Concern for children at play and work: Discernment Exercise BY: Denis Haack I always find “The Ethicist” to be interesting. Interesting for the range of questions and issues that he receives from readers and chooses to reflect on. Interesting for the principles, either assumed or identified, that he brings to bear on the issues. Sometimes I agree with Cohen; sometimes I disagree, but always I am glad I am listening in on this ongoing conversation about ethics published in one of the world’s most widely read newspapers.
Stranger Than Fiction (Mark Forster, 2006) BY: Denis Haack In one of his finest performances to date, Will Ferrell uses his comedic gifts to raise some of the deepest questions of life in the film Stranger Than Fiction. It’s a film that makes you laugh, and think.
The Reason for God: Questions for discussion (I) BY: Denis Haack ...One such gifted leader for today is Timothy Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City. His book, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, is must-reading, whether you are a Christian or a non-Christian. It is good for three reasons. First, it identifies and answers the questions being raised today. Second, it gives reasons for Christian faith that are accessible, thoughtful and never overstated. And third, it approaches the topic with a quiet, confident winsomeness that is all too often missing in the ungodly rhetoric of culture warriors.
Engaging Doubt for Clarity’s Sake BY: Denis Haack Sound bites are not sufficient for making an adequate case for the faith, nor are easy arguments against unbelief convincing. A good way to demonstrate our conviction that non-Christians are made in God’s image is to search out and engage their most profound doubts and challenges to Christian faith.
Babylon Series: Part 12 Getting to the Gospel BY: Denis Haack Unlike “evangelistic encounters” which require us to insert the Big Questions into the conversation, discussing a movie allows the film to raise the Big Questions. Since most people love to talk about movies, the setting provides a safe context for conversation.
Babylon Series: Part 13 Caring Enough to Probe BY: Denis Haack Imagine you are sitting with some friends—perhaps at work or a coffee shop—and one says he’d like some advice. “Ashley and I have been going out for almost a year,” Justin says. “We really hit it off, love the same music, and enjoy hanging out. So, we’re thinking of moving in together. One of us is always staying at the other’s apartment anyway, so we could save time and a pile of money if we consolidated living arrangements..."
Halloween- Magic and Monsters: Discernment Exercise BY: Michael Metzger It’s hard to know where America is headed, but Christians shunning Halloween celebrations for alternative “harvest” church events could be contributing to a kind of “Balkanization of America.” Halloween used to be considered a church holiday. Shunning the celebration was largely unknown prior to the 19th century. What happened?
The Unfairness of it All BY: Denis Haack While the battle in South Ossetia unfolded on my computer screen, I discovered I had problems as well, two problems, actually. The first is that weeds have begun growing inside (!) my garage, one vine winding over my snow blower. It was the first time I felt personally confronted—as in, in your face—by a stupid weed.
Love and Loss Amidst the Dunes: a review of the novel The Maytrees by Annie Dillard BY: Denis Haack Annie Dillard has an uncanny ability to see—to observe things, creatures, people, and life with a beguiling simplicity and clarity. More remarkably, she is gifted in capturing what she sees in words, so that when I read her finely crafted prose I see things, creatures, people, and life with greater clarity as well.
I love my neighbor as myself but only because I don’t much care for myself.
- Garrison Keillor
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