaysian Obsessions, Performance Reviews and Symmetrical Wes

Another Week Ends: Overprotected Kids (and their Legos), Disney Therapy, Katims Gold, Malaysian Obsessions, Performance Reviews and Symmetrical Wes

1. I had every intention of giving the subject of parenting a rest. Really, I did. But then The Atlantic put Hanna Rosin’s “The Overprotected Kid” on their cover this month and what can you do. Rosin touches on many of the same points that Heather Havrilesky raised in her polemic on ‘scripted play’, tracing […]

The Hold Steady and Their Hoodrat Jesus

The Hold Steady and Their Hoodrat Jesus

“Tiny little text etched into her neck, it said, ‘Jesus lived and died for all your sins.’” If you listen to The Hold Steady, you notice that Jesus shows up in strange places. He is etched in a neck tattoo, chilling with the Father in a character’s drug-induced hallucinations, and in the embrace of “young […]