The Scandal of Christianity

Normally, I would not put Søren Kierkegaard [melancholic 19th century Danish philosopher/theologian] and James Cone [feisty 20th century black theologian] together on the same side of a theological line in the sand, but this week, they collided in a very interesting and helpful way.  Kierkegaard came first:  I have been reading Practice in Christianity with…… Continue reading The Scandal of Christianity

The Discipline of Humility

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/10/03/111003fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=allSometimes I feel like the virtue of humility is in an ever-increasing state of short supply.   Don’t get me wrong:  I’m not talking about the kind of humility that comes from repeated humiliation—a form of oppression and abuse imposed on someone from the outside:  the kind that happens to belittled children, battered spouses, and domineered…… Continue reading The Discipline of Humility

A Peace Prize for “Praying the Devil back to Hell”

How wonderful it was to wake up to the news that three women were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this year:  Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; Liberian peace activist Leyma Gbowee, and a democracy advocate from Yemen, Tawakkul Karman. Of the three, I was particularly gratified to see the two women from Liberia recognized.  It…… Continue reading A Peace Prize for “Praying the Devil back to Hell”

"Irrelevant Character Flaws?"

There is an interesting article in the October issue of “The Atlantic” titled, “Sex and the Married Politician.” http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/10/sex-and-the-married-politician/8629/Early on, the author raises the issue of being able to distinguish between “relevant and irrelevant character flaws” when it comes to politicians’ personal lives. It’s a good article on the whole, but I must beg to…… Continue reading "Irrelevant Character Flaws?"

The New Year’s Call to Forgiveness

Regardless of what month the secular calendar shows, religious traditions have their own ways of marking time.  For example, for Christians, the new year actually begins sometime in late November/early December, with the first Sunday in Advent.  For Jews, the new year actually begins today, with the celebration of Rosh Hashanah.  Anyone who was not…… Continue reading The New Year’s Call to Forgiveness