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‘mother!’ and the Honest Portrayal of Christian Living

By the time the end credits roll on Darren Aronofosky’s new film, mother!, you sit speechless in your seat, nearly paralyzed, by what you just experienced. And there is no more appropriate word to describe this film than experience. Make no mistake, this is not a fun film. Hell, it's not even enjoyable. Yet in all its [...]

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Evangelicalism’s Trump Problem

A recent article from the Washington Post reveals that 14% of evangelicals have left their church community after the election of Donald Trump. This blow to church attendance and membership may, in fact, grow if the Church continues to pledge allegiance to Republican power. It would be unfair and untrue to suggest that politics do [...]

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Merton’s Guide through Political Unrest

"The greatest need of our time," Thomas Merton said, "is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds and makes of all the political and social life a mass illness. Without this housecleaning we cannot begin to see." Like many, I have bought into the political rhetoric of 21st [...]

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Help! Trump is Coming to Thanksgiving!

To keep you growing is to keep you vulnerable to life and love itself. -Richard Rohr, The Divine Dance Two weeks after the presidential election, the yelling and fighting continues. It's not outlandish or hyperbolic to think that this will continue for some time, long past the inauguration in January. For many, the election may cause [...]

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Nomad: A Review

Vulnerability. I hope that’s an alternative title Brandan Robertson considered for his excellent first book, Nomad. Perhaps for many of you, Brandan needs no introduction. For those of you unfamiliar with his work, Brandan is the Executive Director of Nomad Partnerships and is a frequent contributor to major outlets such as Patheos, Huffington Post, & [...]

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The King & the Maiden: Kierkegaard’s Christmas Parable

I'm largely going to leave this post to Kierkegaard's own words from his famous "The King & the Maiden" parable from his book, Philosophical Fragments. I do want to offer a few cursory thoughts as to why this parable is significant for us this Christmas season. Invoking "The King & the Maiden" is not new [...]

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Shut Up & Learn to Listen

I’m a white, straight, middle-class, American male. These demographic features have awarded me a lot of privilege and paths to success (even though I would not consider myself “successful” by society’s standards). These demographics have, by and large, led to a life free of any real persecution and hardship that many others who have different [...]

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Embracing Empathy, Embracing Liberation

I've lately been reflecting on the relationship between liberation, empathy, and how we view others. In our internet age, we so often quickly succumb to mocking others in their very public failures. Whether it is a celebrity or sports star who has made a poor choice leading to public shame or yet another political scandal, [...]

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Learning about Christ from an Unlikely Source

One of the glorious things about studying philosophy and theology is that sometimes you find allies in unlikely places. Lately, the “antichrist” himself – Friedrich Nietzsche has become a bit of a refuge with an interpretation of certain aspects of the Gospels. As I’ve been re-reading through Miroslav Volf’s marvelous text Exclusion & Embrace as [...]

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What’s Wrong with the Way We Communicate?

I had the opportunity to get away from Denver for a few days and travel. Part of my journey was some quiet time of reading and reflection along the Pacific Ocean in Southern California. I was able to unplug a bit, which was needed. There seems to be so much yelling amongst communities nowadays, and [...]

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A Response to CT’s Mark Galli

Earlier this afternoon, Christianity Today editor Mark Galli published a short article entitled "2 Billion Christians Believe in Traditional Marriage." As the overzealous title suggests, Galli's central premise is that orthodox Christians only endorse a view of marriage that is defined between a man and a woman. Galli attempts to downplay Tony Campolo's recent call [...]

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“There’s Only One God … And He Doesn’t Dress Like that.”

There's a scene in The Avengers where Captain America is about to jump out of a jet to intervene  in a conflict between Iron Man and Thor. Prior to his jump, the Black Widow cautions against this intervention, because Iron Man and Thor are essentially gods. Captain America shrugs this off, "There's only one God, ma'am, [...]

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The Engagement of Suffering

"Well, your suffering isn't like Job's..." Ever hear something along those lines? Frankly, I think it is largely an ignorant statement. Suffering is hard. What compounds the hardship is the difficulty by which we try to engage people when suffering occurs. It takes courage to admit struggle and suffering. If it is met with a [...]

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Being “Ethical” & Ethical Knowledge

There is a short passage in Kierkegaard's Judge For Yourself! that has recently garnered my attention. While my interest in Kierkegaard is many, the focus of my research is on Kierkegaard's epistemology. Often, however, the epistemology of Kierkegaard's authorship surrounds the ethical-religious spheres, thereby placing interest in the subjective. In every human being there is [...]

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On Public Discourse & Debate

I've been rereading Robert Roberts and W. Jay Wood's Intellectual Virtues: An Essay in Regulative Epistemology (New York: Oxford, 2007) in preparation for some academic speaking engagements that I have over the next few months. The book examines, as the title suggests, how one must be intellectually virtuous. A few short pages of the text [...]

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“In These Times Politics is Everything”

In the preface to The Single Individual, Soren Kierkegaard utters a statement not only relevant to his immediate circumstances, but one that transcends the immediacy of 1800s Denmark: "In these times politics is everything." Denmark was in a transition from absolute monarchy to parliamentary monarchy - a radical change of political system. Kierkegaard was not [...]

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The Subjectivity of Objective Truth

Countless hours have been spent searching for, arguing for, and defending objective truth. I believe in objective truth, and in some capacity, objective truth can be known. I believe God to be an objective truth. He can be known by me, and by anyone else, not through mere objectivity, but a subjective search of this [...]

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Identity, The Self, & Conversion

Trans - Prefix, denotes moving beyond a certain state or object. Identity - The fact of Being; the substance of what something is. As an existential philosopher I am immediately concerned with the development of the Self. The Self, following Kierkegaard, is a created Being, one which Becomes and fulfills its existential desires. Yet the [...]

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Kierkegaard and the Contradictory Incarnation

Many attack Kierkegaard for saying that the incarnation is a contradiction and that Kierkegaard embraces paradox by faith alone. I wish here to argue that these things are wildly misunderstood and Kierkegaard’s view of the incarnation is neither heretical nor absurd, but rather a stance that ought to be taken seriously. In Philosophical Fragments, Kierkegaard [...]

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Bonhoeffer, Pacifism, and Suspending the Ethical

Many know that Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of my personal heroes and one to whom I seek guidance from in issues of ethics. Bonhoeffer is one of the reasons I adhere to the pacifist movement. Many have wondered how Bonhoeffer was able to reconcile his position on nonviolence to his choice to involve himself in [...]

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Experience-Based Knowledge and Logical Problems

A fellow student and myself found ourselves in a perplexing situation in a recent theology class. Another person in class proposed that it is acceptable to live with logical inconsistencies in one’s worldview so long as the Bible supersedes the inconsistency itself. Here we found ourselves in a culture war reduced to one conversation. It [...]