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Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 | 0 comments

Planting: a millennial’s guide to motherhood.

Planting: a millennial’s guide to motherhood.

I’m a millennial to my core. I fall in the correct age range. I took a year off after college to accumulate “experiences.” I completed a degree in theology which, as my grandmother keeps reminding me, will never come to any practical use or gainful employment. Like every 18-35 year old with their parents’ Netflix password, I binge-watched Stranger Things. (It was rad.) Vocationally unmoored, prone to frequent brunches, convinced I have a unique creative talent of which the wider world should not be deprived, I’ve fit the criteria a little too closely until now. But now, all of a sudden, my life is merged with a tiny dependent I’ve never met but am bound to in every way. The first month I stopped taking my birth control, every day was an adventure. I bought a 25-pack of cheap pregnancy tests on Amazon prime and took one nearly every morning. I came to expect it. The one dark red line, clear as a stop sign on the road. Not...

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Posted by on Jan 5, 2016 | 6 comments

Safety is not a Christian virtue

Safety is not a Christian virtue

In 1934, Dietrich Bonhoeffer addressed the ecumenical peace organization World Alliance for International Friendship through Churches in Denmark.[1] Centrally in this address, Bonhoeffer argues that the World Alliance must function as the universal Church by working for peace with the aim of not only ending war but finding victory over it. Victory over war involves understanding war “as the work of evil powers in this world, enemies of God.”[2] As Christians, Bonhoeffer reminds his audience that the work of peace is a mandate for the ecumenical Church, not an optional problem that needs to be dealt with. The mission of peace among Christians transcends and unites across any and all societal boundaries, be they “national, political, social, or racial.”[3] In this address, Bonhoeffer highlights the confusion of safety with peace: “There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared. It is the great venture. It can never be made safe. Peace is the opposite of security.”[4] To pursue safety is to diverge...

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Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 | 4 comments

How one Philosopher became Christian through reading Aristotle

How one Philosopher became Christian through reading Aristotle

  In 1981 the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre converted to Christianity during the course of writing his most famous work, After Virtue. The book argues that today’s Western understanding of right and wrong (morality) is a shipwreck of disconnected fragments that we can’t seem to piece together. Hundreds of years ago the coherent whole into which they fit was smashed to pieces by a series of revolutions in thought, the most significant of which was the Enlightenment. He noticed that in today’s moral debates (e.g. just war / abortion / poverty) the conflicting opinions have no common framework that could make both sides eventually agree. Therefore everyone’s moral standpoint ends up coming down to how they individually feel, or to an arbitrary decision to take one side instead of another. According to MacIntyre, we should not assume that this is the way moral debates have always been everywhere. On the contrary, things used to be quite different in the West. The common framework for thinking about moral questions came from...

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Posted by on Jan 8, 2015 | 1 comment

The Haunting Witness of Virtue

The Haunting Witness of Virtue

The movie Calvary is haunting. In fact, since watching it, I seem to think about it nearly every day. Scenes creep up on me at random times, dancing around until slowing fading away. The National Catholic Reporter captured this sort of haunting succinctly in their write-up of the movie, conjuring up Flannery O’Connor’s masterful haunting storytelling to parallel the experience of watching this film. Calvary begins in a confessional with the camera steadily capturing Father James Levelle (played by Brendan Gleeson) hearing the terrifying confession of a man who was repeatedly molested and raped by his priest as a child. Because this man’s abusive priest is dead, and the shock-factor of murdering a bad priest is null, the confessor tells Fr. Levelle that he is going to kill a good priest, Fr. Levelle, the following Sunday in order to get people to take notice. I would encourage you to watch the movie to trace the following week’s events. During one scene, near the end of the film, Fr. Levelle says...

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Posted by on Mar 19, 2014 | 7 comments

What Happens When We Invite Christ Into Our Hearts?

What Happens When We Invite Christ Into Our Hearts?

“Man’s virtue is that by which he seeks eagerly for his Creator, and when he finds him, holds to him with all his might.”- Bernard of Clairvaux: On Loving God “Be complete as your heavenly father is complete.” –Matthew 5:48 Most of us have been to a church where the pastor gives an altar call.  It usually happens at the end of a sermon when those in the congregation, who have not accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour, are asked to repeat a rote prayer that asks God to come into their hearts and save them from their sin. But what exactly are we asking God to do when we repeat these words? Is it just for non-Christians? What does it mean to ask Jesus into one’s heart? Is it just a plea to be moral and not sin anymore, or does it have some deeper meaning, a meaning that we have lost in rigmarole of modern Christianity?[1] What if I were to tell you that the...

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