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Christopher Cocca
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Christopher Cocca is a Pennsylvania-based writer. His fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in Brevity, elimae, Pindeldyboz, Geez Magazine, Creative Nonfiction, Generate, and elsewhere. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School in 2005 and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from The New School in 2011. Much of his work explores the ways social networking, media, and literature can advance the sharing of important content and the telling of good stories. He is also the Director of Mission at First Presbyterian Church of Allentown and the Director of Outreach for the Air Quality Partnership of Lehigh Valley-Berks. He blogs at chriscocca.com. Views expressed there and here are solely his.

Entries by Christopher Cocca

Miscarriages of Justice: Why the Church Should Be (and Isn't) Compelling To Rising Generations

(1) Comments | Posted February 2, 2014 | 12:32 PM

Christians believe different, often contrasting things about Jesus. Even so, there are fundamental points of reference across the traditions and theologies comprising what my friend John Franke calls this "manifold witness." From perspectives of historical criticism, so-called irrenency, source criticism, literary theory (all having to do with what we may...

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Does Mark Driscoll Plagiarize? Why I Sort of Don't Care

(0) Comments | Posted January 3, 2014 | 3:04 PM

A few days ago, Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia made news for calling an openly gay pastor. I'm proud of them for that and for many other things.

The same day, I saw a post on Religion Dispatch about Mark Driscoll's alleged plagiarism scandal. I can't and don't condone stealing,...

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Sinful Pope Should Address a Joint Session of Congress

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2013 | 12:42 PM

I know, I know.  He's the leader of a global religion and an antiquarian nation-state.   The Catholic Church is rife with problems, scandals, and inconsistencies.  The man is, as he says, a sinner.  (Maybe it's the MDiv/MFA in me, but when he says things like, "I am...

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Disney Needs Your Kids to Play Football: ESPN, Churn, and Other Media Cyphers

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 4:40 PM

I love or have loved certain things about ESPN for almost 20 years. Before the 1994 MLB strike, it was SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight. Since the mid-2000s it's been Cold Pizza/First Take.

This piece by James Andrew Miller, Steve Eder, and Richard Sandomir exposes the power ESPN has...

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Chris Hedges and Reza Aslan in Jesus' Service, at Christ's Table

(11) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 2:42 PM

Two things crossed my desk in the past few days that I need to share.

The first is a small piece by Reza Aslan at CNN, "Losing Christ, Finding Jesus" in promotion of his new book about Jesus.

I think I affirm about 95 percent of what Aslan says. I...

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Toward Churches In the Green: Postmodern, Post-Christian Possibilities for Faith in the Future

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2013 | 1:28 PM

Run a few web searches for "green church" and you'll find various churches "on the green" (that is, on the city green, as in New Haven or Boston) or discussions about how to make churches (the buildings and the people) more environmentally responsible. Even though many people in the big...

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Rollins, Zizek, Durruti, Tillich: Religion Deconstructed, Wisdom Demolished by Love

(3) Comments | Posted January 30, 2013 | 4:36 PM

"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce." I had occasion to be reminded of that recently. It comes from Marx and Engels, and Slavoj Zizek uses it as the title of a recent treatise.

In his affirmation of pyro-theology, Peter...

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Pluralism, Democracy and Dominion: Do We Need Pluralistic Politics Deeply Informed by Faith?

(2) Comments | Posted April 16, 2012 | 3:12 PM

Quite a few folks I follow on Twitter are attending the Q 2012 conference in Washington, D.C. One of them just tweeted this, with credit to featured speaker Miroslav Volf:

"We need a thoroughly pluralistic politics informed by deep religious convictions."

I'm not at Q, so I...

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Contraceptives and the Freedom of Conscience: Framing the Catholic Debate in Other Terms

(21) Comments | Posted February 10, 2012 | 9:00 AM

Like many of you, I've been following the fall-out over the Obama Administration's decision not to exempt large Catholic employers (hospitals, colleges, social service agencies) from provisions in the new health care laws requiring that enterprises of their scale provide insurance that covers contraceptives.

You don't have to agree with...

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Depression and Depression: Paul Krugman, Leonard Cohen and St. Paul

(1) Comments | Posted December 20, 2011 | 7:24 AM

Paul Krugman has finally uttered the words. We're in a Depression. His Sunday NYT piece, "Depression and Democracy," is here.

Elsewhere, Leonard Cohen has shared about Depression and Depression:

"Well, you know, there's depression and depression. What I mean by depression in my own case is that depression...
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Tim Cook, Write Your Apple Legacy Now

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2011 | 5:43 PM

Like many of you, I was very, very upset when I learned of Steve Jobs' passing. He was a technological and commercial visionary in an era that lacked many great leaders. In lieu of trusted political, religious, and economic pioneers, Jobs became something of our proxy president, a stand-in prime...

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Cornel West, The Next American Revolution, and Romans 12

(9) Comments | Posted August 29, 2011 | 8:08 AM

In the relatively short course of my 31 years, I've learned quite a few things from John Cusack. Just now, via, Twitter, he turned me on to a new piece by Cornel West in yesterday's New York Times: Martin Luther King Jr. Would Want a Revolution, Not a...

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Rich, Greedy and Blessed: God Wants to Save Us, Too

(19) Comments | Posted August 1, 2011 | 9:00 AM

Last week, I published a piece in this space called "Ending Poverty With Global Christianity's Phantom Trillion," in which I noted that the global annual income of Christians and Christian institutions worldwide exceeds $10 trillion and that a mere 10 percent of that, if given to the right...

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Ending Poverty with Global Christianity's Phantom Trillion

(81) Comments | Posted July 21, 2011 | 8:25 AM

In the '90s, Keith Olbermann was part of a flawless thing called SportsCenter. Even though the political commentary and overall style he's developed since then isn't everyone's cup of tea, this Special Comment from the July 11 edition of "Countdown" is essential viewing for anyone who cares about...

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Is Google Rebranding or De-branding?

(2) Comments | Posted July 12, 2011 | 8:47 PM

A premise: For whatever reason, people tend to view Google as less of a brand and more of a utility.

Suggested reasons: Google is utilitarian. It's underbranded to the extreme, and even its logo is generic. Before anyone had Google accounts or Gmail, we were already using "google" as a...

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The Oldest Injustice

(27) Comments | Posted June 8, 2011 | 11:34 AM

Pastor, popular Christian blogger, One Day's Wages co-founder and fellow HuffPost contributor Eugene Cho has a new post up on his personal blog that got me thinking. The post is called "the oldest injustice in human history is the way we treat women." My gut tells me Cho...

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Heaven, Hell and Stephen Hawking

(198) Comments | Posted May 18, 2011 | 11:36 AM

"Some might say/they don't believe in heaven/go and tell it to the man who lives in hell." --Noel Gallagher

Stephen Hawking may be the greatest working mind in science, but he apparently never plumbed the depths of What's The Story (Morning Glory)? like his metaphysical life depended on it. I...

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Gay Pastors, Female Clergy and the Gospel

(54) Comments | Posted May 11, 2011 | 2:46 PM

Quite a few friends have been sharing this story about the Presbyterian Church (USA) moving toward the acceptance of gay clergy on a national level. It was in my Facebook inbox today and, just a few minutes ago, it came to Gmail from my wife.

I don't know...

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Ash Wednesday and the Value of Tradition

(15) Comments | Posted March 9, 2011 | 10:55 AM

Today marks the beginning of the forty-day Christian liturgical season known as Lent, a time of reflection, contemplation, and perhaps even sacrifice in preparation for the coming of the Holy Week that culminates in the celebration of Christ's Easter resurrection. Throughout the world on Wednesday, Christians from across denominations and...

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Charlie Sheen Is Not a Dancing Bear: He's a Hunger Artist (and a Person)

(8) Comments | Posted March 4, 2011 | 12:21 AM

I'm not a medical professional or a mental health expert but, regarding Charlie Sheen, the possibilities are pretty clear: he either needs psychiatric counseling or is secretly one-upping Joaquin Phoenix and James Franco in a rather brilliant meta-stunt. Unfortunately, people who know much more about these things than I do...

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