The Defamiliarization of the Christ

There are many times when I am speaking to someone about Christ, even within a church context, that I feel like I am speaking about an alien visitor from outer space. It is quite similar to the feeling I sometimes have when referencing some piece of history that interests me for which my interlocutor has no context or experience to make it meaningful. I…

For us, there is only the trying

Among other saintly commemorations today, we remember Ninian, the Enlightener of Scotland. From all apparent worldly analyses, St. Ninian was something of a failure. He’s called the Enlightener of Scotland, because he first brought the Christian faith there in the final years of the 4th century, but he wasn’t terribly successful. He never saw the astounding conversions the way Columba did nearly 200 years…

Religion’s Changing Face in Emmaus

My koumbaro (fancy Greek term for “ecclesiastical relative,” in this case, my daughter’s godfather) is visiting with us here for a few days, and this afternoon, he and I visited my favorite local coffeehouse to get a little caffeination and chat in. While we were there, we talked a bit with the proprietor, as well as with a fellow who stopped in and was…