How the self-sacrificial love commanded by Christ stands in radical contrast to the shallow memes of social media.
As theologian Don Carson points out, the church does not consist of natural friends; it consists of natural enemies. It is not a social club for dewy-eyed companions but a broken community of individuals who need help. There is therefore a certain sense in which one should *expect* conflict in a church---and to be extremely wary when there is none.
To forgive is to cancel a debt, and to cease feeling anger towards a wrongdoer---whether or not they have repented. Wouldn't this go a long way in breaking the hate cycle that infects our divided culture, both in person and online? The question is fraught with complexity, and yet perhaps no one in history was better equipped to answer it than Martin Luther King, Jr. It's worth reflecting on his insights as we honor his legacy and look ahead at 2021.
"The heartbeat of anti-racism is confession, is admission, is acknowledgement, is the willingness to be vulnerable," says Ibram Kendi in a recent podcast with Brene Brown. He is not making a religious argument, and yet his argument is drenched in religious rhetoric.
Getting through this bloody pandemic is hard. We need endurance: what David Brooks calls "the knowledge that the only way out is through and whatever must be borne will be borne."
C.S. Lewis once wrote that surrendering yourself is the only way to find your true self. It's a true and inspiring sentiment which, unfortunately for Christians, is diametrically opposed to just about everything a culture bent on consumerism and expressive individualism stands for.
What is courage, and how do we get more of it to face the difficult days ahead? Insights from sci-fi, art, and social activism.
What enables you to endure suffering? What gives you the hope to go on? In Fani's case, it is a glimpse of a restored world where everything sad comes untrue.
"The self-forgetful person would never be hurt particularly badly by criticism. It would not devastate them, it would not keep them up late, it would not bother them. Why?"
In two paragraphs Henri Nouwen conveys incredible insight on the nature of darkness and light, cynicism and joy.