Brian’s Blog

April 24, 2018

Brian’s next blog will be a piece on how difficult it is to find time to write blogs…

December 18, 2017
Thoughts from Brian: Which Christmas?

There are two ways of celebrating Christmas: looking backwards and looking forwards. There are only two accounts of the birth of Jesus in scripture in Matthew and Luke. Matthew emphasizes how Jesus is born as a very Jewish Messiah coming in fulfillment of Jewish prophecies, especially those of Isaiah. Matthew spends about twice as much ink laying out Jesus’ genealogy as the whole story of his birth. Luke on the other hand is all about change in the future beginning with Mary’s song of rebellion against empire and wealth that we call the Magnificat. Luke’s portrayal emphasizes surprise, radical change, and a complete reversal of the expected order of things. Luke also has lots of people singing: Mary, Zechariah, and the angels.

So, do you celebrate Christmas looking backwards or forwards? Read more…

Friday, July 28, 2017
What ever happened to virtue? (with apologies to Alasdair MacIntyre)

“You don’t need to believe in God in order to be good!” she told me rather imperiously.  “True,” I immediately conceded, “but then again if you don’t believe in God, it really wouldn’t matter if you chose to be otherwise.” Read more…

Friday, July 21, 2017
Concerning Zombie Apocalypses

George Romero died this week. For those who may not be familiar with this great film director’s oeuvre, Romero created the genre of American zombie apocalypse films starting with Night of the Living Dead in 1968. Since then, zombie films and television programs have come to dominate our insatiable appetite for post-mortem horror, but I am intrigued by our cultural fascination with this very particular form of terror. Read more…

Friday, July 14, 2017
A Rule of Life

Christian monastic communities, since the days of St. Benedict, have regulated their lives together through the use of a monastic rule, a guide to living together with each other and with God.  Those rules, properly called a rule of life or regulam vitae, explain in practical terms the lived patterns of seeking to be child of God alongside others.  While the rule of each community became a distinctive marker of various monastic traditions (Benedictine, Franciscan, Jesuit, etc.) the underlying idea of identifying core values, principles, and relationships is important for every person.  What would your rule of life look like?  How has it changed? Read more…

Friday, July 7, 2017
Would Anyone Like to Join Me?

What would it mean to be a spiritual church?

“Spirituality,” is a term that is often bandied about, but seldom defined.  We all intuitively know it has something to do with supernatural or ultimate meaning, but the term is sufficiently vague to encompass almost any referent.

“Religion,” on the other hand, is discomfortingly concrete.  “Religion,” conjures up images of puritans and law codes, scripture, clergy, shame, dogma, buildings, and the occasional inquisition.  “Religion,” is all too often cast as spirituality’s unreformed, illiberal opposite.  Describing oneself as spiritual but not religious has grown into the clichéd label of our culture. Read more…