Jesus was a refugee, along with his mother Mary and father Joseph. They fled their native Israel out of fear for their lives. They were able to return some years later, only after the politics of their homeland changed. Sound familiar? It should. It is happening today, and in the same neighborhood that the Holy Family was from. People there again fear for their lives. The vicious and brutal militants of ISIS are torturing and killing all who… [more]
This is the fourth installment in our Theology of Star Wars series. Read our other essays on Episode II, Episode IV, Episode V and Episode VI. If there was a Spectrum of Awesomeness for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, it would run from Darth Maul on one end (awesome) to Jar Jar Binks on the other (crime against humanity). Most fans would put midi-chlorians - the blood-borne symbiotes that mediate the Force in all living creatures -… [more]
With 50,000 others I ran the New York City Marathon two weeks ago. We ran through five boroughs and crossed over four bridges. It was challenging, colorful and crowded. From a variety of angles during the race I could see 1 World Trade Center - the Freedom Tower. I saw it from bridges that had a view of the skyline; I saw it glimmering in the sun and poking above other buildings as we ran down Fifth Avenue; I saw it from the Staten Island… [more]
In the last year, the world has been assaulted by disturbing ISIS videos depicting the beheading of journalists, beginning with American James Foley. The masked executioner — identified by intelligence agencies as Mohammed Emwazi and often referred to as Jihadi John — struck terror into many hearts and inflamed desire for vengeance, a flame that may very well have been satisfied yesterday. According to the BBC, a United States drone… [more]
Even as video games have grown into a respected artistic medium that tackles some of life’s biggest questions, they can still struggle to grapple with the tragic reality of death. While death plays heavily into the core mechanics of games, it often lacks weight. Most games give players ample checkpoints and save points, as well as infinite respawns — meaning if the player’s character dies, she or he can simply try again from an… [more]
In an interview with the A.V. Club, Aziz Ansari described the theme of Master of None, his new Netflix series, like this: “Instead of yelling your opinion, or telling people to shut up, or engaging in this clickbait-internet culture, have a dialogue with someone and ask people questions and listen to what they have to say.” After seeing several episodes, I think this ethos comes through strongly, especially in the way characters have… [more]
The thick bundle that is the Sunday edition of the New York Times arrived in our driveway as usual last weekend, but this time it had an extra pouch attached. Inside was a Google Cardboard — a small, rectangular, virtual reality viewer. After downloading a video from the Times onto your smartphone and then sliding your phone into a notch on the viewer, you could look through the lenses and watch a 360-degree, panoramic video that responded… [more]
Expecting deep, soulful or truthful ruminations on love and the human condition at the CMA Awards might be as fruitless as hoping to find healthy food at a traveling carnival, but sometimes miracles happen. When Chris Stapleton won CMA trophies for Album of the Year, Male Vocalist and Best New Artist last week, many people had no idea who he was. Though he has been critically acclaimed, country radio has mostly ignored him. In a field of… [more]
This is the third installment in our Theology of Star Wars series. Read our other essays on Episode I, Episode II, Episode IV and Episode V. Poor Return of the Jedi. Somehow it has become the Rodney Dangerfield of the original trilogy (“no respect!”), routinely ranked by fans as the least favored installment. On lists that include the prequels, it sometimes falls below Revenge of the Sith. Those who have re-watched Revenge of… [more]
A recent Slate article reflects on the problem of how to understand Biblical miracles in our modern world. One possible solution, taken to extreme by Thomas Jefferson some 200 years ago, is to simply ignore any mention of miracles. The third president of the United States actually excised from his Bible anything he considered too mysterious to be truth, resulting in what's known as the Jefferson Bible. At least he was paying attention to the… [more]
Marie Griffith: Too many well-meaning Christian leaders talk about our happiness. How to get happy, stay happy, and put away sadness. As Christ followers our trials ... every painful moment ... allow us to experience God in a deeper way.
Steve V: I pray more Christians can mourn for the injustice that leads to the induced loss of life, and fight for better economic conditions for the poor, fight for better access to birth control, fight to keep families together, fight for better healthcare options for EVERYONE, etc.
Bonnie NIcholas: After doing some studying at the Dominican Center last year, I’ve come to the conclusion that some are called to a special kind of separation from the world.
Dawn: Symbolic, simple, serene, surrounded by their community.
gailvrice: I’ve been sickened by the statements of those who characterize the massacre as an attack on Christians and religious freedom, who I suspect do not want to talk about or work to remedy the evils of racism.
AlexBersin: I don’t think either Caitlyn or Rachel identify as they do because they feel dissatisfied with their existence, but rather, because they feel they don’t fit into the mold prescribed for them.