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...]

Charles Murray, Dorothy Day, and Embedded Journalism

coming-apart

One of the things we try to do with Fare Forward is find, learn from, and connect people who are doing interesting things with their lives, and who are applying the kind of rigorous thought we explore in our pages to projects and vocations. We hope to progressively feature more conversations with such people on the blog, as well as updates on Fare Forward’s own activities and projects.Anne Snyder is a research and editorial assistant at the New York Times, where she works closely with David B … [Read more...]

Short-term Missions, Long-term Places

habitat

The Gospel Coalition recently posted an article by Darren Carlson entitled “Why You Should Consider Cancelling Your Short-Term Missions Trips.” Carlson argues that many short-term mission trips are centered around making the “senders” feel good about serving—while actually failing to benefit the recipients and even sometimes causing more harm than good. He gives several concrete examples of this, such as,“houses in Latin America that have been painted 20 times by 20 different short-term teams … [Read more...]

The Gospel of Authenticity

In last Saturday’s New York Times, Simon Critchley and Jamieson Webster critique the “pursuit of authenticity” that has pervaded American spirituality in the past few decades. Titling their piece, “The Gospel According to ‘Me’,” Critchley and Webster describe America’s transition from a society rooted in Judeo-Christian morals to one characterized by “a weak but all-pervasive idea of spirituality tied to a personal ethic of authenticity and a liturgy of inwardness.” Spirituality has become an “ea … [Read more...]

The Theo-Logic of Costly Adoption

NAD Letterhead 1

The New York Times recently ran an article entitled “Eager to Adopt, Evangelicals Find Children, and Pitfalls, Abroad.”  These pitfalls include local corruption and poor communication to the birth families about the terms of the adoption, among other things. The international adoption process, moreover, is notoriously expensive, laborious, and emotionally draining. In light of these difficulties, it might seem that the safe course of action would be to adopt domestically or even to forego adop … [Read more...]

Literature and the Moral Life

books

During a class discussion in college, I recall one of my English professors off-handedly commenting, “Well, we study literature to become better people, right?” The question struck me as odd then, as it does now. Certainly reading classic works can improve a reader’s analytical skills; perhaps it also aids intellectual and personal development.  But that doesn’t mean it always makes us more moral. I was a physics major in college, and this point seemed clear-cut to me at the time. I could learn t … [Read more...]

Doubting the Value of Doubt

conscience

Writing about John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Samuel Taylor Coleridge said, "I could not have believed beforehand that Calvinism could be painted in such exquisitely delightful colors." It’s a fascinating comment about a book whose wisdom we are in danger of forgetting as millennial Christians. To take only one example, consider Bunyan’s discussion of doubt and despair found a little past the book’s halfway mark. In the scene, Christian and Hopeful have been taken captive by the Giant Despair … [Read more...]


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