Church Fathers

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

By Rejecting God, Modern Man Rejects His Humanity

Modern man is at a precipice. We all know it. The yearning for something more than empty selves, fleeting friendships, the “joyless quest for joy,” and a desire for the sublime are all indicative of the dimly lit flame St. Augustine says remains in us even after the Fall. Like Aristophanes’s separated man we are [...]

Desperate America

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” True in Thoreau’s age, perhaps, not so much in ours. It seems the decibels of desperation have increased since Henry David’s days near Walden Pond. And not decibels only, but desperation. Nowadays we take our desperation at alarmingly acceptable rates. How often we merely “consume” media [...]

Anglican Decline and Its Biblical Remedy

For years, I thought I was called to be an Anglican priest. My wife and I wanted to plant an Anglican church in Minneapolis. To that end, I attended a beautiful Anglican seminary couched in the forests of Wisconsin. There, surrounded by men and women much holier than myself, I was challenged to grow up [...]

On Pilgrimage: The Analogy of Departure

"Life is made up of meetings and partings. That is the way of it."  ∼ A Muppet Christmas Carol The Christian life has often been described as a pilgrimage. For the purpose of self-description, the Catholic Church has used this word in her sacred liturgy and in her Catechism. There is abundant basis for the concept of [...]

St. John Chrysostom: The Golden Voice of Love

The days around September 14 are filled with celestial graces for those who can perceive and receive them. It was on September 14 that one of the most celebrated martyrs of the African church offered up his life for Christ, for his gospel, and for his church. On that day St. Cyprian of Carthage died [...]

From the Beginning: The Father and the Son

Our civilization is full of thinkers who have claimed to know the Father without Christ. Likewise, we find those who claim the Son can be known by study or by philosophy. He does not “reveal” anything but a visionary, a carpenter, a zealot, a revolutionary. What Irenaeus tells us is that getting it right is important for our very well-being.

Fathers of the Church

My Christmas present to readers of this electronic journal this year will be to tell you to go read the Church Fathers. I should mention that you are getting this advice already "used," or at least secondhand. I already wrote a column saying the same thing in a different way in my (very) secular newspaper [...]

Five Myths About the Rapture

About ten years ago, I mentioned to a Catholic friend that I was starting to work on a book critiquing the Left Behind novels. I explained that it would thoroughly examine premillennial dispensationalism, the unique apocalyptic belief system presented, in fictional format, within those books. Premillennial dispensationalism teaches that the "Rapture" and the Second Coming [...]

Pursuing Virtue, Not Clintonism

I think G. K. Chesterton is onto something profound when he says that when you abandon the big laws, you don't get freedom and you don't even get anarchy: You get the small laws. In other words, the paradoxical effect of attempting to be lawless is to become more and more legalistic, to parse words [...]

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