Both Prior and Gibbs agree that ultimately virtue orients us toward one end, to “love God and enjoy Him forever.” Loving God is difficult; it too requires our attention in a culture that is constantly distracting us. And while virtue brings about human flourishing that can be observed from the outside, loving God requires us to remember who we are on the inside. It is the place where we are to be good alone … in the presence of One.
At their best, local papers “help provide a common reality and touchstone, a sense of community and of place.”
We do not need reminding of how bitter, partisan, and polarized American politics is today. In order to have a community, people need to hold some things in common. America in 2020 is increasingly a nation of people who share a geography while holding wildly differing values.
What would be helpful is a book that acknowledge both sets of trends and moves beyond name-calling to begin the hard work of engaging in the tensions and trade-offs between them. Beneficial too would be a clear-eyed encounter with the fact that measures of human happiness and fulfillment have not skyrocketed along with our greater health and wealth. People need more than just more stuff.
There are second chances for some of us, but even second chances bring new losses. For me, it is the grace and hope of these stories and others like them in the work of Berry and Berger that has earned them pride of place on my shelves and in my life.
The sins of the movers may be visited upon their children, but it’s possible for the children to suffer well the consequences of their parents’ and grandparents’ decisions.
We should “follow the science.” But we need to have the intellectual humility—and moral fortitude—to acknowledge the provisional, incremental nature of scientific understanding.
One need not be a Nietzschean to recognize that something is rotten in the states of America and in the West more broadly. It was Nietzsche’s view that the civilization could not be saved, even if pieces of it could be salvaged.
News and Notes
From the Archives
What I’m writing is not an exposé of the Christian college, nor a bitter and defiant account of my triumph over an evil system, but a confession of my own failures, faulty motivations, and despair.
This past week, the Baton Rouge district attorney announced he would not press charges against the two police officers who shot and killed Alton...
In the wake of a series of catastrophes in the course of recent years - the financial crisis and the Great Recession; the Gulf...