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Currently Browsing: Commentary
Aug
29

Anxiety and the cross

Anxiety and the cross Bobbie Carlyle has sculpted the statue of the Self Made Man, the ideal icon of the present age. It is also a myth. One wonders if an adequate interpretation would be of an anxious person trying to shed the weighty stone entrapping him.
Aug
28

He has her eyes

He has her eyes A simple question. Does Jesus have Mary’s eyes? Does he have her smile? Does he have that same odd expression she makes when she can’t quite get the jelly jar open? Jesus, Son of God and son of Mary, likely did and does look like his mother. What does that, something so simple and so familiar and so quotidian, mean for us?
Aug
27

The rotten fruit of ‘niceness’

The rotten fruit of ‘niceness’ The problem is that a gospel of niceness provides little support for the true terror and tragedy of life. It doesn’t stand up to death, loss, failure, and the reality of other people’s sinfulness and our own.
Aug
26

Brought up short

Brought up short I am an almost classic case of the evangelical on the Canterbury Trail, but I don’t see the evidence that the graceful aestheticism of liturgy “produces” gracious persons or that worshiping in the beauty of holiness makes holy persons.
Aug
22

Mary: an icon of human destiny in Christ

Mary: an icon of human destiny in Christ Mary shows us our own destiny as children of God and as heirs with Christ of the promises of the Father. The Blessed Virgin shows us what it looks like to be a finite creature wrapped, by grace and faith and love, in God’s own eternity.
Aug
21

Christian discipline

Christian discipline Culturally speaking, the word discipline brings to mind notions of strictness and censure, but the discipline of following Christ is not primarily about following rules.
Aug
20

The assumptions of the Assumption

The assumptions of the Assumption On the face of it, Mary’s Assumption, body and soul, into heaven, is one of the most challenging traditions of the Church. One of my seminary professors loved to say that, for him, the Assumption was just too much of an assumption. It certainly presents a unique obstacle to many of our Protestant brethren. And this is in large part because the event does suggest, in a strange way, that the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus wasn’t enough, that there had to be something more.
Aug
19

The future of the Church

The future of the Church The young people who comprise these choirs develop an ability (now rare) to articulate matters of faith with true conviction and confidence by praying and singing the Psalms and the great music of the Anglican tradition week in and week out and by being encouraged to think about the meaning of what they’re singing and to consider why a composer might have made the musical choices he did.
Aug
18

Common prayer and conflict

Common prayer and conflict Is boutique religion a lasting trend? Shall each congregation seek to fashion itself to cater to the delights of a significant number of local people to keep the doors open?
Aug
15

The assumption of labor

We bear hope that the present wounds in the Church might themselves herald the arrival of something ever old and ever new, the appearance of the City with eternal foundations. Indeed, we have faith that God wishes to build something out of the weeping ruins of our division.
Aug
15

Mary’s yes to God

While among Christians Jesus has escaped his detractors, his mother still carries the weight of human detraction, or perhaps worse still types of adoration that rob her of her humanity.
Aug
8

Teaching with power and love

For those who have been called to teaching, “we should not think it is sufficient for our salvation” if we shirk our duties in a time of theological malaise; it is not enough if we come up simply to the level of an “untaught crowd” (Bede, Homily 1.20). Make no mistake: the teachers of the Church will be judged for this turn.
Aug
6

Memory and delivery: World War I

Last Tuesday I had a morning with the Dorset Army Cadet Force, at their annual camp. I reminded them of a Russian proverb: "Dwell in the past and you’ll lose an eye. Forget the past and you’ll lose both eyes." We are here today to remember.
Jul
25

The Anglican way

I shall seek to write down that which I believe to be the essence of Anglicanism. None of the elements I note are in themselves the exclusive property of our tradition, but taken together they express what our church—with a small c—has sought be at its best.

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