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Marilynne Robinson is one of the most admired novelists of our time, even though she's only brought out three works of fiction: "Housekeeping," "Gilead" and "Home." The first won the Hemingway/PEN Award and has become a modern classic, the second received the Pulitzer Prize and the third was honored with the Orange Prize. All these novels focus, to a large extent, on depicting the intensely inward, spiritual life -- the interiority -- of their protagonists.
In Mark 8:29 Jesus asked his disciples “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.” Simple and clear, right? Well, if so, it certainly proved exceedingly difficult for the church to subsequently work through all of the questions and issues that surrounded and intertwined Peter’s initial declaration.
How do you have both Monotheism and a Triune God? And, is Jesus fully God and fully man? Seemingly intractable paradoxes.
On a daily basis, I can’t help but wonder: Do we live in a world where displaying kindness is a weakness? In On Kindness (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2009), Adam Phillips, West London psychoanalyst and literary authority, and Barbara Taylor, East London historian, provide an overview of how kindness has been viewed in the western world.
"How can the president of the United States declare a war won just when it becomes more violent? How did China, a country with an average daily income of $7 per person, amass nearly $2 trillion in U.S. debt in less than a decade? How is it that the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, a near-billionaire financier himself, can say that the worst of a financial crisis is over in May and then in August find himself furiously battling its destructive global consequences?