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post-easter thought experiment

Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar proposed this thought experiment:

Imagine a friend suffering a severe disease. Medicine can do no more for him. The doctors inform his widowed mother and us, so we gather for the final scene. The ventilator is removed; our friend grows weaker from lack of breath and whispers his final farewells. We hear the death-rattle. He expires and takes on the pallor of death. We bury our dead friend and leave for our homes, saddened and a bit disoriented.

Two nights later, at our dinner gathering, our dead friend suddenly joins us. It’s like he just returned from a brief but very important journey. He greets us by name. Weirdly, physical barriers like doors mean nothing to him.
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holy week = special week

The week before Resurrection Sunday in the past has been identified as Holy Week. That does not make this week better than the other fifty-one weeks. It is, however, a different week—a special week.

In the past during this week churches hosted special services: Good Friday or Tenebrae services or Stations of the Cross. Maundy Thursday services or Last Supper commemorations. 2020 these were all cancelled, and remain uncommon this year. Shout-Out to Peak Community Church that’s hosting a
Holy Week Art Installation this week each noon hour. Read More…

celebrity Christianity

The world of Christian apologetics (a small world, to be sure) has been shaken by the disclosure the late Ravi Zacharias lived a double life. February 9 the Christian ministry he founded and led until his death in 2020 (RZIM) released the report of an independent investigation into the sexual misconduct of Mr. Zacharias.

That twelve page
report is available online. You should read it. Read More…

glimpses of the devil

Published in 1978, The Road Less Traveled by Dr. M. Scott Peck has sold over 6 million copies in North America alone, and has been translated into 20+ languages. In 1992 Dr. Peck was acknowledged by the American Psychiatric Association as a distinguished psychiatrist lecturer "for his outstanding achievement in the field of psychiatry as an educator, researcher and clinician.”

1984 Dr Peck was the recipient of the Kaleidoscope Award for Peacemaking. 1994 he was awarded the Temple International Peace Prize. 1996 Georgetown Universtity awarded him its Learning, Faith and Freedom Medal.
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the mobocratic spirit

Last summer James Bennet was sacked as Opinion editor of the NYTimes because he authorized an opinion piece suggesting the military should be called in to quell urban riots. Thursday 1/7/21 Mr. Bennet was the guest writer for Politico’s daily newsletter:

“You may have last seen me getting bounced out of The New York Times for running an opinion piece by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) arguing for the use of military troops to prevent the rioting that accompanied some of the peaceful protests over the summer. As our editorials made clear, I disagreed with Cotton then (that’s one reason I supported running the piece). And so I hope it doesn’t make me a hypocrite now to say that I wish the military had been out in force Wednesday to stop the rioting and protect what Biden called the ‘citadel of liberty.’”
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best christmas ever

Adapted from Dr. Kevin Elko Monday Morning Cup of Inspiration, 12/14/2020

I hope you’re getting all-fired up for Christmas. Here’s my recipe to have the best holiday season ever.

To have the best Christmas ever, make this a “more than” season. To win, a football team must score more points than their opponent. To save money you must earn more than you spend. It’s a “more than” thing.
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be wise, be gentle

Gov Polis told Coloradoans to self-quarantine for Thanksgiving: “The more family members that make that decision to self quarantine, the more likely it is that you’re not bringing a loaded pistol for grandma’s head.”

SARS-CoV-2 (i.e., Covid-19) is a killer. But our governor spoke like a fear-monger. FDR famously claimed, “
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Throughout this pandemic many politicians have offered little more than fear.

Since March, I’ve tried to understand why politicians want citizens to be afraid.
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stealing thanksgiving

Colorado Public Radio reports that Gov. Polis has asked Coloradans to stay at home, with only their immediate family for the holidays to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The CDC doesn’t want people to travel over Thanksgiving.

So, it’s official. The pandemic has stolen Thanksgiving.
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election anxiety

Nervous about election day? You’re not alone. So how to deal with the anxiety?

Monday afternoon Sara & Ken Aiken plan to board their 40foot yacht in Annapolis, MD and cruise out into Chesapeake Bay. “No phones, no television, no political discussion. Just a nice dinner in a quiet anchorage.” The Aikens don’t plan to return to the mainland before Thursday.
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strange rites

Much has been opined recently about Nones--the increasing numbers of Americans who do not identify as Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim nor any other religion. Rather, when asked about their religion affiliation they answer, “None.”

Tara Isabella Burton (doctorate in theology from Oxford) has interviewed and researched
Nones. She concludes that while unprecedented numbers of Americans are rejecting traditional religion, they are not rejecting religion. They are instead embracing a kaleidoscopic panoply of spiritual traditions, rituals and subcultures: from astrology and witchcraft to SoulCycle, social justice and the alt-right. Read More…

why ariana left tv news

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

—James Baldwin, 1962

July 24 was
Ariana Pekary’s last day at MSNBC. Here is what she wrote.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do next, but I simply couldn’t stay there anymore. My colleagues are very smart people with good intentions. The problem is the job itself. It forces skilled journalists to make bad decisions on a daily basis.

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a lesson in humble

During this pandemic one occasionally hear’s reference to the prophetic promise, “If my people will humble themselves and pray, I will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

What does “humble themselves” mean?

One answer is offered by a pagan king humbled by God. Nebuchadnezzar was the architect of the ancient Chaldaean empire centered on Babylon. Because his wife was a mountain girl, he raised a great step pyramid, beautifully landscaping its terraces and populating them with exotic animals. It became the famous
Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Read More…