Author: Patrick Clark

Fear and Knowing—12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 94 Jeremiah 20:10—13 Psalm 69 Romans 5:12—15 Matthew 10:26—33   What is it that makes us most afraid: pain, suffering, and loss, or the possibility of their future occurrence? What is it that makes children afraid to go into a dark room alone, even if that room happens to be their own? Could it be that what makes us most afraid is the combination of our abiding knowledge that we are vulnerable to suffering together with our ignorance of when that suffering might come upon us, where it might come from, and what it might mean? There is little...

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The problem with The Benedict Option is that it’s “The Benedict Option”

  I agree with pretty much everything Rod Dreher says in The Benedict Option, and strongly urge every Christian living in today’s world to read the book carefully. It can be sweeping and too simplistic at times, but in general I find it to be a very thoughtful and accurate diagnosis of the contemporary social environment in the first-world. As a description of our “moral ecology,” I find it very compelling and helpful, even if sobering. Yet it also contains a generous measure of hope and encouragement. The accounts of the communities and individuals he holds up as models of his...

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5th Sunday of Lent: Unbinding Those Captive to Death

Lectionary 34 Ezra 37:12—14 / Psalm 130 / Romans 8:8—11 / John 11:1-45 A colleague of mine once received a student’s paper on the theme of resurrection which began: “I am aware of two chief instances of resurrection: that of Jesus Christ, and that of zombies. Since zombies are not mentioned in the Bible, this paper will deal solely with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” It was funny, but it was also woefully underinformed. The student clearly did not remember the three accounts in the gospels where Jesus raises an individual from the dead: the raising of Jairus’ daughter in Matthew 9,...

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