Category Archives: Redemption

Juxtaposing two passages in Matthew

“‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’” – Matthew 11:28-30

“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you.’ Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of the world.’

Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Anyone who would come after me must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wishes to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for a person if they gains the whole world, yet forfeits their soul?’” – Matthew 16:21-26

These two passages offer a curious tension for those interested in following Jesus. On the one hand, we are to go to Jesus when we are weary. Jesus is the one who revives us, offering us a place of rest and healing. On the other, Jesus calls us irrevocably to a life of hardship, loss, suffering, and premature death. What are we to make of this? Continue reading Juxtaposing two passages in Matthew

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The Idolatry of Genius, part 2

If what we tend to call genius is idolatry, can there be any authentic creation? If, as I suggested in my previous post, our geniuses are better thought of as workers, again and again making an effort at an incomplete expression while enmeshed in a world of influences and indebtedness, is there only ever context? Geniuses are those who break with convention, define a new era, and pull free from the world’s determining strings. They are where we can find what is new; they are the innovators, visionaries, and pioneers. At their most profound geniuses are those whose creations create, sustain, and define a world, rather than the world defining them. If we say that this image of genius is an idol, a perfect image held in front of us that thwarts good work, can we still claim a genuine and generative power in art? In this post, I hope to begin to indicate a way forward with Jean-Luc Marion’s descriptions of the icon. Continue reading The Idolatry of Genius, part 2