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Posts tagged "Theology of the Cross"


Even Jim Valvano Died

Jim Valvano (most likely known to non-sports fans as the namesake of the Jimmy V Foundation, a cancer research supporter which has given away hundreds of millions of dollars to fight the disease) was the subject of the latest ESPN 30-for-30 documentary, “Survive and Advance,” which premiered on Sunday night. The doc is about the […]

Intellectual Honesty, A Theology of the Cross, and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition

My four-year-old daughter Hazel is a Sports Illustrated subscriber. It’s a complicated issue of expiring airline miles; don’t ask. This week, the annual swimsuit edition was delivered. I remember, as a younger man, subscribing to SPORT Magazine (it was a cheaper monthly option than the weekly Sports Illustrated) and eagerly awaiting the swimsuit issue. SPORT, […]

Lady Edith Put to the Test: “I Don’t Think It’s Working”

Spoiler alert! This concerns the latest episode of Downton Abbey, Season 3: Episode 2. As those who have been watching this season of Downton know, this past week, Edith’s big day finally came to be wed to the affable, albeit much older, Sir Anthony Strallan. (“Finally something is going on in this house that’s about […]

The Top Theology Books of 2012

The following is a list of my top Mockingbird theology books of 2012 (in no particular order). – Glorious Ruin by Tullian Tchividjian Tchividjian does it again. Thoughtful, provocative, and deeply encouraging, “Glorious Ruin” places suffering at the heart of the Christian life and what we understand about God, but probably the biggest virtue of […]

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 […]

Tullian Tchividjian’s Glorious Ruin: Suffering, Freedom and Rocketship Underpants

“I was becoming totally preoccupied with how I was doing, if I was learning everything I was supposed to be learning during this difficult season, whether I was doing it right or not, and constantly taking my own spiritual pulse. You might say that my ‘inner lawyer’ was working overtime.” Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets […]

The Dark Knight Dies and Rises: Sacrifice and Freedom in Gotham

[Spoiler Alert – those who haven’t seen it, run don’t walk…it’s fantastic!] “All their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest.”   -Ecclesiastes 2:23 “Put your sword back in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”   […]

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 […]

von Balthasar on Buddhism; or, Zen and Jesus

A well-known 20th-century Catholic theologian on non-Christian religions: Because through his faith and love Socrates – perfectly and to the point of folly – subordinated his existence to the daimon within him, he can be an intimation of Christ: he points to the divine by himself being a highway for the divine. The same could be […]

Nobody Knows Yourself When You’re Down and Out: Kierkegaard on the Mirage of Health

From his Sickness unto Death, a passage where Kierkegaard compares spiritual sickness – i.e. despair – to physical unhealth, and then diagnoses seemingly everyone with a degree of this condition, even those who believe themselves healthy: This observation will no doubt strike many as paradoxical, an exaggeration, and a gloomy and discouraging view besides. Yet […]

Pulling John and Losing to Win

  I’m addicted to documentaries; tiny ones that no one has ever heard of. Netflix Instant has been a godsend for finding my fringe documentary fix.  The last two I watched were Running the Sahara, the story of three men who, you guessed it, ran across the Sahara Desert, and Pulling John, the story of […]