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 … [Read more...]

Venmo and Friendship

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  I'm a fan of Venmo, an app that makes it incredibly easy to send and receive money. Instead of scrutinizing piles of dollar bills to figure out how exactly to pay the tab among a group of friends, one person can pick up the tab and charge the rest of their friends the exact amount via Venmo. However, if Venmo gets more and more popular, and Forbes' prediction that it will be the "future of payments" comes true, then I will start to mourn the loss of something. I will be … [Read more...]

Prodigal City

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  The bankruptcy of Detroit is a consequence of multi-faceted social problems that defy simple solutions and pat answers. To love the city will require more than creative thinking.  When news broke of Detroit’s decision to file for bankruptcy, The Onion dealt with the matter, as it so often does, with sharper insight than any of the news articles my concerned friends and family sent me—“Report: Detroit Bankruptcy Might Transform City Into Some Kind Of Hellish, Depopulated … [Read more...]

The Economy of Desire

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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 … [Read more...]

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

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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 … [Read more...]

The “New Legalism” Gets Some Things Right

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On the Acton Blog, Anthony Bradley argues that "radical" or "missional" Christianity, of the kind proposed by David Platt, is the new form of legalism. By telling people that an ordinary, normal life of loving God in the everyday isn't enough, the new "radicals" are causing people to burn out and leave the church. He writes: I continue to be amazed by the number of youth and youth adults who are stressed and burnt out from the regular shaming and feelings of inadequacy if they happen to not … [Read more...]

The Economic and Political Roots of Our Friendship Crisis

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Yesterday Jordan Monge asked the question “why don’t we talk about friendship more?” The post was prompted by a talk she heard given by Wes Hill on the topic of spiritual friendships. (For what it’s worth, you really should start reading Wes’s blog on a regular basis.) This is an issue I’ve thought about a good bit because of the role friendship has played in my own life.I'll get to some causes of our neglect of friendship below, but first I want to give some personal background that … [Read more...]


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