"“Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” ~Joanna Weaver There is nothing so easy in the world as finding angry people on the Internet. They are in comments and posts, videos and memes, comics and photos, essays and tweets. Sometimes their wrath is justified; there are awful things happening … Continue reading Bitterness, Wrath, and the Problem with Biblical Counselors
In her introduction to the April issue of Comment magazine, Anne Snyder begins with a troubling description of how citizens in the US are overwhelmed by current events and the brokenness of the world, and exhausted by incessant demands to take part in the culture wars. We no longer trust institutions such as "the church, … Continue reading Spheres and Lanes
In his column this week for The Atlantic, David French relates an incredible story of grace in the face of suffering and opposition. His wife Nancy, who is a victim of sexual abuse, was giving a talk at a local college about loving one's enemies. When the floor was open to discussion, someone in the … Continue reading Mercy in the Public Square
A dialogue between Madame Hohlakov and Elder Zossima in 'The Brothers Karamazov' provides a troubling yet vital portrait of what it means to love others. It is a portrait that flies in the face of the reward systems of social media.
Hundreds of years ago, the English theologian John Wesley wrote a moving commentary on the radical, self-sacrificial love commanded by Jesus Christ. It's remarkable how reading this passage today shows a stark contrast between biblical love and the type of love touted in 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.
Jemar Tisby has done the church a great service in documenting its pattern of racism during key epochs in American history and showing a way towards repentance and institutional reform. This isn't just a historical survey of the distant past but of events as recent as Black Lives Matter and the election of Trump. At the very least, Tisby's analysis ought to prompt Christians to critically examine how racism manifests in their midst in subtle ways today, and determine how to fight it.
"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.
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.