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Seeking the Lord’s face and seeing his back

Seeking the Lord’s face and seeing his back On Monday, July 21, the Word of the Lord came to me. Sort of. But I only recognized him when he had already gone.

The next culture war?

The next culture war? What are the beliefs that are so integral to our faith that we must act upon them, even in the face of laws that allow no room for religious exemption? What are the convictions we hold in common that we can act upon together, even in opposition to the cultural consensus?

More Catholic than the Pope

More Catholic than the Pope “That’s no way to talk to the Pope.” This gratuitous and immature comment was my lame attempt at humor. The occasion was the reading of the notorious incident in Syrian Antioch, narrated by St. Paul in Galatians 2:11-14, Paul upbraiding Cephas.

Transitions: the search process

Transitions: the search process Pastors come and pastors go. I am in the middle of that at this moment, an experience that many of us have had on either side of the pulpit.

Christian worship is boring

The Holy Eucharist is supposed to be boring. So claims the Catholic theologian James Alison. He says, “When people tell me that they find Mass boring, I want to say to them: it’s supposed to be boring, or at least seriously underwhelming. It’s a long term education in becoming un-excited.” He’s right, I think. Let me explain. Alison’s claim about the Mass being boring or unexciting...

My son’s autism is making me holy (and I hate it)

Our lives center around my son’s autism. It is the compass that keeps us ever pointing away from ourselves and towards some unknown horizon.

Living water

Living water A few weeks ago, the city of Columbia suffered a break in the water line near my house. For the next two days, I didn’t shower.


Ecclesiometry The Constantinian synthesis has run its course. One might well ask, then, in a world of apostolic mission, what might be the most helpful measure of ecclesial health and vitality?

Your own personal Jesus

Your own personal Jesus A relationship with Jesus that purports to be without rules, without "religion," will turn out to be not a relationship but a fantasy.

Formative literature 1

Formative literature 1 The Facebook thread: books that changed our lives (or some such). Mine tilt heavily toward the modern and contemporary, but God, in the form of truth, meets us through our loves and fears. He finds us where we are, having arrived himself in advance.

The unashamed Anglican: Stephen Sykes, 1939–2014

The unashamed Anglican: Stephen Sykes, 1939–2014 Do Anglicans have doctrines? Or is Anglicanism an empty container, into which one can pour whatever one likes?

Blood on my hands: being a hunter and a Christian clergyman

Blood on my hands: being a hunter and a Christian clergyman A foray into vegetarianism during high school was inspired by Tolstoy. His argument ran as follows: you know that you can be perfectly healthy without eating meat; so, if you eat meat, you are doing it to gratify your appetite at the expense of the lives of animals.

A plea for intellectual honesty

A plea for intellectual honesty Academic discourse ought to be the last place where anything is ever considered settled.

Searching for light: another word on TREC

Searching for light: another word on TREC Larger ecclesiastical structures are of course inevitable, but they aren’t of much interest until it’s clear what difference they make on the front line.

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