Parishes Need Pastor-Readers

I hope pastors read this book. But more than that, I hope it finds its way into the hands of examining chaplains and board elders, of district superintendents and seminary principals. They can do much to shape a culture where pastor-readers become more common.

On College, Careers, and Aspirations for Home

These modern forms threaten the desire for familial and communal life—an aspiration traditionally associated with conservatism, especially the conservatism inherited from Aristotle, Cicero, and Burke. The spirit of the careerist and the influencer counter this classically “conservative” spirit that aspires towards an actual family and community with all the duties each entail.

Forgetting vs. Overcoming: Nietzche on Abuses of History and the 1619 Project

The 1619 Project states that its purpose is to remember the history of slavery and racism that American schools have sometimes tried to forget. But mostly it teaches students the wrong way to go about remembering. It abuses remembering to promote forgetting America’s history of reconciliation and unity on race, so as to frame the nation’s identity as irredeemably stained and systemically, irreparably flawed.

Atoms and the Void: A Review of Interventions 2020

The idea presiding in Houellebecq is that the worship of individual autonomy destroys love. If love is the meaning of life, then a society bent on autonomy for its members will tend to rob life of meaning. “Once you’ve said it, it sounds obvious,” Houellebecq said in another context, “but I wanted to say it.”

The Sower and the English Instructor: A Hobbit Roadside Colloquy

I interrupted his weed-pulling to gently rebuke him for perceived carelessness regarding his health, but like the mother of Christ, I was the one needing correction—for Pastor was simply “about his Father’s business.” As if to act out our philosophy, he was a “good shepherd,” and I an “honoring” daughter. Perhaps we both would live long on the land and finish our heroes journey, our pilgrim’s progress, at the “lighted inn.”

Diversity, Race, and Radical Hospitality in a Bible-based Community

We academics unfortunately often fall into the trap of pride (particularly of the self-involved, self-satisfying, institutional kind), and hence a humbling such as this conference delivered was probably much needed. I have a Christian duty, as an educator and as a member of a Christian community, to think systematically about how I can live up, as a teacher and scholar, to the values of inclusion and equality

The Overlooked Lens of Multigenerational Communities

For many Americans, especially those on the coasts, in cities, and with advanced educations, life has improved in recent decades. Meanwhile, in many rural and interior parts of the country, economic growth has stagnated or declined, along with the population. While America has improved for a certain type of American, many towns and places inhabited by multigenerational Americans, whose existence is linked to one community across centuries in some cases, have declined.

Renunciation and Re-enchantment

We live in a society where lust, greed, gluttony, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride have been commercialized. When the self and its desires are everywhere celebrated, to contain the self is a form of revolt. There begins the path. There begins the search for the eternal things. The first step is to rediscover renunciation. “What does it mean?” Kingsnorth asks, “and how do you do it?” These questions are not glitzy; they are not click-bait.

Faithful Lives in Faithless Times

To the tomb, all life hastens. But while death is ineluctable, the growing good of the world is not. There is an intrinsic vulnerability to civilization (and parenthood), in large part because the beings who comprise it have the capacity both to sustain and destroy it; to be “the best of the animals when completed” and “the most unholy and … savage” when divorced from virtue.

Open and Closed: From Russia to China to America, the Largest Societies are Pushing...

Despite Americans’ instinctive openness, decades of deadly overdoses and mass shooting victims remind them that there have to be boundaries. The difficulty of controlling protests in Russia and China reminds them that closing down too hard can destabilize the government’s hold on society and trigger an exodus. The question that remains to be answered is whether these vast societies will push their limits to the extreme such that they lose the things that closure was meant to secure and that openness was meant to allow.

The Many Traditions of Tolkien

This Realness, a touch of authentic mythology--much like Niggle who finally saw the Real Tree he had modeled his painting after throughout his life without knowing it--comes alive when the legends are approached the way they were intended to be: as if they were true. Here Myth becomes palpable. It walks on the borders of history. Reaching out, we can feel its potency, its beauty, and, as we look through the many traditions, come to know it more.

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From the Archives

Membership in Grace: Reflecting on Dobbs and Gifts

Perhaps activism needs such determined gentleness, illustrated in the pro-life students’ hours of prayer and the work of adoption agencies like my grandmother’s. Activism must be framed by an understanding of common grace, shared depravity, and our implications with each other: our membership, which is “the way we are.”

Optionality and the Intellectual Life: In Gratitude for the Real World Risk Institute

Something about Taleb’s emphasis on practical wisdom unleashes in his readers a sense of humility, a renewed trust in reason, and a spiritual hunger courageous enough to move beyond the cynicism and skepticism typically bred in schools.

America, One Minor League Ballpark at a Time

Being a report on a journey whereupon I dragged my wife to see seven minor league baseball games in seven days, as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and including many other wonders seen on the road from Cleveland, Ohio, to Portland, Maine.