The Real Case Against the Suburbs, or, How Ought Christians to Think About the Common Good?

Over at Mere O, Keith Miller has been kind enough to respond to a piece the FF editors published about Anthony Bradley's praise of ordinary Christianity. In his post, Bradley lamented that "radical" or "missional" Christianity was obscuring the need for basic, everyday Christianity. He linked this misplaced zeal of "radical Christianity" to the anti-suburbs movement. We responded by agreeing in part with Bradley, but noted that "there’s ordinary, and then there’s total capitulation to cont … [Read more...]

The Decline of Dawkins and the Dawn of Deliberative Doubt

In March 2012, a crowd of atheists flocked to the National Mall in Washington, DC for the first “Reason Rally.” Billed as the “Woodstock for atheists and skeptics,” the rally, headlined by Richard Dawkins, seemed to signal a new resurgence of popularity and influence for the New Atheism.But while atheism is still strong, the New Atheism is rapidly becoming the Old Atheism, and Richard Dawkins is in danger of becoming irrelevant. So argues Theo Hobson in an article this week in the UK’s Specta … [Read more...]

Introducing the Sacrallennials

 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...]

What to Do About Dualisms?

 Like many American Christians, I grew up with a bunch of dualisms: we need to scorn earthly things for heavenly things; the body is perishable but the soul lasts; church is sacred in a way the world isn't. In the past few years, I've read Christian writers like Marilynne Robinson and Wendell Berry who have made me question the necessity and even the wisdom of these kinds of dualisms. Robinson and Berry both have a very deep, incarnational sense of the beauty of this world, the … [Read more...]

The Beast in Its Tracks

I found myself dreading the release of Josh Ritter’s latest album, which is strange, because he’s been a favorite of mine since I first heard The Animal Years back in 2006. His songwriting is truly superior, and he’s got a talented and versatile band supporting him. If Fare Forward were electing a poet laureate, he would be my nominee.His attitude toward Christianity is an especially powerful current under his music. His lyrics are saturated with biblical and theological language, but unlike … [Read more...]

A Puritan and a Biologist on the Appeal of Beauty

Lance Hosey’s opinion piece from last week’s New York Times carries the promising headline “Why We Love Beautiful Things,” but the article fails to fulfill the title’s promise. Hosey considers a number of aesthetically pleasing objects and explains them all in purely naturalistic terms. On his account, the color green arouses creativity and motivation because it hearkens back a fertile oasis that meant sustained life for our Saharan ancestors; the Golden Rectangle is beautiful because it is the s … [Read more...]

House of Cards

 House of Cards is a new American political drama released on Netflix instead of a traditional tv channel. Here are three thoughts on the series after having seen the first nine episodes.First, one can’t help thinking of Tolkien’s description of men “who above all else desire power” while watching the series. The show is part Shakespearean tragedy in the mold of Macbeth and part Nietzschean homage to the over-man, played with consummate skill by Kevin Spacey. The difference, of cours … [Read more...]