To Reap the Whirlwind

When, loud and lauded, grifters drift along Who crease their purple pants and sable jackets, I think to beg my memory for a song That bundles sunshine up in yellow packets. Sometimes, however, all I hear is a racket. When funnel clouds demolish mobile homes, We lose both cozy throws and stylish chromes.

Tract IV: What is Christian Spirituality?

Tracts for the Times 2.0 In my next series of tracts, I will be presenting a comprehensive outline of Christian spirituality, as embodied in the Anglican tradition. In Tract #4, I’ll define just what Christian spirituality is. What is spirituality? The word “spirituality” has taken on different connotations in Christianity. Originally, the word was derived…

Ordinary Time

On a sweeter day of sun and windy sky, The hermit stands in his doorway drinking tea. Though spring declares itself, it’s only January. These gentle southern mountains seem to sigh With longing. Above the trees, a hawk’s thin cry Unspools, a silver thread of hunger. He Listens. Hears his heart’s reply, its plea For…

Mascall on Justification

E. L. Mascall has featured in three recent pieces on The North American Anglican, Clinton Collister’s “Year in Reading,” Gerald McDermott’s “E. L. Mascall: A Theologian in, from, and for the Church,” and Preston Hill’s review of Mascall’s book Christ the Christian, and the Church. Along with Preston Hill and Clinton Collister I have been…

The Endurance of Memory

My sister Laurene at twenty returns as a vision: a young bride, slender in a blue suit carrying a simple bouquet of white flowers. It’s May 31st, the 35th anniversary of her death,warm and sunny in the Gulf South as hurricaneseason approaches. I am not surprised by this image, remembering her years before she bore…

Contraception and Lambeth: A Proposal

As Anglicans, the use of hormonal contraceptives ought to be scrutinized. I have never heard the topic of ‘the pill’ touched from the pulpit, but Christians who affirm the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death cannot practice a laissez faire attitude towards contraceptives, which may act as zygote-abortifacients. Much of the popular…

Navigating Troubled Waters, Part 1: Frankfurt, 1554-1559

Introduction “The Regulative Principle of Worship” (RPW) is a standard position in Reformed and Presbyterian churches, but not in Anglican or Lutheran churches. Briefly, the RPW states, “whatever is commanded by God for worship is required, and whatever is not commanded is forbidden.” The authors of this concise definition explain, “This principle therefore goes contrary…

The Eucharist: A Child’s Verse

Flesh he tookInterceding he blestDying he brokeRising he gaveThe manna that savesThe draught of his bloodThat ran over the woodWhich he bore to the pyreWhere he passed through the fireAnd Eve’s tempter was crushedThe death of her deathRaised up for all lifeThat her sons may be savedBy the flesh Mary boreFor the good of the…

Why Classical Christian Education?

Hundreds of Christian schools have cropped up around the country in recent decades dedicated to the project of “classical education.” But what on earth do we mean by “classical”? A Blast from the Past In common usage, the word “classical” usually means either something similar to “classic,” in the sense of “the older, better, original…

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