The St. Genevieve Declaration

The text of this declaration was written on Sunday, November 5, 2017 in response to the deadly mass church shooting in Texas. St. Genevieve (Fr. Sainte Geneviève) is the patron saint of Paris, and of disasters and catastrophes. This declaration invokes her memory to bring to mind the disaster that is the gun crisis in the United States. Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. – Psalm 126:5-6 Today: Sutherland Springs Earlier: Charleston, Las Vegas,…

The blessings of His Heav’n

Those who know me know that I am much more of a devotionalist than a scholar, humorist, polemicist, or whatever. To the extent that this is the case, I want to say a few things: Hurricanes, one after the other, multiple wildfires in the West after chronic drought, a terrible earthquake in Mexico, horrific flooding in Bangladesh, political and economic instability the world over, the list continues. There’s really no escaping the fact that times aren’t the best that they could be right now. The apocalyptic imagery of Mark 13 and Matthew 24 notwithstanding, it helps to be reassured of…

Healing and the Promise: Chapters I-III

Originally published in two installments in 2016. This is an edited and collected version including a final chapter written in mid-2017. Chapter One (June 2016) In the first volume of Marcel Proust’s, In Search of Lost Time, one of the characters introduced is the up-and-coming socialite, M. Swann. He often visited the Proust’s country home in Combray when the former was a child. It was on such a visit to his home that M. Swann responds to an off-color attempt by another character, Proust’s Aunt Flora, to tell him that “she had read [a] note about [him] in the [paper].”

Suffering and the Promise: Chapters I-III

Originally published in three installments in late 2015 and early 2016. This is an edited and collected version. Chapter One The way of the Son of God into the far country is the way of obedience. This is…the first and inner moment of the mystery of the deity of Christ. – Karl Barth In October 2015, I attended a weekend-long retreat in Santa Maria, California, located in Santa Barbara County. My group and I trekked for three and a half hours in remarkably bad traffic to join twenty or so students who belong to UCLA’s branch of Reformed University Fellowship…

Love the Gift-Giver, Not the Gifts

Tim Keller, internationally renowned pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, includes this piercing thought in his book Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work, “If God’s purpose for your job is that you serve the human community, then the way to serve God best is to do the job as well as it can be done.”  

The Eschatology of Turkish Delight

 C.S. Lewis narrates the psychology of self-deception in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. He presents an ambiguous anthropology that is distinctly non-Augustinian, where deviance and wickedness are divorced from inherent evil: “You mustn’t think that even now Edmund was quite so bad that he actually wanted his brother and sisters to be turned into stone. He did want Turkish Delight and to be a Prince (and later a King) and to pay Peter out for calling him a beast. As for what the Witch would do with the others, he didn’t want her to be particularly nice to them…

The Lost Art of Self Reflection

Buzzfeed published a video entitled , “If You Talked To People The Way You Talk To Yourself.” It’s a humorous (and naturally, explicit) portrayal of an imagined—also shocking—transition between our private moments of self deprecation to the world of placing that shame and guilt on other people. We’d never tell someone, “Your parents aren’t proud of you,” but we insist on thinking it about ourselves, even in spite of their assurances to the contrary.