Friday, February 5, 2016

A Better Way to Be Evangelical


'Mother Teresa, Saint of Darkness'
I'm a fan of most anything that Catholic theologian Robert Barron writes. He has a felicitous way of making complex things more easily grasped. In this article on Real Clear Religion, he's not explaining complex ideas but a complex person, and he concludes:
To allow Christ to live his life in you is, therefore, necessarily to experience, to one degree or another, the absence of God, to undergo the agony of the crucifixion in all of its dimensions. St. John of the Cross, the greatest mystical theologian in the Church's history said, quite simply, that there is no path to holiness that does not lead through the cross. Though it is a high paradox, the 50-year darkness that Mother endured is, therefore, one of the surest indicators of her saintliness.
 
The Quiet Spiritual Journey of David Brooks
It not something the famous New York Times columnist likes to talk about, but he's getting asked about it more and more. Here's a recent interview with him, in which he says,
I don't talk about my own faith. It's all so new and green that I'm afraid if I talk about it in public, it will become like my political opinions, just a bumper sticker, not a living, breathing thing. I will say that right now I'm just a magpie. I read everything, and some of it is Jewish and some of it is Christian, and some of it is just humanistic. Ethnically, culturally, historically, I'm Jewish. Parts of Jewish theology I like—the emphasis on agency. There are parts of Christianity—a more richly developed sense of grace—that I find very beautiful.
 
Which Climate Do We Want?
I didn't think climate change had a history, other than one that goes back millions and millions of years. Apparently, I'm wrong. It turns out it has a "recent" history worth paying attention to:
Some periods in particular, especially the years around 1680 and 1740, stand out as uniquely stressful. Extreme cold led to crop failures and revolts, social crises and apocalyptic movements, high mortality and epidemics, but it also spawned religious revivals and experimentation. If you write history without taking account of such extreme conditions, you are missing a lot of the story.
What's refreshing about this piece by historian Philip Jenkins is that he's not trying to debunk climate science, about which there is a large consensus. Then again, he argues that before we do something about it (about which there remains significant disagreement), we might begin by asking what the goal is. What, in fact, is the ideal state of the climate? Jenkins points out that global temperatures in AD 900, 1150, 1350, and 1740 were each significantly different. Depending on the answer, that might change what we do and how fast we do it.
 
When the Sky Turned White and Crimson
Speaking of climate, check out this fine piece by CT's Morgan Lee, on "The Week the Sun Reached Out and Touched Us," about an amazing world phenomenon, known as the Carrington Flare, in last days of summer in 1859.
 
Grace and peace,
 
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor, Christianity Today



More froM Christianity Today
Why Are Pro-Lifers Borrowing Pro-Choice Philosophy?
Pre-Roe v. Wade, the pro-life movement vehemently denounced the idea that the end justifies the means.

I Know Why the Government Went after Pro-Life Investigative Journalists
For those determined to speak out according to our deeply held beliefs, the price tag is becoming increasingly steep.

A Better Way to Be Evangelical
"You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means."

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