Some People (Don’t Judge): Karl Rahner, Jesus, and Luke Pearson

blogging, culture, spirituality, writing

I don’t know Luke Pearson, but I love this piece.

This is basically what Karl Rahner called original sin.  This is why Jesus says not to judge.

It’s a fine predicament we’re in, isn’t it?

How to make sense of the Christian idea that Jesus somehow saves us from the aggregated brokenness of the universe and the aggregated brokenness in us?

I suppose it has something to do with getting broken himself. Something to do with the radically subversive idea that it’s God and not broken systems by which our hearts and stories are known. Something to do with his life as a displaced, marginalized Jew under the Roman Empire, and something to do with his life as God among us, God displaced and marginalized. Something to do with definitions of power and freedom and success that have nothing whatsoever to do with the secular sacraments of wealth and status.

Jesus, in his brokenness, and his elevation of brokenness, makes it okay to be broken. When we come to the end of our shame, when we lay aside the idols of image and facade, when we say, with Jesus, our shit just ain’t together in the world’s eyes, we can start to heal. And health, health does not equal invincibility. We’re no more impervious than Jesus on the Cross. In the Cross, we are called to be fully human, giving up the trappings of moth-bitten praise and rusted-out power. In the Cross we are free to be broken, and then, free to rise.

An Open Letter to My Blog on His Birthday

blogging, writing

I’ve missed you these last two weeks.  You know I hate those “sorry I haven’t written in a while” posts as a rule.  So this isn’t that.  We’ve been talking.  I just haven’t paid you the kind of mind to which we’ve both grown accustomed.  It does feel like something’s missing.

I thought we should share this search list with the folks:


He-Man/Merman tops the list.  The Sands casino deep comes up because Sands wants to sell their Bethlehem operation, and because the deed prohibits public demonstrations on public land in the birthplace of the American labor movement.

My friend John Bengan brings more hits to you, blog, than Linda Perry.  His short story about Manny Pacquiao speaking to a butterfly in California is amazing, and given the frequency with which it’s searched, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s already showing up on syllabi.

Desmond wears Euclids.

Axl Rose and Noel Gallagher should make a record together.

Blog, there’s a lot going on in Allentown and on the rest of God’s green Earth right now.  Thanks for being here, for indexing my tangents, and for collecting what would otherwise remain so much ephemera.  And thanks for connecting me to people.  This month marks seven years of our wanderings together.  Somewhere along the way, I realized neither of us were lost.

Jonathan D. Fitzgerald is Not Your Mother’s Moralist: How The New Sincerity Is Changing Popular Culture for The Better

blogging, spirituality, writing

Picture 35My friend Jonathan D. Fitzgerald is one on of the hardest working folks in the New Sincerity, which, if you think about it, is really saying something.  In addition to his roles as editor at Patrol and contributor to Patheos, Atlantic and other venues, Jonathan has just published a new book with Bondfire called Not Your Mother’s Morals: How The New Sincerity Is Changing Pop Culture for the Better.

He posted an excerpt recently on Patheos, where he mentioned me and Conan O’Brien, which is sincerely awesome.  The New Sincerity is what has made or is making the New Morality possible, Jonathan argues.  Lots of ramifications, I think, for things like the possibility of faith.  And here I can’t help but think of Peter Rollins (pretty much everything he writes) and Paul Tillich (God above God, etc.).  Jonathan, thank you for everything you’re doing! Congratulations on the book, the first of many!

Search Term Mailbag #87

blogging, writing

Seach Engine Mailbag #87

Top search terms from yesterday. Like the easy listening stations of the early 90s, I’m just the right mix. Glad for a Hess’ reference…we talking about that and many other things last night on Tremayne Tatem’s Virtual Roundtable on Prolifick Radio.

Search Term Mailbag #67; My Friends From the New School Making It Happen

blogging, writing

Picture 25

Top search terms for today.  Seems about right.  In case you don’t know, “Many Pacquiao Talks to a Butterfly in California” is an amazing short story written by my friend John Bengan.  Speaking of great publishing news from awesome people I went to the New School with, Sherri Phillips has a story forthcoming in Ploughshares and Emma Komlos-Hrobsky has been nominated for a Pushchart!  Dear 2013, here come the rest of us….

Two New Pretty Buttons (My Fictionaut and Bandcamp profiles)

blogging, music, writing

I’m also using Scribd, but fictionaut gives me a reason to use astronaut pictures.

I hope you dig the saints&Children/broken liturgy project.  We did it, as John said at the album release party, on a shoe string and with the financial help of some folks in the room.  Those people have my profound thanks.  Looking forward to volume II and to whatever else we’re able to lay down.