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Posts tagged "Low Anthropology"


Frederick Buechner’s Bad News

A choice reflection from Frederick Buechner’s Quote of the Day (h/t KW):

The Gospel is bad news before it is good news. It is the news that man is a sinner, to use the old word, that he is evil in the imagination of his heart, that when he looks in the mirror all in a lather what he sees is at least eight parts chicken, phony, slob. That is the tragedy. But it is also the news that he is loved anyway, cherished, forgiven, bleeding to be sure, but also bled for. That is the comedy. And yet, so what? So what if even in his sin the slob is loved and forgiven when the very mark and substance of his sin and of his slobbery is that he keeps turning down the love and forgiveness because he either doesn’t believe them or doesn’t want them or just doesn’t give a damn? In answer, the news of the Gospel is that extraordinary things happen to him just as in fairy tales extraordinary things happen. Henry Ward Beecher cheats on his wife, his God, himself, but manages to keep on bringing the Gospel to life for people anyway, maybe even for himself. Lear goes berserk on a heath but comes out of it for a few brief hours every inch a king. Zaccheus climbs up a sycamore tree a crook and climbs down a saint. Paul sets out a hatchet man for the Pharisees and comes back a fool for Christ. It is impossible for anybody to leave behind the darkness of the world he carries on his back like a snail, but for God all things are possible. That is the fairy tale. All together they are the truth.

– Originally published in Telling the Truth

A Full Grown Man & His Sad Jelly Belly

A confession from Matt Magill: I have a complicated relationship with sugar. It’s really the candy that does me in. The guilty verdict on my perpetual adolescence needs no further evidence than my wicked sweet tooth and embarrassing proclivity to indulge it. No matter how often I throw out “Not today Satan!”, I trend towards […]

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. […]

A Gift on Father’s Day

This Father’s Day, my three children gifted me a bird feeder in the shape of a log cabin. Now, as they joyfully run amok in the playroom, I am reflecting on the gifts of fatherhood itself. Fatherhood has taught me that children are actually verbs. Also, that Legos multiply through their own procreative process. Yesterday […]

“I Do” Is Not “I Can”: From Jason Micheli’s Living in Sin

Thrilled to share this excerpt from Jason Micheli’s brand-new book Living in Sin: Making Marriage Work Between I Do and Death. The following comes from Chapter Three, “That’s What She Said” (pp 52-56). Strike what I said earlier against advice-giving because here’s some. But this isn’t just marriage advice, it’s Christian advice, advice on how […]

Mission: Difficult

The following was excerpted from Nick Lannon’s fantastic new book Life Is Impossible: And That’s Good News—a fundamental distillation of the law and the gospel in everyday life. This comes from the third chapter “Mission: Difficult.” I have heard the Christian life described in many different ways. Some have compared it to a race, or […]

Botched Convocation for the Handsome Boy Modeling School of Ministry

“Why is everyone scowling at me?” I had a week(s) where every time I made eye contact with someone, invariably, they would have this pained look on their face. I had to look into a mirror, like Boris Karloff in Targets, before realizing what was causing it: my face. Every time a certain subject came up, […]

Into the Spider-Verse: Anyone Can Wear the Mask but Web-Slinging Is Another Matter

Thrilled to share this review from superhero expert Jeremiah Lawson: Last week, Into the Spider-Verse won the Oscar for best animated feature film. Of the contenders, even though I loved Incredibles 2, I would be willing to say that for sheer fun Spider-Verse deserved its win. The film is a high-octane sugar-buzz film with a dense, complex array […]

What Happens When You Finally Quit Social Media

An anonymous confession. A recent study reported by The New York Times suggests that people are people with or without Facebook. People without Facebook have mood swings; people with Facebook have mood swings and access to thousands of pictures of people they might only kind of know. Examining the study, Benedict Carey explains how “heavy […]

The Brake Fast Club: Low Anthropology in Defensive Driving School

This one comes to us from Kate Campbell. I wake up early one Saturday morning and drive over to the tiny strip center where my day’s worth of self-imposed detention awaits me. When I walk into the office, a home-makeover show is playing on the tiny TV screen. A stocky man at the front desk […]

We’re All Right? Phil Harvey Spector, “Sign of the Times”, and the Horror of Pop

The following was written by our friend, Rachel Gaffin. A version of this article was originally published in The Ruckus last September. The year my brother Richard discovered rock and roll, his Christmas gifts shared a common theme: one uncle bought him a giant red Visual Dictionary of Rock and Roll; another bought him a set […]

Consider the Grasshopper

There are more than 11,000 species of grasshopper. The Acrididae family comprises about 10,000 of those species, accounting for nearly all grasshoppers in the United States. They’re harmless creatures, really. Plant-eaters, the lot of them, and many produce a gentle, familiar sound by rubbing the ridges of their hind legs against the edges of their […]