I’ve been vegetarian for almost a decade, but I’ve never been militant about it. My reasons weren’t noble in the first place–I changed because the meat in the college cafeteria tasted bad. In the years since, I’ve created a coherent and sustained ethic of eating, but never a militant ethic.
I chose vegetarianism. The act itself is something that marks me as Christian–choosing an alternative to the mindless, normative structures of the powers and principalities. It is an act that, three times a day, marks me as “in the world but not of the world,” that encourages a conversation about what I believe, that invites people into a dialogue about what it means to let your values shape your life.
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What do any of us know about mulberries?, I fumed. We can’t tell a mulberry from a serviceberry. It wasn’t about the mulberries, really. Of course it was. But it was also about hopelessness.
The joy and danger of my work is that I traffic in the good. Not in the way that when I worked at an ice cream shop, I trafficked in the good, scooping cones slightly larger than the 4 oz. regulation size. I traffic in the Moral Good; every aspect of my work translates to the larger philosophical task of Pursuing the Good. And today, I was tired. Of doing good. Of the long, long time and many, many committee meetings it takes to accomplish anything in church. Of the pettiness of human nature and our inability to transcendently love each other. Of our constantly falling short of the Glory of God. Continue reading →