Happy Easter. Wait a minute, hasn’t Easter passed? Actually no, we are still in the Easter season which is known as Eastertide. Eastertide is a term I recently came across. Growing up in a Pentecostal home and attending Pentecostal churches, I did not know the fifty-day period between Easter Day and Pentecost had a name and in some Christian circles it was a huge event. It is the most important event on the church calendar but because of the church tradition I am familiar with, I have not had an opportunity to fully commemorate it. The difference here is apparent between churches with more formal liturgies and the less formal, the so called “high church” and “low church” liturgical models respectively.
Though I consider myself post-charismatic I still value the inclusion and improvisation that is characteristic of charismatic liturgy, which creates the expectant atmosphere for the manifestation of the Spirit. However, there are somethings we miss out on by not having a more definite liturgy. Continue reading “Eastertide”
There is a habit that plagues many so-called spiritual minds: they imagine that matter and spirit are somehow at odds with each other and that the right course for human life is to escape from the world of matter into some finer and purer (and undoubtedly duller) realm. To me, that is a crashing mistake – and it is, above all, a theological mistake. Because, in fact, it was God who invented dirt, onions and turnip greens; God who invented human beings, with their strange compulsion to cook their food; God who, at the end of each day of creation, pronounced a resounding “Good!” over his own concoctions. And it is God’s unrelenting love of all the stuff of this world that keeps it in being at every moment. So, if we are fascinated, even intoxicated, by matter, it is no surprise: we are made in the image of the Ultimate Materialist.
– Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb
Continue reading “The Ultimate Materialist”
Undoubtedly, one of the most important figures in Christian history has been Constantine the Great (c. 272-337 AD), the first Christian emperor of the Roman Empire reigning from 306-337 AD. He was influential in bringing about the Edict of Milan in 313 AD which ended the worst period of Christian persecution under the Emperor Diocletian and ushered Christianity into a new epoch of tolerance. He also called for and chaired the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD which was the first step in formalizing Trinitarian doctrine. As you can see he had a huge impact on Christianity but he was, and will always be, a controversial figure. Love him or hate him as the founder of Christendom, his political legacy in the West lasted for over a 1000 years and he has left an indelible mark on Christianity.
My country Ghana has unquestionably been influenced by Christendom being a former colony of the British Empire with long history of European missionaries coming to the former Gold Coast. Like the Christendom of old there is a pervasive cultural Christianity in the country. Continue reading “Nana Constantine”
I was meant to originally post this on World Book Day, which was over a week ago. Now the event got me thinking about the influence of Christianity on books. You really cannot expect the world to acknowledge the positive impact of Christianity on books but it was quite surprising that many learned Christians did not make the connection. Yes, they tweeted about it and enjoyed the day like most of us book nerds do yet they seemed to have no idea how important Christianity has been for books. Since I was a child I really enjoyed the event because it was an opportunity to get new books but even growing up in a Christian environment I, like many Christian bibliophiles, simply did not know. However, there is profound connection between books and Christianity. Continue reading “People of the Book”
It’s quite odd to hear a profound theological truth from the lips of a ribald comedian. This is exactly what happened when I watched a YouTube clip of Louis C.K. Continue reading “The Earth is the Lord’s Day”
Today on Palm Sunday, the time the entire Christian family remembers Jesus’ royal entrance into Jerusalem as it has done for millennia, we also mourn our Coptic brothers and sisters in Egypt who were murdered by Muslim terrorists while they observed the holy day in church. Seeing the images of their blood soaked palm fronds by which they honoured the Lord struck me deeply as well as evoking powerful biblical imagery. It symbolised who they were. They were martyrs of the faith. Continue reading “Blood Stained Palms”