Skip to content

Category Archives: Sin

A (plagiarized) letter

From: His Exalted Darkness Malaphar, Denizen of Darkness and Strife, beloved Lieutenant of Beelzbul, Prince of Darkness and the Powers of the Air** To: Barakiel the Accursed, Faithful Servant of Division Re: COSK Portland 2014 Line Item Action Plan My most foul, impish, and dear colleague, it gives me the most sublime delight to hear […]

And save us when we fall

Thanks to Jason for posting this confession, which I utilized last night in our Ash Wednesday service (which went very well, I believe). A worth confession for many of us indeed. Vision and mirage Lord Jesus, you have faced temptation; you know how difficult it can be to distinguish between vision and mirage, between truth […]

Sin and love

What makes us humans is, of course, being more loving. And sin is a defect in this love. To say that Jesus was without sin just means that he was wholly loving, that he did not put up barriers against people, that he was not afraid of being at the disposal of others, that he […]

On taking sin seriously

In my recent, and utterly long sermon I quoted from Robert Jenson about the nature of the Gospel’s morality, a quote that I find vital and illuminating in many ways: The gospel’s specific morality is a matter of opened opportunities, of what we may reasonably do because Jesus lives, that otherwise would have been foolish. […]

Is evil privation?

It has become an almost undisputed datum in contemporary theology that evil is to be understood in the Augustinian manner as a privation of goodness. Evil has no reality or being as such. Rather it is simply a lack, a minus within the plenitude of goodness (See for example Confessions VII 13[19]). This sounds absolutely […]

Holiness and Moral Agency

Jack Bernard’s How to Become a Saint has many great qualities, but perhaps the most exemplary thing about the book is the way it makes the topic of holiness something bearable to talk about. For far too long talk of holiness has been hijacked by moralistic pietism, especially in protestant circles. Bernard cuts through all […]

Aquinas on Acedia

Sloth, according to Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 14) is an oppressive sorrow, which, to wit, so weighs upon man’s mind, that he wants to do nothing; thus acid things are also cold. Hence sloth implies a certain weariness of work, as appears from a gloss on Psalm 106:18, “Their soul abhorred all manner of […]

The Worst Sin

“The worst sin is prayerlessness. Overt sin, or crime, or the glaring inconsistencies which often surprise us in Christian people are the effect of this or its punishment. We are left by God for lack of seeking Him. The history of the saints shows often that their lapses were the fruit and nemesis of slackness […]

Against Ambiguity–In Praise of Binary Oppositions

The Johannine writings are distinctive among the writings of the New Testament in that they are so radically polarized in how the present the conflict between the church and the world. John’s whole thought world is one of binaries: life and death, love and hate, truth and lies, above and below, heaven and earth. This […]

Nature, Grace, and the Prevenience of the Apocalypse

The whole issue of nature and grace continues to come up in conversations of late. This is, of course, derivative of other long-standing conversations largely between the churches of the Reformation and the Roman Catholic communion regarding the severity of the effect of fallenness on creation.  The conflict between Barth and Pryzwara over the analogia […]

Moral Certitude, Martyrdom, and Hope

I sometimes wonder about the statements of conviction we make.  I’m firm believer in making very few commitments quickly while making damn sure you always keep the ones you do make.  But absolute statements, declarations, and manifestos are some of the most easy things to say.  They role right off the tongue and theological books […]

The Theology of Changing

One of the seemingly essential elements of the theology of the Christian life is the claim that, in Christ people are able to be transformed in their existential existence in the world.  While most Christians would deny any sort of crude notion of perfectionism, most Christians, even the most strongly reformed ones, would surely maintain […]

Recycle or go to Hell!

Apparently the Catholic Church has recently updated its list of mortal sins to include more specifically modern maladies.  It used to be that only pride, sloth, envy, wrath, et al would land you straight in hell at the point of death.  Now it turns out that “drug abuse, genetic manipulation, morally dubious experimentation, environmental pollution, […]

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 […]

McCabe on Sin

Life in Christ…is a seeking into the meaning of human behaviour which involves a constant reaching out beyond the values of the world. Sin consists in ceasing to reach out, refusing to respond to the Father’s summons, and settling for this present world. What makes it possible for us to reach out, to hear and […]

Switch to our mobile site