About Charles Clark

Charles Clark graduated from Dartmouth College in 2011 with a Classics major and English minor. He is Editor-in-Chief emeritus of The Dartmouth Apologia. He is currently a member of the class of 2014 at the University of Tennessee School of Law.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Ambition

When it comes to ambition, it sometimes seems that feeding our egos means starving our souls. The Onion highlighted this ambivalence with an article headlined “Unambitious Loser with Happy, Fulfilling Life Still Lives in Hometown.” Quote: “Sources close to Husmer reported that the man, who has meaningful, lasting personal relationships and a healthy work-life balance, is an unmotivated washout who’s perfectly comfortable being a nobody.” This Onion piece juxtaposes the language of worldly success … [Read more...]

Aronofsky’s Noah

NOAH

 In the latest issue of Fare Forward, Andy Quinn argues that “meta-analysis,” our way of obsessing about the terms of a debate rather than the issues at stake, is ruining intellectual discourse (Issue 7, “Everyone’s a Critic”). I think the initial reactions to Darren Aronofsky’s Noah are a prime example. On one side, there is the predictable outrage from fundamentalists over the artistic license taken with the Bible story. On the other side, there is the equally predictable preening from … [Read more...]

Her

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 The remarkable thing about Spike Jonze’s recent movie Her are the many questions it manages to raise and then completely ignore. Perhaps it would be incorrect to call these plot holes. It’s more like Jonze and the characters he has created are simply oblivious to the intellectual and ethical challenges the plot poses but fails to address.For those who haven’t seen it, the movie is set in the relatively near future and follows the story of Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a recently divor … [Read more...]

The Economy of Desire

economy

In The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer admonishes Christians who have bought into the theology of “cheap grace.” Bonhoeffer describes cheap grace as “the grace we bestow upon ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession.” In Bonhoeffer’s view, the heresy of cheap grace is founded on a false separation between faith and obedience: “...we must never forget the indissoluble unity of the … [Read more...]

Why I’m Not Going to Talk About “Culture” Anymore (or Bill O’Reilly and the Guinness Shamrock)

o'reilly

Bill O’Reilly, primetime gladiator, walks into a bar. Specifically, it’s an Irish pub. Bill is traveling, covering immigration in El Paso, Texas, and he’s thirsty. He pulls up a stool at the bar, orders a Guinness. The bartender pours it and hands it over. “You’re a patriot,” says Bill. Bill picks up the chilled glass (made in Mexico). He sees that in the beer’s luxuriant head, the bartender has drawn a frothy shamrock. He tips the glass back, then replaces it on the bar top with a satisfied sigh … [Read more...]

Overemphasizing Spiritual Abuse?

screwtape-letters

 Yesterday I discovered this thought-provoking interview on abusive religious groups. The interviewee, Samantha Field (a Fare Forward reader, by the way) blogs at Defeating the Dragons about her experience rethinking faith after a youth spent in extreme Christian fundamentalism. Everyone I shared the interview with agreed that Samantha’s experience was horrific, and we are all impressed with her efforts to think through these issues and recover a healthy, orthodox Christian practice. M … [Read more...]

Introducing the Sacrallennials

Eucharist

 Over at Juicy Ecumenism, guest poster Thomas Holgrave (of the worth-checking-out blog The Hipster Conservative) tries his hand at some religious taxonomy, attempting a description of “Two Kinds of Christian Conservatives.” Holgrave observes that the old liberal/conservative distinction in Christianity is breaking down somewhat as millennial evangelicals and Catholics have emerged as less politically conservative than their parents without necessarily embracing the theological lib … [Read more...]


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