In my last letter I wrote about how decisions made in a moment—such as the moment when we decided to say yes to your coming into our home—can shape the whole of life, committing us in ways we perhaps never had in mind. And then the task of life becomes living up to the commitments made in a moment.
What is a healthy congregation? For some clergy and laity, health is simply the absence of conflict. But we may be confusing a healthy congregation with a placid one. While conflict is seldom fun, its absence may be less an indication of health than of an insufficient sense of urgency or challenge about being the church.
In a provocative and erudite essay, Merold Westphal argues that postmodern philosophy contributes to a Christian understanding of the implications of finitude and original sin with respect to knowledge (Blind spots: Christianity and postmodern philosophy, June 14).
Speaking to a crowd assembled outside of the Croatian town of Osijek on June 4, Pope John Paul II noted that “the trying times of the war” had left “deep wounds not yet completely healed.” A “commitment to reconciliation is needed.”
It’s sunny and 70 at Chapel Hill. I’m speaking to Project Compassion, an advocacy group for end-of-life issues, on an unlikely trinity of oxymorons—the good death, good grief and the good funeral. “What,” most people reasonably ask, “can ever be good about death or grief or funerals?” The 150 people in this room understand.