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Cleaning Up One’s Own House

By Timothy R. Butler | Feb 28, 2024 at 9:11 PM

We’ve gotten bad (worse?) about cleaning up our own messes. Sure the other side is a mess, but it’s time to care more about doing what’s right than playing for loyalty or ephemeral victories.

Repentance is a Love Letter from God

By Timothy R. Butler | Feb 14, 2024 at 4:27 PM

Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day collide this year. The combination feels bizarre: a day associated with fancy meals and rich desserts has been forced to share a table with one that focuses on our failures. Yet a common thread weaves between: love.

Rescued

By Melanie Haynes | Jan 16, 2024 at 7:55 PM

“Why do they call it ‘rescuing’ a dog? That word makes it sound like they, personally, pulled the dog from a burning building. It’s virtue signaling, for sure. Call it what it is: you went to the pound and got a dog.”

A Fruity New Year’s Resolution

By Timothy R. Butler | Jan 03, 2024 at 6:49 PM

Is anyone else exhausted after the rush of the holiday season? I feel as drained as my parents’ stock of batteries was when I got a Sega Game Gear one year for Christmas.

Peace on Earth

By Timothy R. Butler | Dec 27, 2023 at 5:02 PM

Christmas Day was this week and, I hope, at least some of our OFB readers are continuing the celebration with the Twelve Days of Christmas. As we do and as a New Year beckons, what do we carry from this holiday time into life?

Lost in Translation

By Dennis E. Powell | Dec 13, 2023 at 11:21 PM

It took a few months of daily communication requiring translation software for me to notice the similarity. The software — Google Translate, a product called DeepL, and Apple\’s translator (which does to languages what its maps did a few years ago to geography) — seems to be close to accurate much of the time. Sometimes that is good enough. Often it isn\’t. The mistranslations are so serious so often that one learns to ask the correspondent to rephrase the sentence. With luck the realization comes before much damage is done, and war is averted.

Look What Politics Makes Christians Do

By Timothy R. Butler | Sep 27, 2023 at 8:58 PM

Opening up X this week, I noted that the present beverage brewing tempests were the Internet meltdown over Taylor Swift’s new love interest and the honoring of an alleged Nazi in the Canadian parliament during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit. The invisible thread binding them was the Culture Warriors claiming to fight for Jesus who made these the cause célèbre.

Amplifying the Craft, Not Short-circuiting It

By Timothy R. Butler | Sep 06, 2023 at 9:47 PM

In a recent column for Christianity Today, Yi-Li Lin argued for a significant increase in usage of AI-related tools in church work. I’m sympathetic, but he goes too far. The ways he does are revealing to the challenges every profession is facing, or will face, with this technology.

The Back and Forth on the Latin Mass

“Traditiones Custodes” and the Pastoral Theology of Vatican II

By Jason Kettinger | Jul 12, 2023 at 6:30 PM

The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, popularly known as Vatican II, sought to confront a hidebound clericalism, and a modern world that no longer takes as its starting points basic natural law and Christian dogmatic commitments. It is unfortunately known in some circles for the opportunity it provided for poorly catechized Catholics and progressive innovators to make changes (liturgical abuses) under the guise of the Council’s authority.

Has "Big Worship" Ruined Church Music?

By Timothy R. Butler | Apr 12, 2023 at 10:33 PM

Ah, the week after Easter, that season when we critique the music we’ve just been singing. My attention was caught when the New York Times religion reporter tweeted out a link to Bob Smietana’s piece published this week bemoaning the homogenous nature of the present worship experience and how many churches did the same music over Easter weekend (and, by extension, every weekend).

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