Wise Engagement

This fall (2021), our convocation chapel was conceived as a time to explore three key facets of our university mission: wise engagement, joyful engagement, and redemptive engagement … in the church, society, and the created order … through excellent Christian university education. The vice-president academic asked the two deans—my colleague, the dean of theology, and […]

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Bonhoeffer on Physical Separation

During the pandemic of 2020-2021 (and we hope not longer), people right around the world have had to cope with physical separation from others who are close to them, whether family, friends, co-workers, fellow congregants, or neighbours. It would be difficult indeed to find anyone anywhere not impacted in some way by the loss of […]

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Baby Steps on Issues of Racism

It takes a lot of work these days not to notice the eruption of anger, frustration, and sorrow over the gross inequities in North American society based on ethnicity. The death of George Floyd under the knee of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, now charged with second-degree murder, has catalyzed a wave of protests across […]

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The Absence and Presence of God

The Absence and Presence of God I’m always especially encouraged when something I read in the Daily Prayer—that collection of scriptures and prayers woven together by the Church of England—speaks directly to my present circumstances. It happens often enough, to be sure, but did so especially profoundly this morning. I’ve been searching for language to […]

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Monastic Wisdom for Everyday Life

Lately, I’ve been enjoying Daniel G. Opperwall’s book A Layman in the Desert: Monastic Wisdom for a Life in the World (Yonkers, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2015). In it, Opperwall mines the riches of John Cassian’s Conferences, an important source for Orthodox (and Western) monasticism from the early 5th century, to encourage ordinary folks […]

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Why Memes Are Great for Everyday Life … and Bad for Politics

Recently, a political meme passed through my Facebook feed and forced me to confront my frustration with the way social media so often harms our political life together, rather than supporting healthy democratic debate and encouraging fruitful political engagement. The source of my upset? In a word, it’s oversimplification, or rather, distortion. One of my favourite […]

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“On the Love of Learning and the Pursuit of Virtue” – Ambrose University Convocation Chapel, January 3, 2019

Having been appointed as Chair of the new Department of Humanities at Ambrose in summer 2018, I was asked to speak at the convocation chapel to open the winter 2019 semester at Ambrose (January 3). Here is the text of my talk. Scriptures: Col. 1:15-20; Eph. 1:3-10 My goals this morning are to inspire you […]

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