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Monthly Archives: February 2008

Jesus loves you, but his Dad thinks you’re a…

Or we could title this, “The Impossible Trinitarianism of Penal Substitution.”  Enjoy! [youtube=] H/T: Canon Fodder

Catholics and Beards

So, what’s the deal with Catholic clergy not being able to grow beards?  Maybe this isn’t any sort of hard-and-fast rule anymore, but I can’t say as I’ve ever seen a Catholic clergyman in a beard before.  Ever.  I do remember hearing that one of the issues that was part of the parting of the […]

McCabe on Capitalism

“What is wrong with capitalism is simply that it is based on human antagonism, and it is precisely here that it comes in conflict with Christianity.  Capitalism is a state of war, but not just a state of war between equivalent forces; it involves a war between those who believe in and prosecute war as […]

The Ontology of Telekinesis

It’s always interesting what the American superhero genre does to reveal the contemporary zeitgeist.  While I wouldn’t doubt that children of all epochs have wished they could fly or had super strength, the American superhero mythos is a particular phenomenon which reveals all manner of interesting thins about the Western understanding of power and selfhood.  This […]

If Žižek Became a Christian…?

I’ve often wondered what kind of Christian Slovoj Žižek would be if he converted.  Would he likely be a Roman Catholic?  Protestant?  Eastern Orthodox?  I’d say his theology lends itself to a particularly protestant flavor, sometimes reading almost just like Eberhard Jüngel or Jürgen Moltmann.  His notion of the crucifixion as the end of any sort of abstract […]

Stanley Hauerwas on Bonhoeffer, Truth, and Politics


The Ethics of Complicity

One of the topics that consistently comes up in discussions of whether or not Christians should endorse capitalism is that of complicity.  All of us in the West are very much cogs in the machinery of the capitalist engine, and as such speaking out against it seems hypocritical to say the least.  How can one legitimately critique a system […]

The Messianic Future as Disruption

“The messianic future proper to Christian faith does not just confirm and reinforce our preconceived bourgeois future.  It does not prolong it, add anything to it, elevate it, or transfigure it.  It disrupts it.  ‘The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.’  The meaning of love cuts across the meaning of having.  […]

Modernism and Postmodernism or Early and Late Capitalism?

Amongst theologians and churchmen today talk of “postmodernism” is legion.  Everywhere people are trying to figure out what it is and how to deal with it from a Christian perspective.  This is particularly seen amongst evangelical Christians who certainly spill more ink on the cultural and philosophical issues of modernism and postmodernism than Christians from […]

The Emergent Church

No, I don’t mean the current buzz word amongst western evangelicals for their version of how to coordinate a worship service.  Actually, ironically enough, this term, as far as I can tell was first used in 1980 by Johann Baptist Metz as the title of one of his books on political theology.  The Emergent Church […]

Identity as Sin

“Identity-in-sin means not to live from God, not to honor God as the constant source of our being, not to be thankful to God as the one who constantly gives us ourselves.  Identity is sin when persons imagine that their being has been conferred over to them, when they try to live out of themselves in […]

Bemoaning a Lack

One of the things that has so annoyed me in working on engaging the encyclicals of Pope John Paul II has been the fact that there is no complete collection of his encyclicals in print.  There once was such a volume, but it has since gone out of print and can’t be found online for […]

Žižek on Reflexive Racism

In The Fragile Abolute, Slavoj Žižek opens his book with a discussion about how to best encapsulate the “gist of an epoch.”  He argues that to understand the cultural-political reality of a particular time and place we must look, not so much at the explicit features that define the “social and ideological edifices” of that […]

Balthasar on the Christian Hope for Universalism

“Just as God so loved the world that he completely handed over his Son for its sake, so too the one whom God has loved will want to save himself only in conjunction with those who have been created with him, and he will not reject the share of penitential suffering that has been given […]

More on Balthasar, Metz, and Conceptual Neatness

Earlier I discussed Johann Baptist Metz’s critique of Hans Urs von Balthasar on the basis of his alleged tendency to “sublate” the history of human suffering into the Trinitarian history of God in such a way that the particular historical character of such suffering is glossed over.  I think that ultimately such a criticsm of […]

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