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Posted by on Oct 20, 2016 | 0 comments

On Fairy Stories

On Fairy Stories

I want to propose a simple and likely enjoyable remedy to the angst and malaise that is all things Presidential Election 2016. My suggested medicine does not involve serious or satirical Facebook posts, lawn signs, raging editorial pieces, or warnings of impending apocalypse. Instead, I suggest reading fairy-stories. In JRR Tolkien’s essay “On Fairy Stories,” Tolkien defines fairy-stories as “stories about Fairy, that is Faërie, the realm or state in which fairies have their being.”[1] Faërie is the realm of enchantment where not only dragons and trolls (and hobbits) reside, but all the things that enchant us in the created world, “the seas, the sun, the moon, the sky; and the earth and all things that are in it: tree and bird, water and stone, wine and bread, and ourselves.”[2] These stories capture not only the mythical qualities of some other realm, but the wonder-provoking though often ignored aspects of everyday life. Tolkien narrates three ways that fairy-stories provide succor to readers: recovery, escape, and consolation. Recovery. “Recovery is...

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Posted by on Jul 7, 2016 | 4 comments

The Nicene Creed: “And [we believe] in the Holy Ghost…”

The Nicene Creed: “And [we believe] in the Holy Ghost…”

With the annunciation of the Holy Spirit the Nicene Creed completes its Trinitarian formulation. But to understand the role of the Spirit in the Trinity we have to look back into the Creed. In doing so it will be come clear that the Holy Spirit isn’t a new phenomenon but an eternal participant with the Father and the Son in the creation, maintenance, and healing of the world.

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Posted by on Jun 16, 2016 | 3 comments

The Nicene Creed: “We believe in one God…”

The Nicene Creed: “We believe in one God…”

**This post is part of a series reflecting on the Nicene Creed** << Previous post View series Next post >>   We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. The catalyst for the Nicene Creed, as Alex detailed in his introductory post, was the question: WHO IS THE SON OF GOD? To enter into this historical discussion is to wade into a truly complicated and often descriptively oversimplified discussion of the Christological debate in the early Church.[1] The central question revolved around the issue of the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God—was the Son a divine soul embedded within a human body? a moral exemplar, the best of what it is to be human but not divine? a divine person who only appeared to be human, but was not? To begin the creed with the affirmation of one God, Father, and Creator, might appear at first glance to be concerned with something other...

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Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 | 0 comments

More than Just Evangelism? The Calling of Christians in the World

More than Just Evangelism? The Calling of Christians in the World

A review of the ReFrame course Why did God put us on the earth? What is his purpose for art, science, law, finance, literature and education? What does he want Christians do in those areas? For many Christians the answer to these questions is that we are there to “save others” i.e. to share the gospel with other people in those areas. But, as Loren Wilkinson asks in ReFrame, “if we’re here to save others, what are the ‘others’ here for?” To say that evangelism is the only purpose of Christians in the world is like saying that the only purpose of a business is to advertise its product. What is its product? What is the nature of Christian politics, engineering, and medicine, or does God not have anything to say about these things? ReFrame explores these questions, with ten 40-minute videos going through the Biblical story, examining how it reimagines what it means to be a human being on the earth, from a Christian perspective. It offers continual comparisons between...

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Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 | 0 comments

Our Favorite Reads of 2014

Our Favorite Reads of 2014

With the end of 2014 right around the corner, we thought it might be fun to post some of our favourite reads of the year. One thing you’ll notice from the list: fiction is important! No one can read too much fiction. As a lot of these write ups clearly imply, fiction can have very important theological implications. But still, a few of us found non-fiction the most interesting this year, not necessarily academic abstraction, however. Perhaps this is a simple reminder that we need to be connecting with people who think differently than us; whether that shows up in their preferred bibliography, opinions, or overall worldview, nothing but good can come from engaging with difference. Feel free to post your own favorite reads in the comment section, or share you thoughts about one of the titles below if you have already read them. Caroline: In Learning to Walk in the Dark, Barbara Brown Taylor leads us through the pitch-black grounds of her North Georgia farm and the seedy night club where she worked in...

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Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 | 2 comments

Christ’s Uniting of Myth and History; or, me processing how the hell stories, historical facts, and Jesus make sense

Christ’s Uniting of Myth and History; or, me processing how the hell stories, historical facts, and Jesus make sense

History is complex and multifaceted. No event is without its many interpretations. But it seems we can always talk about history, or a collection of events, as something substantive. We recognize that whatever may have happened was real to people in the same way our own experiences are real to us. Yet, when we read stories, however grounded in reality they may or may not be, their analogies, metaphors, and allegories are, in their own way, interpreted to be true. Are a given story’s literary devices as true as historical events? If they are going to be true, do they need to be rooted in history? Or, is history rooted in those devices? For the ancients, “history” was often understood as an eternal cycle. That cycle was usually grounded on some sort of creation narrative, or a foundational myth that gave rise to the whole of their religious ethos. History and time, being something that constantly repeated themselves, were thus participated in through rituals. In some way, these people...

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