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Viewing Good Friday Through Luther, Augustine, and Barth

April 19, 2014

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Perhaps not surprisingly, I find thinkers from previous ages more gripping than the moderns. Three especially shine: Augustine, Martin Luther, and Karl Barth. Each made colossal mistakes – with Luther’s chilling essay against the Jews the most inexcusable – but each understood that theology was a discipline offered to the Church at large, not merely to academia. What’s more, each wrestles with God. They’ve glimpsed transcendence. They’re doing theology on their knees. They’re imperfect because they see things through a glass dimly, but at least they’ve tried. I tried finding what each said about Good Friday. It’s allowed me to gaze at the day through their insights.

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Follow-up to John Jay: Wrestling with the great betrayal

June 10, 2011

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The Roman Catholic bishop of Spokane issued a thoughtful ten-point response to the so-called “John Jay Report,” formally entitled, The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010, and released in May by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The Most Reverend Blase Cupich listed several needs: Rigorous seminary candidate screening; revisal of the relevant child-protection charter; annual professional clerical education; parishioner education; re-emphasis of proper interpersonal boundaries, recognition of the problem’s extent; monitoring; intent listening and quick response; perspective; and ridding the church of clericalism.

It’s all good, which isn’t surprising. Most clerics were sickened that some used their collars to prey on kids.

My request: Tell us precisely that.

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A tsunami devastates our cultural myth

March 15, 2011

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The Japanese cataclysm trawls our depths and sifts our core. It’s eerily personal. The weeping victims wear shirts and jeans; painted lines run down the middle of the smooth, tsunami-swept streets; the cars, heaped like so many matchbox toys, are the latest models from … well, Japan.

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When Fear Is Good

October 19, 2010

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I’m thinking of termites, investment bankers, and the fear of God. They go together. Naturally. It goes without saying.

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