John’s Apocalypse has been a troublesome book since the beginning. Many interpreters, taking their cue from the Revelator’s promise to “show what must soon take place,” have seen in Revelation a coded sequence of end-time events. The only work remaining is to decode the symbols to reveal the book’s one true meaning. Or is it?
In the wilderness, Jesus faced three temptations and triumphed. In Brothers Karamazov, through the Grand Inquisitor, Dostoevsky claimed the Church has faced these same temptations and soundly failed. Historically, many commentators have seen the temptations as individual sins, such as gluttony or greed. Dostoevsky perceives something different: All three temptations are about power. Jesus refused […]
The world is feeling dark these days. Polarized, increasingly hostile attitudes prevail. Really scary things are happening. ISIS. Gun violence. Political discord. In times of anxiety and fear, our faith can get murky. In John’s gospel, Jesus makes an unexpected promise. He says, “In this world you will have trouble.” But then, he turns this […]
We were only the second family to set-up at the camp ground for our Memorial Day weekend camping trip. We arrived on Wednesday. For two-and-a-half glorious days it was just us and the trees and the little stream. Well, and the elderly camp hosts, and a distant neighbor. Then around lunchtime on Friday everything changed. […]
I just got off the phone with a man struggling deeply in an unhappy marriage. He feels cut out and unappreciated. His heart is aching. Earlier I had a conversation with a family sinking in enormous debt. They couldn’t make ends meet last month. They are afraid. A friend has wrestled with addiction for more […]
Stress, pressure, constantly feeling overwhelmed. As our lives have filled up with expectations and commitment, this seems to be our natural state. At any moment there is some obligation that we are not living up to, and we feel it acutely. Are we good parents? We try, but we probably let our kids watch too […]
Holding Tight Didn’t Bring Peace. My story led me to a place where control and peace were linked together. I wanted peace. I imagined that meant less stress and emotional strain. The path there was through more control. By controlling my emotions, containing and suppressing them, I’d feel less pain. By controlling the world around […]