August 18, 2018

Author Archive | Mark Shea

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Mark Shea: Why Creeds? Gaining My Religion

This is Part 4 of Mark Shea’s series on the Creed. It begins with Why Creeds? Part 1. Last time, in this space, I mentioned that, so far from “being spiritual, not religious”, I discovered that religion is not a bad thing but a good thing and even a biblical thing. James, for instance, remarks: […]

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Mark Shea: Why Creeds? Adventures in being spiritual, not religious

This article is Part 3 of a series by Mark on the Creed. It begins with Why Creeds? Part 1 Last time, we talked about Apollos and how Priscilla and Aquila took him under their wing as a bright pupil who sometimes went off half-cocked and “explained to him the way of God more accurately” rather […]

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Mark Shea: Why Creeds? The Danger of Making the Church a Club

This article is Part 2 of Mark Shea’s seven-part series on the Creed. Click here to read Part 1. Last time, we discussed my old Evangelical church’s attempt to create a Statement of Faith and my inadvertent discovery that we were a club, not a church.  We didn’t have a coherent belief.  We had clubbableness. […]

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Mark Shea: Why Creeds? Part 1

This is the first of a seven part series by Mark Shea exploring the Creed. G.K. Chesterton once remarked, “It is very hard for a man to defend anything of which he is entirely convinced. It is comparatively easy when he is only partially convinced. He is partially convinced because he has found this or […]

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Mark Shea: Sonnet for Easter

We are not damned for, but by, our sin. It was not God, but Judas, in pride, who twisted the straight rope, making his skin proof against mercy, bottling inside it a god of self who dealt out the curse. Peter, thrice the traitor Judas had been, sick unto death with cowardice and nursed with […]

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Mark Shea: The Doubt of John the Baptist

The best definition of a Gospel I have ever heard is “a passion narrative with a long introduction”. That is to say, a quarter of the ink spilt in every Gospel concerns a 72-hour period in the life of Jesus of Nazareth: from Holy Thursday to Easter. A couple of Gospels take us a bit […]

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Mark Shea: Heavenly Samizdat

A reading from the Book of Wikipedia: Samizdat was a form of dissident activity across the Soviet bloc in which individuals reproduced censored and underground publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader. This grassroots practice to evade official Soviet censorship was fraught with danger, as harsh punishments were meted out to […]

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Mark Shea: The Sacrament of Two English Muffins on the Floor

When I was a new convert, I was filled with a lot of weird anxieties about things.  Notions would take me and I could not shake them, often deeply fearful notions. One time (and I feel silly talking about this, but I bet other people have had similar experiences) I was watching an episode of […]

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Mark Shea: The Strange Need for Ash Wednesday

One of the paradoxes of life in liturgical Churches is the odd popularity of Ash Wednesday.  People who resent the very idea of Holy Days of Obligation come in droves to the liturgy of Ash Wednesday, even though it is not a Holy Day.  Indeed, they seem to come, almost because it is not a […]

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Remember O Valentine …

Remember O Valentine… …that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return. I’m really looking forward to sending those cards out this Ash Wednesday! I’m not sure where Aussies stand on the whole Valentine issue.  It’s a fairly—not hugely, but fairly—big deal here in the Land of Hot Dogs and the President with Ridiculous […]

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Mark Shea: In memory of our friend Angie

Our friend Angelita died this past Monday, January 29. My wife had known her for decades and she was a friend of the family for as long as there has been a family to be friends with. Jan got to know her because her work has been with people with disabilities most of her adult […]

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Mark Shea: The magical thinking that blinds

I love magic.  When I was a boy, my brother did magic tricks that filled me with wonder.  Once, he made me invisible.  I remember running through the house, waving my hands in my parents’ faces and shouting, “Here I am!” while they looked straight at me and couldn’t see me. My brother taught me […]