Jesus: Friend of Sinners

Jesus Christ has been one of the most influential and controversial figures in history. Embodying a message of radical love and a system of values antithetical to that of his day, Jesus’ teachings were contentious and unpalatable in a world where legalistic obedience and worthiness were inextricably linked. The church, as conceived after the conclusion of Jesus’ ministry, was intended to be the extension and manifestation of Jesus’ message of divine reconciliation here on earth. Historically, however, the church has been a source of division and derision, often creating a dichotomy of us-versus-them between believers and non-believers. This separation between the ecclesiastical and secular flies in the face of the message of the Gospel. Continue reading “Jesus: Friend of Sinners”

Hope and Horror in the Cross

As a child, I grew up both terrified and fascinated by the sculpture of a dying man that hung on the wall of my grandmother’s church. As the priest evenly intoned through the mass, my gaze would slide up to the statue, darting back down when I saw the nails in the statue’s wrists. A few moments later, my eyes would inch their way up again. Invariably, I would end up having nightmares that night, related to the wrongly-accused Jesus hanging on the cross. Continue reading “Hope and Horror in the Cross”

Who Do You Say I Am: The Centrality of the Church in the Christian Faith

He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’” (Luke 9:20). Just as the Apostles before us, Christians have developed many responses to this question Jesus asked two thousand years ago. Some answers— “the way, the truth, … Continue reading Who Do You Say I Am: The Centrality of the Church in the Christian Faith