BRILLIANT AND BEAUTIFUL BLOG

Playing God, Power, and the Gospel

Playing GodIn a good book, there will there be one real gem—a new idea, insight, or way of looking at the world—that is both illuminating and profound. In Andy Crouch’s latest, Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power, there is a treasure of new insights related to the notions of power, idolatry, and the gospel story that make this a great book.

Anti-intellectualism: The Trojan Horse Within the Church

trojan horseWe are in trouble. We no longer possess, as a culture, the ability to think well about the things that matter most. When it comes to thinking about the nature or existence of God, the purpose of life, or the morality of war, homosexuality, or abortion, we are guided more by our feelings than reason. When we want to find knowledge, largely, as a culture we look to scientists and not philosophers or theologians. As a result, our culture is fixated on image, celebrities, experience, slogans, and thirty-second sound bites. We no longer possess the ability to think well about things that matter most. And the church is no different than the broader culture it finds itself within.

Death By Living

death by livingLife is a story. You are mortal. There was a time when you were not. There will be a time when you exit the stage of this life. The past is the fruit of providence and thousands of personal narratives that led to you. You did not choose where to set your feet. You did not choose when to enter the stage. You choose where to set them next. You choose what to do now that you are on stage. You walk across the wet concrete of time and shape the world with your life. And then you die. Spent. Spend it well.

Why I believe in the Resurrection of Jesus

JesusAs an undergraduate student at Miami University, some well-meaning students confronted me with the truth claims of Christianity. They explained the gospel to me. They explained that Jesus was divine and that I was a sinner. They explained to me that I could find forgiveness for sins if I tusted in Jesus. They finally left.

The Church Needs Philosophers and Philosophers Need the Church

socratesHistorically, philosophy was understood as the hand-maided of the queen of the sciences–theology. Today, philosophy is often looked at with suspicion or (perhaps worse) an uninterested glance by those within the church. I offer the following essay, hosted by the Gospel Coalition website on why The Church Needs Philosophers and Philosophers Need the Church.

Walker Percy, Ontological Lapsometers, and the End of the World

Unknown-1Modern man is fragmented and hollow at its core. In modern man’s wake there is often destruction and ruin. Walker Percy’s Love in the Ruins is an hilarious romp through the ruins of modern man’s cathedral, set in a place called Paradise, Louisiana as the world seemingly comes to an end. Dr. Thomas More, a backslidden catholic and womanizer, has created an ontological lapsometer that diagnoses and treats human disorders that threaten to disintegrate society. Unfortunately, if the Lapsometer get’s into the wrong hands, it can also lead to chaos and the breakdown of society. In Percy’s story we read of Dr. More’s womanizing exploits as he prepares for the end of the world and tries to keep his invention from falling into the wrong hands.

To Kill A Mockingbird and the Gospel Story

UnknownHarper Lee’s 1960 classic To Kill a Mockingbird is set in the American south during the turbulent and transitional 1930s. Partly, I am drawn to the story because of the aura surrounding Mrs. Lee. The book has been hailed as an American classic, the winner of many prizes including the coveted Pulitzer, yet Mrs. Lee continues to live a quiet and private life, largely shunning the celebrity spotlight her book undoubtedly provides. She’s said her piece, and doesn’t feel the need to say it again. I remember reading the book in High School. I had a remote memory of some tragedy or injustice that took place therein, but it was too long ago to remember the details. And so I recently picked the book up again. After reading the book afresh, I was struck by the rich connections between To Kill a Mockingbird and the Gospel story. Here I share but a few.

Aquinas, Schaeffer, Nominalism & the Demise of the Western World

images-5I just finished reading Francis Schaeffer’s classic book How Should We Then Live? The book has been recently republished by Crossway in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Schaeffer’s founding of L’Abri. There is much to like about this book. Schaeffer’s knowledge of the history of ideas, music, and art is impressive. His ability to discern key trends and to put his finger on many of the causes of the fragmentation of modern society and modern man is commendable. His prophetic voice, at the end of the book, where he lays out the challenge to the church as he saw it in 1976 was spot on (and still is with slight adjustments).

Does God Care For Me? The Case For God

941835_636319483082209_1959907808_nIn my last post, I consider the case against the claim that God cares for you and me. I offered three reasons, put them under scrutiny, and concluded that they are not good reasons to think God doesn’t care. In this post I want to consider what reasons there might be for thinking that God does in fact care for you and me.

God Does Not Care for Me: The Case Against God

941835_636319483082209_1959907808_nDoes God care for me? That question is a very personal question—and I think it is a question that simmers on the surface of our lives—and in times of trial, or difficulty, or pain—it intensifies—it becomes a very pressing question—and often, it might seem as if the answer is no. In fact, I think there are a number of powerful reasons that can be advanced against the claim that God cares for you and me.