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Posts tagged "suffering"


Adrian Peterson’s Theology of Glory (and Why It’s Unhelpful)

Perhaps you know the story: Adrian Peterson, who suffered from an injury that was to alter his career (tearing his ACL), returned the next year and had such a good season that he was named the NFL’s most valuable player. Players who tear their ACL usually don’t bounce back very well or very quickly, let […]

Praying to a Human Face in an Angry Crowd

Francis Spufford on the horizontal power of prayer, known uniquely to Christianity (from Unapologetic): Christians too, of course, draw consolation from the patterns faith makes as it repeats in time. For us too there’s an important wisdom in not leading a life whose only measure is the impulse of the moment. But our main comfort […]

Another Week Ends: Underconfidence, Kate Middleton’s Picnics, Unreported Medical Advice, D.H. Lawrence’s Christian Wonder, the Double-Bind of Summer Movies, More Christian Wiman, and (Way) Too Much Sociology

1. How confident are you? Over at The New York Times, David Brooks surveyed his readers to get a sense for self-confidence, lack thereof, and the ways males and females experience confidence differently. While the word itself is a bit vague and murky, and Brooks found few trends in the survey data, the individual responses […]

Eating Poorly, Sleeping Well: Mockingjay and the End of Progress

You can either eat well, or sleep peacefully -German proverb There are dystopian novel plots that resolve, and there are those that do not. Commercial success demands resolution, which is a great reason why Collins will have to overcome a credibility barrier with adolescents and young adults if she ever wants to match The Hunger Games […]

Catching Fire: Breaking the Closed Circle of the Modern Bestseller

A brief recap: in The Hunger Games piece, we examined a two-level voyeuristic scaffolding built by Suzanne Collins as the book meditates on our attraction to violence and suffering. The Gamemakers create a brutal world into which teenagers are plunged to fight to the death for the amusement of thousands in the fictional dystopia of […]

Language as Empathy: Compassion and the Grace of Expression

Over at The American Scholar, acclaimed poet Christian Wiman wrote an essay, entitled “Mortify Our Wolves“, on his sickness with cancer and the dynamics of loss more generally – from the perspective of a preternaturally articulate Christian and sufferer. For those interested in language, empathy, pastoral care, or just about anything else in the world, […]

George Herbert – Easter Wings 1

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store       Though foolishly he lost the same,            Decaying more and more,                    Till he became                        Most poor:         […]

Previously on Parenthood: I Thought I Could Do It All, but I Can’t …

This is a little tardy since the most recent episode of Parenthood (“There’s Something I Need to Tell You …”) aired over a week ago, but I—perhaps like many of you—typically watch shows online several days later. Nevertheless, this is a follow up to a recent post regarding new developments in the Braverman clan. I […]

Everything Is Not OK (on Parenthood)… the Bad Thing Is Already Happening

Have you been watching the new season of Parenthood? This show continues to deliver the goods, which mostly come in the form of true-to-life suffering, chaos, loss, and grace, love, and peace amidst it all—very much in line with the Mockingbird conference last week in Charlottesville. Spoiler alert! Don’t read on if you are a […]

Ted Hughes on Inner Children and the Center of Magic and Revelation

Consistently in the Gospels, Christ tells people that they must become like little children in order to enter the Kingdom of God, in order to see the world properly through lenses unclouded by the ego (in modern terms), unimpaired by the countless protections and rationalizations and self-justifying constructions which permeate adult life. Last week Letters […]

Another Week Ends: Dead Liberal Arts, Glorious Ruin, Cagematch: Hoffman-Phoenix, Victorians in Baltimore, Creative Anxiety, and Imputed Guilt (by Association)

1. Over at The Daily Standard, writer and lecturer Joseph Epstein asks, “Who Killed the Liberal Arts?” With pre-professional education and a degree of liberal-arts relativizing on the rise, Epstein finds a central problem with American higher education to be the same kind of achievement cult that recent films like Waiting for “Superman” have criticized. Epstein’s […]

The Least Shall Be the Greatest: Crippling Accomplishments and Restitutive Suffering

Earlier, we looked at the narrative of David from 1 Samuel in relation to the theme of God’s preference for the least. In short, it is only by gratuitously choosing a young, poor, largely underqualified king that God reconstituted the people of Israel. This occurred because God’s choice of the least removes any meritocracy from […]