The Tale of Tom Harpur

Tom Harpur is dead at 87, having crossed over into the other world on January 2 of this year. Most Americans may not have heard of the Reverend Thomas Harpur, who was more famous in his native Canada than down south. He was born in Toronto to an evangelical family, studied at the University of Toronto, and at the evangelical Anglican seminary Wycliffe College in that city. He was ordained a priest…

A Papal Calendar?

Christmas Day and the post-Christmas season usually bring with them a number of things not overwhelming helpful—Boxing Day stampedes, post-Christmas let-down, unwelcome news when stepping on the bathroom scale, and polemical digs about those benighted people using the “papal calendar” instead of “the Church’s Traditional Calendar”—i.e. the Julian calendar. It can be rather confusing to those outside of Orthodoxy, especially when they have been told that Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January…

“Born of a Virgin?”

Part of my seasonal reading included a book by Andrew T. Lincoln, entitled, Born of a Virgin?, published by Wm. B. Eerdmans in 2013. Lincoln is a Professor of New Testament Studies at the University of Gloucestershire, and the author of commentaries on Ephesians, Colossians, and the Gospel of John. Perhaps the title should have alerted me that reading it would also form part of my seasonal literary masochism, but I couldn’t…

Charlie Brown and the Lonely Walk of Faith

If you are at all like me, it is not Christmas until you have seen the holiday special A Charlie Brown Christmas, which has been shown seasonally every year since it first appeared in 1965.  I have watched it faithfully every year since I can remember, and have the whole wonderful thing more or less memorized by heart.  Who can forget Charlie Brown taking his seat at Lucy’s outdoor doctor’s office (the sign…

Just Imagine, John Lennon

In the world’s hagiology, it seems that untimely demise bestows a scent of secular sanctity, that those who die before their time are endowed with the status of saints. Take for example the untimely death of Princess Diana. Despite some remarkably unfortunate life choices (such as Dodi Fayed), she was instantly hailed as “the people’s princess” after her death in a Paris tunnel and paired with Mother Teresa (since they died within…

The Mystical Theology of the Western Hat

It used to be the norm in western culture for men to wear hats, and there was a common and recognized etiquette regarding the wearing of the western hat. One did not wear it, for example, when in someone’s home, or in a house of worship. One would remove one’s hat when the dead were carried out in one’s presence. One would also remove one’s hat in the presence of one’s sovereign…