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Fire and Brimstone

For the past couple years I have been struggling with the way in which the gospel (good news) is often presented. A book that helped me work through a lot of my theology was A More Christlike God by Bradley Jersak.

fire and brimstone

gnashing words
my heart limps on
long before it had left
it was already gone

in the crimson break before
the end, the final night's score
fear perches, ready to take me once more
to taunt and take me to places i know
a fire's horrid answer
the truth will i now know?

memories carved
will one day they crack?
in the life after death
this burden breaks my back

my crime they say
is as clear as the day
of being born
of living
of the air
i am stealing
i once was a light
i could see in a mirror
before it arrived
and darkened my cheer
age has left its mark
and robbed me of joy

oh fire and brimstone
is this who You are?
oh fire and brimstone
i guess i'll run far

when i sought ancient cloth
to relieve the pain
instead of relief
they burdened me again
and …

To my friends

I don't know how to share this, I formally started this a long time ago, but in all reality, I think this has been something I've been working on my entire life.

This is my story, and I hope my story can help you heal. My prayer is that the motion from grief to grief will be rooted in the narrative of hope.

Humanities collective courage to face pain head on has flowed over into my own heart. Some of these stories will be new or old, but I hope you can see the narrative and find some comfort. Feel free to read this in the future, when the hurt is a little less raw - your need of healing is far more important to me than my own, I write this not for sympathy, but because I care deeply for you.

A Child's Favourite Word

I think you are a lot like me, sentimental with strong emotional impression of things that have happened to us in the past. My childhood was relatively beautiful. My parents loved me, raised me with some strong values, provided for me, and did their absolute best…

Is Christian Art Too Much Like Propaganda?

This question has surfaced during the discussion of what constitutes good Christian art. The gospel, which has survived since it was first proclaimed in the first century, has been communicated in a variety of form. In the oral form of the early church, to the musings of the Church Fathers, to visual art in an illiterate world, to being printed on a press; the gospel, in a living way, has transcended mere information and cemented itself as that which innervates human imagination. It survives not only because it exists as beautiful words written on a page, or as a theme of redemption painted on glass windows, or layered upon a moving melody, but because it is the Spirit at work in the hearts of sinful men.

It is thus imperative that any synthesis of the gospel and art be done in a way which respects that mystery. Every generation must wrestle with both the gospel and how to communicate it as it is not something that can ever be figured out. In a society that lives in arrogance at its ca…

Pro (some) Life

With the recent American presidential debate thrusting the abortion discussion into the centre stage, many people have taken refuge in their respective ethical camps. No two camps could be further divided. The battle between who holds the higher right, a mother or her unborn child, is understandably a passionate debate. My personal conviction regarding the ethics of abortion are extremely clear - an unborn child is a human, and no reasonable argument has ever been given to deny personhood to those who are self-evidently human. All "non-personhood" propositions are ad hoc arguments meant to justify the act of abortion. The environmental location of an unborn child or his/her relationship to the mother are moot points; what matters is whether an unborn child is a person. If an unborn child is a person, then it is vulnerable, without the capacity to choose and worthy of every protection by the state. I believe they are persons, and it is not a pleasant reality to live in a worl…

Donald Trump and the Death of Logic

Is logic in America dying?

In 1998 a doctor by the name of Andrew Wakefield published an article in the medical journal The Lancet claiming to have found a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. The research, which had a sample size of twelve children was quickly disseminated and latched onto by anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists. In the wake of the article, the scientific method began its due process with independent and governmental researchers attempting to confirm Wakefield's claim and found it to be entirely fraudulent, leading the journal to retract the article's claims. However, the damage was done. Uninformed, albeit well-intentioned, parents began to stop vaccinating their children for MMR and the result has be devastating. Fuelled by celebrity authorities and alternative medicine crusaders, the anti-vaccine movement has had a lasting impact on modern society all over the world. Simply put, where Wakefield's message has caught on, measles has followed.

What has bee…

Can he be America's Hitler?

One of the most poignant warning signs in history is the rise of the Nazi party in Germany. It also is unfortunately one of the easiest to ignore. Polluted by our own sense of divine like humanistic narcissism, societies far too often refuse to asses their own propensity to horror. Putting faith in human systems of checks and balances, we like to think that we are above the "evil" of "others", failing of course to remember that the madness of Germany happened in a democratic country. Hitler is suppose to be a mirror, to show us what each and every one of us are capable of becoming in a climate of fear and anger, and that no amount of modernism, progression or social evolution can ever hope to remove the potential for human beings to be evil. The greatest lie that has ever been told, and will continue to be told, is human progress. Systems of government and our judicial guardians can melt in the heat of social anger and unrest. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish citize…

The American Lone Wolf Problem

The deep polarization that is American culture seems to be drifting further apart with no hope of reconciliation. It never ceases to amaze me how after something as tragic as the Orlando massacre, people begin quickly pointing fingers at the other and blame them in oversimplified terms. One can't help but wonder if the volume of these mass shootings in the United States has started to become so normal, they have become less a tragedy and more a vehicle for political persuasion. 
I realize that as a Canadian I am an outsider, but it seems as though people are talking at each other and not with each other, and I think like most arguments that digress into such black and white thinking, it becomes impossible to be rational. The internal vision of the American psyche is truly unique, but I hope they are asking the question: "Why is this an American problem?"
I would hardly claim to be an expert on the subject of mass murderers, but I do feel as though I understand the human…

The God Who Suffered

Every Easter season we remember the greatest event in human history, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As we tell the story in our houses of worship, a story that has been told to us many times before, a story we remember every time we share in the Lord's Table, a story we sing about and express in our art, we declare our God is a God who suffered.

It's an odd claim and truth to boast of and we understand why the early disciples struggled to accept it. The disciples of Jesus had grown up in a world with suffering all around them. They felt the oppression of a brutal empire. They saw profound sickness and death. They saw economic poverty as the result of the rich and spiritual poverty as the result of hypocrisy and empty religious leadership. The walked with Jesus and saw him heal lepers, calm storms, raise the dead, and transform the lives of the darkest sinners. What was the culmination of Christ's ministry and profound love for humanity?

"And he began to t…