The Loss of a Culture of Personhood and the End of Limited Government

October 6, 2014
Philadelphia, PA The idea and practice of limited government begins with Christianity.  Pagan antiquity could not imagine such a thing, because there was no distinction between religion and governance.   For the pagan, there is an overall order to all…
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City Liberty, Country Liberty

October 3, 2014
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] It’s clear to me that one of the primary things people (in the United States, certainly, but also elsewhere) think about when trying to understand the differences between large cities and small ones–perhaps not as…
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Nothing to Do With Jesus

SwearingenTexasFarmHouse103104EWhetstone October 1, 2014
Life can seem a bit like an unending family reunion.
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Texting: Why I Resolve to Avoid It

October 1, 2014
Recently I travelled to Louisville to attend the Front Porch Republic conference. The experience was memorable in several ways—not least of all in the outstanding presentations and remarkable fellowship. It also occasioned for me reflection upon a now common means…
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Seeing Our (Non-Cosmopolitan) Selves

September 29, 2014
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] Some years ago, some of the folks behind F5, an alternative weekly newspaper here in Wichita, started a different (and, as it turned out, short-lived) publication, titled simply “Wichita City Paper.” As part of the…
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Archimedean Points, Above and Below

Archimedes_lever September 24, 2014
“To the famous Archimedean boast:  ‘Give me whereon to stand and I will move the world.’.  Rabelais answers: ‘I move with my ship; and the waves of the world give way.’”    –John Cowper Powys One could choose a less fruitful…
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Life in the Kolache Belt: Reflections from the Intersection of Food, Faith, Farming, and Fracking

kolache fest September 23, 2014
In some ways, the little farming community of Hallettsville where I have spent a writing sabbatical still resides in a simpler time. Czechs and Germans came in the 1800s and brought a culture that remains surprisingly stable. My Dworsky forebears,…
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Lanterns on the Levee: A Slender Revaluation

Breslin Tower and Walsh Ellett Hall, University of the South September 17, 2014
... and doing so in syllables of sweetness and light.
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What Would the Father of Nationalism Say About Scottish Independence?

yes-no September 16, 2014
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] On Thursday, voters in Scotland will go to the polls and either choose “Yes,” meaning that they want Scotland to become an independent state, or “No,” meaning that they want Scotland to remain in the…
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Please Block the Way: Campaigning Against Courtesy

Japan-quake_1291279g September 7, 2014
Japanese rail commuters ride train station escalators the way you might expect: those who are in no hurry stand to the right, leaving a ‘passing lane’ for those who walk or run up or down the escalator. The East Japan…
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Why I Won’t Participate in the Ice-Bucket Challenge

September 4, 2014
Holland, MI I can’t say I’m overly conversant with the history of charitable giving in America, but I can’t recall something taking off quite like this “ice bucket challenge.” In the unlikely event you haven’t heard of it, it involves,…
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The Demise of Virtue in Virtual America (Front Porch Republic Books)

Print September 3, 2014
Entrance:Virtual America’s Convention Hall                                                     Demise—1) the conveyance of an estate 2) transfer                                              of the sovereignty to a successor 3) a: death b: cessation                                              of existence or activity c: a loss of position or status                         …
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Of Lawyers and Strippers and Deadwood

decaying_wood September 2, 2014
Mostly they promise the truth about a rapture that isn’t in the cards.
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The Limits of the Language of Limits

no-limits August 25, 2014
Holland, MI Over at the Postmodern Conservative, Peter Lawler has been writing quite a bit about Robin Williams, and specifically the movie Dead Poets Society (which, Peter and I agree, isn’t that good a movie). In this context Lawler has turned…
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Are Evangelical Colleges Parochial?

Billy and Ruth at WC August 24, 2014
Hillsdale, Michigan. Readers may recall the dustup earlier in the summer when Peter Conn prompted pious gasps for suggesting that institutions like Wheaton College (the evangelical one) should not be accredited. His reasoning was based in part on the belief…
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From the Fire back into the Pan

Hillsdale_County_Courthouse August 21, 2014
Hillsdale, Michigan. Three years ago or so when the missus and I moved to Michigan from Philadelphia, we wondered how we would manage. Not only is the state’s economy at a crawl, but to go from a big east coast…
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