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Showing posts from February, 2021

Vaccination as a sacramental act

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  Dr. David C. McDuffie (Senior Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Greensboro – cf. his bio at https://rel.uncg.edu/faculty/mcduffie/ ) has written an excellent article on vaccination as a sacramental act. His article, “ On Life, Grace, and Vaccines: A Sacramental Approach to Public Health ,” is available on the website of the Berkley Center, Georgetown University. One of Lent’s purposes is to remind Christians of their personal mortality. In this pandemic year, being reminded of one’s mortality may feel redundant. Another of Lent’s purposes is to remind Christians of their dependence upon God. And yet a third purpose of Lent is to remind Christians of our interconnectedness with one another and with creation. Being vaccinated, when the vaccine is available and it is one’s turn, is an act of restorative justice, moving one toward being able to rejoin the larger community safely. Being vaccinated, when the vaccine is available and it is one’s

A purpose driven life

In 2002, Rick Warren, pastor of the 30,000 member Saddleback Church, published the bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? Warren’s answer to the title’s question is that everybody shares a single purpose, spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. I found his book’s contents boring, predictable and unhelpful. Warren and I have conflicting understandings of the Christian gospel, e.g., his is exclusive and mine inclusive. Apparently, a majority of the people who bought Warren’s book agree with my assessment. Based upon their actions, a majority of purchasers either did not read the book or read and then ignored Warren’s prescriptions. Nevertheless, the title of Warren’s book resonated deeply with me. One of the first sociologists, Emile Durkheim, argued that individuals who commit suicide do so because the person can find no meaning in life. Existentialist philosophes and theologians similarly posit that the search for meaning is life’s central question. R