The Fear of the Lord and the Love of God

God is a mystery, and our image of that mystery shapes our faith

Do you believe in Love? Or do you believe in fear?

As a young man growing up in the American south, I heard the phrase “God fearing” a lot. As in, “He’s a God fearing man.” I think it comes from Psalm 111:10: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” or its near corollary, Proverbs 1:7: “Fear of the Lord is the beginning […]

Seven Ways the Mystics Inspire Us Today

How the Spirituality of the Past will Craft the Christianity of the Future

Scott Boulevard Baptist Church, Decatur, GA; March 2015. Today this building no longer exists; it was demolished and the land will be developed for retail and/or residential use.

One of my favorite quotations comes from Karl Rahner: “The Christian of the future will be a mystic or will not exist.” It’s a prophetic statement, from a man who died in 1984. When paired with the demographic realities of the last 30 years (Americans who identify as Christian comprised 85% of the population in 1985, […]

Seven Hopes for the Christian (and Church) of the Future

Church buildings will eventually crumble, but Divine Light lasts forever.

In his 1981 book Concern for the Church, Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner made his famous prediction, “the Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will not exist at all.” A third of a century later, has Rahner’s prediction come to pass? The “not exist at all” part seems ominously real, as more […]

Interfaith-Friendly Christianity?

Thomas Merton and the Dalai Lama, 1968. Copyright of the Merton Legacy Trust and the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University. Used with permission.

Jesus, following the law of his people, instructed his followers to “love your neighbor as yourself.” But then he upped the ante by telling the story of the good Samaritan — in his society, the Samaritans were the social outcasts. Yet here was a parable in which the social outcast was a better neighbor to a […]