This week my wife and I went to a new movie about the life of Mother Teresa, The Letters. It’s surprising how little publicity it has received, but if you are in any place it is available, do go and see it, or watch it online at some point. It is well worth your time.… Read More Mother Teresa of Kolkata: A “Pencil in the Hands of God”
What does the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and 7th century Chinese Christianity have in common? Not much. Except the fact that there is a world beyond Trump, beyond the bombastic rhetoric and the chasms of fear and racism some of his comments have opened. For many people living in the USA (Republicans… Read More A World Beyond Trump: Hidden in Plain Sight for 1400 Years, Part 2
It was hidden in plain sight. For almost 1400 years, a leaning, frail looking tower-like structure had existed on a wind-swept hill. Fifty miles outside the Chinese city of Xian, the Da Qin pagoda is another living testament to the existence of Christianity in China in the 7th century. (For more on Xian and the… Read More Hidden in Plain Sight For Almost 1400 Years, Part 1
As promised I will devote several posts from time to time on the history of the Church of the East. One of my personal heroes is the leader of the Church for many years in Asia, Timothy 1. He is perhaps one of the greatest mission-minded leaders in history. His death at the age of… Read More Who was Timothy I of Baghdad and Why Does He Matter Today? Part 1
How many refugees left their homes in the last minute, somewhere in the world? According to a United Nations report issued today, on World Refugee Day, last year there were 20 people every minute that were driven from their homes. That is about one every three seconds, which would be less than the time I… Read More How many refugees left their homes in the last minute?
I’m reading a biography right now of Huey Long, a Louisiana politician, who has become relatively unknown in the decades since his violent death in the 1930’s. But Long’s life and his obsession with power is a cautionary tale that should be told to each succeeding generation. By some measures the decade of the 1930’s… Read More One of the Scariest People in American History
This was not an easy post to write. Or to read. The title alone is a problem, as of course we are not ALL racists! Or are we? But I worded it that way on purpose, because the common human condition is to accuse always the other of being a racist, and not ourselves. Racism is an… Read More We are all racists now
One of the greatest pains we can experience is to be betrayed by a friend. Or to know that someone is plotting your destruction, whether on your career, reputation, or even physical life itself. A decade or so ago in US politics there was a phrase used quite a bit, “the politics of personal destruction”.… Read More How Do You Treat Someone Plotting Your Destruction?
This quote, shared by a speaker I was listening to this week, created vulnerable space for reflection: “If you live as a hermit (or alone), whose feet will you wash?” It is reportedly from St. Basil of Caesarea (329-379), or St. Basil the Great, one of the Fathers of the first four centuries of the Christian… Read More “If you live as a hermit, whose feet will you wash?”
Recently I wrote about my trip to the very well-preserved ruins of ancient Nalanda University in the modern Northern Indian state of Bihar. (See post The Thrill of Visiting the Ruins of 7th century University of Nalanda). Nalanda thrived as an international center for education for almost 700 years, with students from over 35 nations. Primarily… Read More Were there Christians in 7th century Nalanda University?
Have you ever watched a movie on an airplane and forgot at times where you are? It happened to me last week, as I finally saw the movie Silence. I had blogged twice about the Martin Scorsese directed film in the months leading up to its release in late January this year. (See Silence: The End of… Read More Reflections on finally seeing the movie ‘Silence’