George Weigel on Christmas as a cure for cynicism and irony :
There is neither cynicism nor irony in Marys reception of the angel Gabriel and her acceptance of the divine invitation to become the Theotokos , the God-bearer or Mother of God. There was a question; there may have been fear; there certainly was wonder (all three are captured in Henry Ossawa Tanners magnificent painting, The Annunciation , in the Philadelphia Museum of Art). But there was neither the cynics response (Are you kidding me?) nor the ironists (What did I do to deserve this?).
Also today, Wesley Hill on Bonhoeffers argument against religious blackmail :
Bonhoeffer suggests, contra Stendahl, that if were really to preach about the sin of humanity, we have to avoid yoking that preaching too closely to the feelings of guilt that may or may not be a feature of our hearers experience. Regardless of what a person may feel , Bonhoeffer implies, the gospel truly addresses them and lays claim to their lives. The truths of sin and redemption arent dependent on the rising and falling of human emotional states. And to dismantle a faulty view of the importance of those emotional states isnt equivalent to a wholesale revision of Christian teaching on sin and redemption.