Major blocks today within our spiritual lives

In today's sermon, our priest quoted this passage from Catholic priest Ronald Rolheiser's book, The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality: Among the many things that work against interiority today, three can be singled out as particularly cankerous: narcissism, pragmatism, and unbridled restlessness.  Defined simply, narcissism means excessive self-preoccupation; pragmatism means excessive focus on work, achievement, and …

Liturgical rhetoric

In March 2006, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams delivered a sermon at St. Mary the Virgin Church in Oxford, England to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer, his Tudor predecessor and architect of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Williams defended Cranmer's liturgical rhetoric against those who decry it as "overblown and …

To live futurally

In his newsletter for Image, editor-in-chief James K. A. Smith writes: With Advent, we learn to wait. Again. And again. And yet again. How long, O Lord?  While the church’s calendar revisits history, rehearsing the inbreaking of the God Incarnate, the reason Christians need practice waiting is because hope is indexed to what is yet to …

Published review on the future of orthodox Anglicanism

I reviewed a fine collection of essays, The Future of Orthodox Anglicanism (Crossway 2020), edited by Anglican priest and theologian, Gerald R. McDermott, for Christianity Today. I read this book at the same time that I taught Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel, The Brothers Karamazov (1879). Serendipity was the result. I developed a unique angle to review this book: the fictional family (the …

On the theology of divine acceptance (progressive) vs. divine redemption (orthodox)

I recently came across an article in First Things by Philip Turner, the former Dean of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, "An Unworkable Theology," that seems even more true today than when it was written in 2005. With with a prophetic edge, Turner expressed his consternation at the vacuity of sermons by progressive Episcopalean seminarians and priests, …