April 17, 2014

Church: Not Where We “Find God”

Geoffrey Hill: What is there in my heart that you should sue so fiercely for its love? What kind of care brings you as though a stranger to my door through the long night and in the icy dew seeking the heart that will not harbor you, that keeps itself religiously secure? – from “Lachrimae […]

Disgust Psychology in the Church

Yesterday, we were talking about Richard Beck’s book, Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality. In the comments I promised I would give some real-life instances of how I’ve seen the “psychology of disgust” play out in Christian communities. Let me reset the theme by quoting something Beck writes early in the book: I was […]

Why “Hate the Sin/Love the Sinner” Doesn’t Work

  Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” – Matthew 9:13 Mercy and sacrifice reliably come into conflict due to the reciprocal nature of love and disgust, the psychological dynamics governing exclusion and embrace. Consequently, the church cannot sidestep the tensions in Matthew 9 as a mere logical error or false […]

What Was a “Pharisee”? (and what might it mean to act like one?)

UPDATE: I edited the post by adding a paragraph near the end of the post. It begins with the words, “That is not to say they all acted with equal zeal…” [11:10 am] * * * N.T. Wright notes that “Paul stands where three great roads converge.” Beginning with chapter two of Paul and the Faithfulness […]

“Slow Church” Article & Book Excerpt

Chris Smith and friends are hosting the Slow Church Conference here in Indy this week, and I know at least one faithful Internet Monk reader who will be attending. I hope to catch up with David, author of yesterday’s post, for some conversation on Saturday. At any rate, Chris’s book will be coming out this […]

Christian Wiman: Religious Despair as Defense

Note from CM: During my weekend at Gethsemani, some of the most insightful reading I did came from Christian Wiman’s luminous book, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer. Here is one of the passages that gave me pause, for your meditation today. * * * Religious despair is often a defense against boredom […]

The Dark Side of Small

In forsaking the ability to change, they diminish the capacity for hope. – Kathleen Norris I have often praised smaller churches. I continue to hope in the restoration of community life across the U.S. and the revitalization of neighborhood churches that will bring the Gospel back down to its proper human scale. But I am […]

Another Look: Willimon on Jesus – Vagabond, Peacemaker, Storyteller

Note from CM: This week we are focusing on Jesus-shaped spirituality. One thing I am doing is going back and taking a look at some of my favorite authors and books that have helped me know Christ and his way better. Here is one part of a review I did in 2011 of Will Willimon’s […]

Jesus-Shaped Spirituality: A Eucharistic Life

I am a liturgical Christian. By that I do not mean that I prefer a certain style of worship. Rather, it means that I accept the wisdom of the traditional pattern of worship. I have written about this in a post called, “The Order of Christian Worship.” The traditional pattern reenacts the drama of the […]

The Heroic Journey

But what are you going to do with your now resurrected life? That is the heroic question. – Richard Rohr Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life * * * One traditional way of thinking about the course of life has been through the stories of journeys made by heroes or heroines. […]