Not Singing From the Same Songsheet

I hate going to live music concerts. I know that in terms of popular culture this is the equivalent of being a leper, but I have made my peace with it. The reason I hate them is because my reasons for attending them are not always in sync with the reasons driving the adoring masses, [...]

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One Big Happy Family?

Picture, for a moment, a hypothetical, completely dysfunctional family. The son’s academic performance is poor and he has become rebellious at school. The daughter’s devotion to her work borders on the obsessive and – although very few of her classmates know it – she cuts herself compulsively. Dad demands perfection from his children. For him, [...]

Demythologising Sacrifice

It is impossible to condense a complex anthropological work into a blog-sized space, even a blog-sized space that is significantly larger than blog-sized spaces are supposed to be. So if you treasure the work of René Girard, please understand that what is to follow is a very much reduced (and thus inevitably inadequate) summation of [...]

Rejecting Perfection: What If We Were Meant to Fail?

On one of my business trips, some colleagues and I lay outside on the lawn at the bed and breakfast we were staying at, looking up at the stars. Somebody remarked that a heaven where there was no pain or hardship would not be a heaven at all. She pointed out that all of her [...]

Putting my Jesus on Trial

I am a bit of a Thomas. When Thomas was told that Jesus had risen, he refused to believe it unless he could see Jesus with his own eyes, and touch the terrible scars (John 20:24-29). I, too, refuse to accept the Jesus presented to me by the Western church, until I can be certain, [...]

A Poem About Being Haunted

Being haunted is, relatively speaking, easy. When you are old enough – and sometimes, more tragically, before you should be – you have interacted sufficiently with the darker side of human nature to have been hurt profoundly. People hurt other people. It is one of the inescapable legacies we leave. No matter how much we [...]

Exploring the Mystery of the Cross

Imagine that, in the midst of a bout of temporary insanity, you told your wife this: that in order for you to remain married, she would have to dress up like a nun, because that was the only way you could love her and find her attractive. How long do you think that marriage would [...]