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Blog Archives: January 2015

Crucifying Fear

January 28, 2015
Chris Castaldo
“Hail to Dorothy, the Wicked Witch is dead!” With a simple bucket of water Dorothy slew the dreaded Witch, and it didn’t come a moment too soon. My six-year-old heart was about to beat out of my chest. But thanks to the strategically located bucket, disaster was evaded; that is, until the next scene. After obtaining the witch’s broomstick, Dorothy strolled into the Wizard’s court hoping to find a way home. The enormous head of the Wizard responded by hollering orders amidst flames, smoke, and peals of thunder. My sister and I scurried for ...

Courage to Stand

January 21, 2015
Chris Castaldo
In April 1963, the nation’s attention was transfixed on Birmingham, Alabama, as thousands of black citizens, led by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) and Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, protested racial discrimination. Despite the non-violent principles of the movement, King was arrested on Good Friday and put in solitary confinement. Days later Eugene “Bull” Connor, the town’s commissioner of public safety, tired of the protests and turned both fire hoses and attack dogs on the demonstrators. The nation recoiled. A number of clergy published ...

What It Was Like

January 14, 2015
Chris Castaldo
Several friends have inquired into what it looks like to defend a PhD dissertation. Here is some reflection from my experience last Thursday. The defense combines the formality of an inquisition, the solemnity of a funeral, and the suspense of an Olympic floor exercise. Among the active participants (in the British system, at least), it includes the Chairman, your doctoral supervisor (who is required to remain silent) and your two examiners. On the table before you is a copy of your dissertation. The Chairman (who greeted me ahead of time ...

Cultivating a "Heart" for God

January 07, 2015
Chris Castaldo
In modern parlance, “heart” and “vision” are often distinguished. We tend to associate vision with the mind while the heart is concerned with emotions. However, in the language and logic of Scripture this is not so. The heart functions as the locus of thought, the place where vision is developed. For example, the Psalmist writes, “[I] remembered songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired” (Ps. 77:6). Or, the book of Genesis tells us that prior to the flood, God noted “how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that ...