Category: Theology & The Church

The eschatology of ISIS

It’s hard to follow the news today without hearing mention of ISIS. The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria has filled a power vacuum left in the region, established a caliphate and engaged in acts of terror that have resulted in nearly 1,000 civilian deaths. What beliefs are fueling this terrible and destructive movement? In a thorough and insightful essay at The Atlantic, Graeme Wood explains that…  [more]

Advent and lament

The stories don’t stop coming. I woke up Saturday morning and tried to digest the news that a gunman had entered a Planned Parenthood clinic and killed three people, including a police officer who also served as an elder in his church. This was after I followed the news Friday of protests in Chicago in response to the delayed release of police department video showing the shooting and killing of Laquan…  [more]

CSLewisDoodle: pitching a tent in YouTube culture

You’ve seen them before: the illustrated YouTube videos that condense TED Talks or leadership books into four-minute, hand-drawn illustrations. Now there’s a new voice (or rather old) on this scene: that of C. S. Lewis. CSLewisDoodle takes the Christian apologist’s essays and illustrates them with hand-sketched illustrations. Since its inception in 2012, the YouTube phenomenon has gained 12,600…  [more]

Adele and Advent: worth the wait

If you’ve been following me on social media the past few weeks, then you know how much I adore Adele. I have been counting down to last Friday’s release of her new album, 25, and have now spent this past weekend listening to it on repeat. The anticipation was due not only to her amazing talent, but to the four-year hiatus since her last album, 21. 25 is on track to be a record-breaking album, projected…  [more]

Jesus was a refugee

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…  [more]

Star Wars: Episode I – Making Sense of Midi-chlorians

Our Theology of Star Wars series also includes essays on Episode II, Episode IV, Episode V and Episode VI. A free eBook version of the entire series is available here. 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…  [more]

Paris, terror and what to say when it all comes down

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…  [more]

Mourning Jihadi John

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…  [more]

Learning how to love from Master of None

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,…  [more]

Star Wars: Episode VI – Can Anything Good Come from Endor?

Our Theology of Star Wars series also includes essays on Episode I, Episode II, Episode IV and Episode V. A free eBook version of the entire series is available here. 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…  [more]

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