A Sermon Preached on the Conversion of St. Paul

Jeffrey Metcalfe

St. Paul was a pious man: a man who knew his creeds, who said his prayers, a man who believed them: a man of faith.

St. Paul was an educated man: a man who wrote Greek in the morning, read Aramaic in the afternoon, and chanted Hebrew in the evening; a man fluent in the scriptures of his people and familiar with the philosophies of the Gentiles.

St. Paul was a trustworthy man: an ancient day bishop’s man, the kind of person authorities send in to clean up religious messes. He’s the guy you want on your side in any clerical council or theological debate.

And St. Paul was a good man: a man on his way to making a difference in the world. A man who painfully saw the misrecognition and misdirection of his people, and a man who was prepared to do whatever it took to aid God’s mission in the world.

Even if at the time, that mission included killing Christians. Continue reading

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The Gunfighter and the Nation State Part II

“When The Legend Becomes Fact, Print The Legend”

Andre Forget

Westerns are origin stories. Myths about taming the frontier, they narrate the first encounters between colonists and indigenous peoples, the lawless feudal era of the cowboy and the cattle baron, and the arrival of law, order, and the state. A couple of weeks ago, I suggested that Shane shows how order is built on a mythic violence which sits uncomfortably between the feudal age and the age of the nation; it uses feudal means to undo the feudal order. This violence, however, is kept at arm’s length from the peaceful community that benefits from it. John Ford’s 1962 film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance takes up a lot of the same questions but ends on a significantly more cynical note. Continue reading

Bishop to Speak on Church and Politics

“The most serious deficit Canada faces as a nation is its leadership deficit. This national challenge goes far beyond the political parties and includes the major institutions that operate within Canadian society. The heart of the problem is found in our complete rejection of making public decisions based on the concept of the ‘Common Good’.”

So says Canadian Anglican bishop and former member of the Ontario Legislature, The Rt. Rev. Dennis Drainville, who will be presenting a lecture on February 29th, at 7:00pm, entitled “Where Have all the (Good) Leaders Gone?” It will be held at Seeley Hall, Trinity College, in Toronto, Ontario. All are welcome.

See poster here.

The Gunfighter and the Nation State Part I

“There’s No Living With A Killing”

Andre Forget

It’s a familiar image. The screen brightens to reveal a ruggedly picturesque landscape of rolling plains, high bluffs and twisting rivers; in the distance we can see a small speck that slowly grows larger until it is identified as a lone horseman riding towards us. The origin of the horseman is unimportant. He has appeared out of the landscape, and we already know that when the film closes we will see him disappear back into the landscape: he is elemental, barely human. Continue reading