To Be Holy, Not Just Comfortable

It’s not the church’s job to make us comfortable… Its job is to help to make us holy. + It’s true that the church should be like the father in Christ’s parable, running to greet the son who’d squandered his inheritance on booze and prostitutes, eager to embrace and forgive him. But note how the […]

Suffering Redeemed in Music and in Jesus

But it is not enough that a rock musician becomes suffering. He could scream out of his window and achieve the same effect. It must be redemptive. Suffering sung is suffering that has been separated from the singer’s life and given a new life as an object apart from him and the turmoil with which he […]

Redemption: The Salvation and Perfection of the Body

Toward the end of the second century, Irenaeus, the bishop of Lyons, wrote a text called Adversus Haereses (Against the Heresies), and the principle heresy that he identified therein was Gnosticism. […] Scan through Irenaeus’s voluminous writings, and you will find the word “body” over and over again. Creation, Incarnation, Resurrection, the theology of the Church, […]

Sin vs. Wrongdoing

But they pointed out that sin was actually a much more hopeful concept than simple wrongdoing. Wrongdoing implies no particular narrative, whereas sin comes from a religious tradition that insists on the possibility of redemption. Far from implying an indelible stain, sin implies the possibility of salvation. —from Gay and Catholic by Eve Tushnet, Ch. […]

A New Work of Art

In a television program I once saw, an artist would invite small children to come up and scribble on his canvas. The challenge was for him to produce something artistic and beautiful out of something deeply flawed. I was astonished at how he was able to do this. He would step back, examine the scribble, […]

On “Offering It Up”

But that’s the amazing thing: in Christ, we can merit.  God has consciously chosen to give us the possibility of making a difference in his Kingdom.  We are not just along for the ride.  What we do and how we choose to live our ordinary lives can actually increase the flow of grace in the world, […]