(Grateful?) Cognitive Minorities

I count it a good Sunday morning at church when I leave the building empowered with good ideas for living well. Among other things, I think, the Sunday morning service ought to provide people with tools for interpreting their experience (at an individual or collective level) through the lens of the biblical narrative. Church ought […]

The Poverty of Consumerism

Shameless self-promotion alert! For those interested, the MB Herald—the denominational magazine of the tribe I happen to belong to—has published an article on consumerism that I co-authored with friend, fellow-Menno, and thesis-weary Regent student Jonathan Janzen. In it, we attempt to both describe and critique this prominent cultural mentality which views many, if not all, […]

An Atheist Christmas Homily

Due to the nature of my thesis work, my radar is unnaturally (and often annoyingly) tuned to any and all occurrences of the word “atheist”—especially when found in conjunction with the word “Jesus.” For the first part of this opinion piece by Andre Comte-Sponville in today’s Washington Post I was thinking, “OK, here we go […]

Which Story?

One of the things we’ve talked about in the course I’m teaching out at Columbia Bible College this semester is the importance of understanding how all world-views—whether they consider themselves to be “religious” or not—offer their own set of explanations to questions about the nature of the world, the nature of human beings and the problems […]

Gospel, Culture, and Church (and Gnosticism)

This past weekend was spent at a study conference entitled “Culture, Gospel, and Church” held in Abbotsford which was put on by the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren churches. Among the highlights of the conference, from my perspective, was Bruce Guenther’s lecture on how Anabaptists in general, and Mennonite Brethren (MB) in particular have historically […]

The Challenge of Secularism

Yesterday’s New York Times had an interesting follow-up of sorts (Times Select link here) to Mark Lilla’s more extensive analysis of the relationship between religion and politics from a few weeks ago. Stanley Fish reiterates the deep divide that exists between secular liberalism and those who subscribe to some more “ultimate” explanation of what is […]

On “Churchification”

Reading Jürgen Moltmann is once again proving to be a rewarding experience. The following comes from a chapter entitled “Progress and Abyss: Remembrances of the Future of the Modern World,” found in The Future of Hope: Christian Tradition amid Modernity and Postmodernity. I found this especially interesting—and heartening!—to consider in light of the recent actions […]

The Persistence of Religion

Columbia professor Mark Lilla wrote a very interesting article in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine which deals with the relationship between religious belief and politics (adapted from his forthcoming book, The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West). It’s an interesting article—one well worth taking the time to read and think about. Among […]

A Simulated Theodicy

I was interested to read this article in this morning’s New York Times. According to Nick Bostrom, an Oxford philosopher, the chances of human beings and our perceived existence on planet earth being a computer simulation are around 20%. John Tierney, the Times writer covering the story, considers this scenario to be even more likely—”almost […]

Ad-trocious

I don’t like advertising. I resent the exorbitant amounts of money that are spent to convince people to buy things that, in all likelihood, they probably don’t need. I resent the pathetically transparent appeals to human pride and vanity that accompany most commercials, and I resent the level of intelligence that most advertisements implicitly assume […]

All the Good Music Comes from Across the Pond

Throughout the last week or so I have been making incremental additions to my sad excuse for a music library. One of the occupational hazards of being a student is, obviously, a lack of extra funds to explore and purchase new music. I usually get new music twice a year—July and December, when I get […]

Are You Happy? Should You Be?

The Globe and Mail is currently doing a very interesting feature on happiness. I was particularly intrigued by this article that I came across yesterday which questions our cultural fascination with the “cult of happiness,” both its legitimacy as an enterprise, and its efficiency in achieving the results we crave. We are obsessed with being […]