A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma...
Season 3 of Showtime’s “The Tudors” ends October 27. The 4th season begins in 2010 in order to end the saga of Henry VIII. One of the characters in the story is Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury. He showed up on the scene in season 2 but has not yet arrived in season 3. This has fans asking, “Where is Thomas Cranmer?“
I love that people are asking for more Cranmer. I wish more Christians were asking for more of him. Here is why. In one of his prayers, Cranmer wrote: “we have no power in ourselves to…
The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards displayed disgrace and grace. Kayne West illustrated “disgrace” and Beyonce embodied “grace.”
After Taylor Swift won the award for Best Female Video, Kanye West grabbed the mic from her during her acceptance speech. He humiliated her and made her feel like she didn’t belong there, like she was not welcome, and like she should be silent. Judgment disgraces you. Watch Taylor Swift shrink in dejection.
But Beyonce redeemed it. After it was announced that she won the top award of the evening—Video of the Year—Beyonce gave up her opportunity…
Few experiences can cause someone to feel a sense of disgrace more than being the victim of sexual assault. My wife and I wrote a post for The Resurgence attempting to apply grace and the cross to the horror of sexual assault. You can read the entire post here.
Here are some excerpts:
Disgrace is the opposite of grace. Disgrace destroys, causes pain, deforms, and wounds. It alienates and isolates. Disgrace makes you feel worthless, rejected, unwanted, and repulsive, like a persona non grata (a “person without grace”). Disgrace silences and shuns.
Jesus is the most significant person in history and the number of versions of him is fascinating. Sometimes Jesus is pictured as the enlightened sage who says lofty but generic spirituals things. Or he is your moral teacher who gives us helpful principles to live by and makes us nicer and more successful. And sometimes we are told he is our sweet friend who just wants to affirm you for being you.
Our temptation seems to be that we create a Jesus out of our own wishes and then we worship him, which sounds a bit narcissistic and creepy, doesn’t…
I was offended by grace last night.
My wife was reading the story of Jesus interacting with Zacchaeus to our 6 month-old daughter, the version from Sally Lloyd Jones’ Jesus Storybook Bible that falls under the heading “The Man Who Didn’t Have Any Friends”. Usually, children’s bibles are filled with simple moralistic truisms, but this particular bible is spectacular in its ability to point to Jesus and his Gospel in every single story I highly recommend it to parents who aren’t trying to raise mean little fundamentalists.
Back to the offense. As my wife read the story I found myself hating Zacchaeus…
Happy Birthday, John Calvin!
In celebration of John Calvin, I wrote a post for The Resurgence on his amazing definition of “faith.” Calvin writes: “Now we shall have a proper definition of faith if we say it is a steady and certain knowledge of the Divine benevolence toward us, which being founded upon the truth of the gratuitous promise in Christ is both revealed to our minds and sealed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.”
I love this quote because it has all the basics of the Christian message. First, it is about “God’s favor towards us.” The…
An intriguing post appeared in the Harvard Business Review, “Whom To Pay Is More Important Than How Much or How,” that mentions some of the themes explored on this blog. The first attention grabber is the section on motivation:
“It is important to understand the basics of motivation. The stronger source of motivation is internal and not external, though external incentives can help as long as they are applied to the right people and properly aligned with internal motivators. However, external motivators are tricky.”
Religion is frequently focused on external motivation, usually in the form of demand or passive-aggressive suggestions or exhortation…
Want to play a game? First, let me set it up.
In 2007, an Episcopal priest (the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding) converted to Islam. But it was a different sort of conversion. She (supposedly) didn’t disavow Christianity but simply blended in her Muslim beliefs. People termed her an Episcoslamic Muslipalian.
Last month, the diocese of Northern Michigan elected Father Forrester, a professed Zen Buddhist, as their bishop. Now a Muslim-Christian makes a bit more sense since both are monotheistic traditions. But blending a theistic religion and non-theistic philosophy seems difficult. People have called him a Buddhapalian.
This isn’t just a Christian + “other…
A new study was published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives showing that the more conservative and religious a state is, the more likely its residents are to purchase porn on-line. Of the 10 states where porn is most consumed, eight of them gave their electoral votes to John McCain. Out of the 10 states with the lowest consumption, only four did.
Guess which state consumes the most porn per capita? Mormon land, Utah. They don’t drink caffeine, but they sure like their porn. Basically, if you are selling on-line porn, be…
Since many of the Mockingbird readers are musically savvy and top ten lists are no stranger to this blog, I thought this could be fun.
My wife and I just had our first child in early January and she has received some pretty cool gear. I particularly like her “Jesus is My Homeboy” and KISS onesies. But her aunt Rachel and uncle Jacob bought her the best present—lullabies from Rockabye Baby.
Basically, it is cool baby music. They transform some of the best classic rock, punk, alternative, and metal into lullabies. They currently have 25 different albums….