Controversially, perhaps, the church must become “Socialistic.” What a non-revolutionary, non-liberal, yet Socialistic church looks like is to be found in the overwhelming weight of Pope Francis’ public and published teaching on the role of the church and the role of the individual in the church to be a force for good: capitalism and Christianity are antithetical and no apologetic should be made for the maintenance of the capitalist system as such by those who identify with the legacy of social justice inaugurated by the God of Israel and fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ, i.e., Christians.
God will win the war, but we may lose every single battle. We aspire to closeness with God, but it is his covenant faithfulness that will bring us home. The strength to show up is the Gift of God, it is the gift of the King. Growing in the Paschal Mystery, the mystery of the Gift, is the truest and most robust definition of Healing I have ever come to know. God is Healing all of his children as we speak, and at his return they will all be healed.
The presentation examined the ways in which former French presidential candidate of the right-wing political party FN, Marine Le Pen, used language with deeply encoded myth-signifiers alluding to an imperiled France threatened by Islamic fundamentalists and weak, liberal politicians.
Edited and collected into one blog post, this post contains parts one, two, and three of reflections I posted during the period of my diagnosis with fibromyalgia in late 2015 and early 2016. I originally published these posts on Medium and have now brought them onto my website.
Our crime is the negligence of the real for the simulacra: the representation of the thing is not the thing itself, but its shadow made tangible. We reify God by diffusing his relevance into the things he has given us, and in so doing “defang” His power to transform our lives, to conform to the pattern He has set for us. We thereby strip Him of the glory only He can handle, and of which only He is deserving.
On March 13, 2017...
On March 13, 2017, I delivered a sermon at RUF UCLA at the kind invitation of Rev. Matthew Trexler. I chose to write about the (not very often discussed) scene in Luke 4 when Jesus visited the synagogue of his youth in Nazareth to deliver a message. I ask whether or not it has any relevance for our lives today.
The Judas-Edmund allegory in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The fact that the object of Edmund’s affection is a material rarity illustrates human frailty in the face of temptation to pleasure — it is the tragic apotheosis of preference over and against self-denial. I believe, though, Lewis intends for a much more precise, Biblical connexion. Now, the Edmund-Judas parallel is evident, but a fascinating question for further research must be the eschatological implication of Edmund’s decision to betray his brother and sisters, and Aslan’s subsequent responses in the single text — as a unit, negating a wider, “Narnian,” eschatology.
On the lost art of extended self reflection
How do we come to a place where we can be “just all right,” with being ourselves? My hypothesis is that we can’t unless we discover the lost art of extended self-reflection. The only way I know how to make meaningful use out of 20 minutes of “thinking about myself” is through “reflective writing.” In other words, intentional, daily time spent writing about how my day went and is going. More than that, I include my thoughts and dreams about my wishes and hopes, rants and serenades, meals and parties, media and movies, and everything else I can think of. Some evenings my entries consist of a few words, “Today was legitimately awful,” and other mornings they span several pages.
We are confronted with the dilemma of the gospel. This is to say, we are confronted with a God who intervened and who interrupted the order of things. As we debated the allegedly higher questions of the human condition, God himself commissioned his son to deliver us from the captivity of the wise, from the prison of the self, from the terror of death.
The beauty of the garden, however idyllic, is qualified in the second stanza. What we learn is that in the garden-close, at least now, birds do not sing their songs. It is an interpretive leap, but I believe that the “thoughs” of vv. 6–8 indicate a perversion of the purity of the garden in the first stanza. This is to say that the text is not in stasis, it is moving from its exalted state to a self-reflexive criticism in search of an ill-defined Other, with the implication being that it was lost at some point.