Tag: COVID-19

How Not to Talk About Pastoral Ministry During a Plague

I’m generally not one to complain about tone when assessing a book or article; I don’t love the foray into hopeless subjectivity that such a move (to me, anyhow) usually represents. But there are times when tone matters and you...

/ April 16, 2020

Moral Realism, Public Health, and Truth-telling Amid COVID-19

As the lockdown proceeds with no official end date in sight, we must turn our attention to a new reality confronting us: It is impossible to proceed with a lockdown to prevent COVID-19 deaths without other harms resulting. This was...

/ April 14, 2020

Prudence, Paranoia, and Loving Our Neighbor

“Will a surplus Russian gas mask protect me from coronavirus, or should I buy an actual respirator?” These are the questions we ponder on social media in the year of our Lord 2020. Three weeks into the United States’ experience...

/ April 8, 2020

Our Lives or Our Freedoms: The Fear of Tyranny in a Time of Pandemic

There’s a famous scene in the movie, Braveheart, a 1995 film that became something of a classic among embattled Christian conservatives who liked to see our own battle with “Big Government” in the romanticized terms of a Scottish epic. Riding...

/ April 8, 2020

Rise of the Scops: Wonder After the Pandemic

It was Virginia Woolf who wryly observed, “On or about December 1910, human character changed.”[1] I had no idea what this meant, until I stumbled into a fairy wood where a gilded volume by W.B. Yeats waited patiently for my...

/ April 7, 2020

The Church Speaks to the World: On Pope Francis’s Urbi et Orbi Blessing

Pope St. John XXIII’s 1963 encyclical Pacem in Terris broke new ground with its greeting: It was the first encyclical addressed not just to the Church but to “all men of good will.” Thus, in the midst of his Second...

/ April 6, 2020

The Ethics of Healthcare Rationing

The call comes in the middle of my clinic session at the hospital in rural Kenya where I work. I apologize to the patient in front of me and answer my phone. It’s the emergency department at the hospital in...

/ April 3, 2020

Sacraments, Technology, and Streaming Worship in a Pandemic

To stream or not to stream? That is the question facing empty churches across the country. At least, that is, how to stream and what to stream—few appear to have considered the possibility of not streaming at all. But why...

/ April 2, 2020

Deaths of Despair and Lives of Hope in a Cynical Age

Upon falling into the hands of Giant Despair, Christian and his friend Hopeful were imprisoned without any provisions for days on end and while enduring beatings. In John Bunyan’s 17th-century allegory Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian eventually laments, “Brother, what shall we...

/ April 2, 2020

The God Who Hears Our Laments

Pastoral theology is tested in a time of crisis. War, famine, natural disasters, and plagues are winds that sift chaff from wheat, or purifying fires revealing so much dross mixed with the precious gold of the gospel.

/ April 1, 2020