Category Archives: Western Culture

Community and Freedom, Part II

The relationship between community and freedom is foundational to the Christian worldview. First, we know that nothing happens apart from God’s directly willing it or permitting it (Rom 8:28 and many other passages). It follows that absolutely nothing happens by accident … Continue reading

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Community and Freedom, Part I

In a culture where individual rights and autonomy have become our gods, the concepts of community and freedom seem to contradict each other. Your needs and wants interfere with my needs and wants. More for you means less for me. … Continue reading

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Belong, Believe, Behave

The parish model of Catholicism, as it currently functions, is dead. We need a new paradigm. As Pope Francis has repeatedly said, the Church needs to go out into the marketplace, because increasingly, most of the people out there will not … Continue reading

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Harden Not Your Hearts

“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” These words struck me today, while preparing a Bible study on Hebrews 3. The author of Hebrews is quoting Psalm 95:7b-8. What are the dangers of a hardened heart? Aristotle notes that … Continue reading

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Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

That we have “nothing to fear but fear itself” is a paraphrase from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural address. Few phrases are more apt in the current political atmosphere. The fear now, I believe, is of listening to one another. … Continue reading

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Real Life Is Meeting

“Real Life Is Meeting” is a line from Martin Buber’s classic theological/philosophical work  I and Thou. Buber, a devout Jew, distinguishes between “I-It” relationships and “I-Thou” relationships. In “I-It” relationships, I treat the other as an object, a means to an end. In … Continue reading

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Election Reflection

In my 39 voting years, no election has inspired such controversy as this one. Conflict, anxiety, and divine reassurance came to mind on this momentous election day. Battle lines are being drawn. That line from the 1966 Buffalo Springfield classic, “For What … Continue reading

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Hillary, Trump, and Voting One’s Conscience

Hillary, Trump, and voting one’s conscience. If there’s a lull in a cocktail party conversation, bring up these three items. If the polls are correct, never have both candidates in a presidential election been so disliked. The prevailing refrains are “I’m not … Continue reading

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Either-Or

Either-Or was the mantra of Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish Christian existentialist. The story goes that children would harass him, following him in the street while crying out, “Either/Or! Either/Or!” His first work, Either/Or, outlines the two ultimate answers to the question, “How should we live?” … Continue reading

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Independence Day – Sean E. Stevens, Ph.D.

The celebration of Independence Day gains particular poignance in a year when freedom of religion, of speech – of thought – has steadily lost ground in the U.S. But true freedom comes from identity. We are freest when we know most truly who we … Continue reading

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