Let’s Pretend the World Is the Way That It Is

I’m currently exploring the possibility of releasing a paperback version of The Orthodox Heretic and was looking over some of my old parables. I’ve a particular connection with the one below, as it was the first I ever wrote. I remember that it came to me late one night after I’d seen a bumper sticker that Read More

The Making of an Event: Tricks of the Light

This time three years ago I remember sitting over a Guinness in a dingy bar in Belfast, telling my friend Adam about an event I was planning. I was in the early stages of putting together a retreat in Northern Ireland where a small number of people would be invited to hang out, unwind, and Read More

The People Are Naked… Don’t Tell the Emperor!

One of the popular trends within the church today involves affirming that doubts are a part of faith alongside the claim that God is faithful to us throughout these doubts. The most recent example of this comes from the Archbishop of Canterbury who said that he sometimes questions whether there is a God. In the Read More

Getting Thrown Out of Prison: Judge Dredd, the Oppressed, and Salvation

Judge Dredd is a law enforcement officer working in a dystopian future ravaged by radioactive waste. As a Judge in Mega City One he has the authority to arrest, sentence, and execute criminals at the scene of a crime. The judgments are harsh, immediate, binding and given without considering the wider context. At a superficial Read More

Rebellion Without a Cause – How to Start a Revolution

Reforming a cultural, political or religious system doesn’t begin by articulating a ready-made alternative. The problem is that we’re generally so immersed in a given ideology that we can’t even imagine a genuine alternative that isn’t simply a reshuffling of what already exists. Instead of carefully constructed alternatives the revolutionary figure begins by attempting to Read More

Power and Resistance: What We Can Learn from Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill

Previously I’ve written about how ideology doesn’t merely offer us an explicit set of practices that are acceptable and unacceptable, but also an implicit constellation of acceptable ways to do unacceptable practices. Ideology doesn’t simply police the borders between the law and transgression, but also offers up ways of transgressing what is acceptable to the Read More

If You Don’t Want Your Faith to Be Challenged, Do Read This Post

In my last book there’s an interesting typo on the back cover. While Tony Jones assures me that he wrote, “If you don’t want your faith to be challenged, don’t read this book,” you will see on the back, If you don’t want your faith to be challenged, do read this book In analysis the Read More

Why Atheists Need the Church

“Only theologians can be true atheists” Lacan I’ve recently been preparing for an online seminar I’m teaching with John Caputo at the GCAS, and one of the thinkers I’ve been brushing up on is the 19th century philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach. While he never achieved philosophical sainthood and missed becoming a canonical figure in Western thought, his ideas have Read More

Everyone Has What I Lack: The Delusional Vision of Elliot Rodger and its Wider Message

In fundamental ways psychotherapeutic practice stands at odds with the wider society within which it’s embedded. Individuals are bombarded with the injunction to enjoy their life, while both sacred and secular sources openly provide formulas for achieving this goal (from embracing spiritual practices to finding the perfect partner, fame or wealth). Nowhere is this superego Read More

Facing What We Dare Not Speak: Communities of Exorcism

There’s an old Russian joke from the days when goods were scarce. It tells of a man who finally gets to the front of a line and says, “I guess you don’t have any beef?” To which the shopkeeper responds, “I’m sorry sir, I’m a fishmonger, I don’t have any fish. You want the butcher Read More