Posts in Theology
Talk: Inviting the Act of Faith

I was honored recently to be invited by the Youth Apostles community to speak at one of their regular formation nights.  The invitation was extended based on a series of posts I wrote on Inviting the Act of Faith, which was an exploration on my part of how we can invite people to make an explicit decision for Christ in a Catholic context.  The talk I presented, which can be viewed on Youtube below, was a summary of that series with practical pointers for how to put it into practice. 

Read More
The Clash of Two Kingdoms

Jesus instructed his disciples, "As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons" (Mt 10:7-8).  The declaration that the kingdom of heaven is at hand was meant to serve as an eviction notice to the kingdom of darkness - your time is up, it's time to move out! (Post 2/4 on suffering.)

Read More
Ending the Catholic Love Affair with Suffering

There is a place for taking up one's cross in the Christian life.  There are times when, like a good soldier, we need to accept our share of hardship for the sake of the Gospel.  The Bible couldn't be clearer about this. And yet, as one preacher put it, "In the church there is an admiration for pain and suffering that goes far beyond what the Bible ever intended." Whether or not this is a uniquely Catholic problem, this is indeed a Catholic problem.  There is a cultural fixation on the value of suffering that results in obscuring other Christian values, and one value in particular - the value of victory. (Post 1/4 on suffering.)

Read More
When Theology Gets in the Way

Imagine with me a website designer who is courting a potential client. The web designer possesses a certain technical knowledge that allows him to deliver a product, but it would be counterproductive for him to talk about the specifics of CSS or Java coding with his unknowledgeable client. Instead the web designer will discuss how the website will engage with customers better, will be easier to navigate, the potential new audiences reached, and other benefits associated with the new design. His sales pitch, to be effective, must concentrate more on the experiential side of things.

Read More
Love Is More Than Sacrifice

"The essence of love is sacrifice." When I read these words some time ago, something in me recoiled. It was a blog post from a Christian author and had all the best intentions. But it was a lie, and one that I have seen repeated over and over again by well-meaning Christian authors. The falsehood of this statement is unmasked easily through the observation that, if sacrifice (read: "suffering willingly accepted") really is the essence of love, then there can be no love in heaven. And there can be no love within the Trinity.

Read More