Friendship and Vocation


A few years ago, Gallup asked employees in 152 organizations in 26 countries whether they were likely to have a best friend at work. The question was part of its overall assessment of “employee engagement,” which also asked employees other questions about the company’s mission, its growth and development, employee recognition and praise, whether your supervisor cares about you as a person, and so on. Not too surprisingly, average engagement among employees in Canada and the US are among … [Read more...]

Miscellany and Divine Transcendence


In the summer issue of Fare Forward, due out shortly, my essay on “Cancer and Divine Transcendence” will examine some ways Christians have responded to suffering, and argue that our popular conceptions of providence oft go awry when we overlook the real distinction between God the First Cause and his created second causes.  Discussing those who mistakenly speak about tragic events as if their badness were merely illusory, I’ll explain, Overlooking divine transcendence and collapsing God … [Read more...]

Charles Murray, Dorothy Day, and Embedded Journalism


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 … [Read more...]

Short-term Missions, Long-term Places


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 … [Read more...]

The “New Legalism” Gets Some Things Right

san jose

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...]

Calling and Responsibility

john sung long

In reading a recent post on John Wesley’s failed marriage, I was reminded of a similar story from my own field: the church in China.  John Sung was an evangelist who travelled throughout China during the Republican Era. Like Wesley, he had a troubled marriage. Despite marrying and having a child, Sung spent little time at home. His sense of mission and purpose were so strong that care for his family figured very little into his ministry plans. A telling example occurred when Sung, his wife, … [Read more...]

The Elite and the Elect


College decisions season has arrived, and this year, one student took a very public approach to her bad news. She wrote a letter to the colleges that turned her down and submitted it for publication to the Wall Street Journal. Suzy Lee Weiss’ editorial letter satirically lambasts the college application process. She critiques its preference for applicants who are diverse, do-gooders, or who have helicopter parents that ensure their children submit perfectly well-rounded applications. It is … [Read more...]

Ethics, Tribal and Global

the earth

  We live in a moment that is at once pervaded by guilt and dismissive of its reality. This was the paradox set forth by Wilfred McClay last Thursday in his talk, co-sponsored by Trinity Forum and the Pepperdine University, “The Strange Persistence of Guilt in a Post-Religious World: How it Affects our Public Life, and What We Can Do About It.” McClay notes that his students seem to be feel guilty about almost everything: colonialism, environmental problems, structural poverty, … [Read more...]

The Commodification of the Written Word and the Future of Journalism


In a blog post published last week by marketing giant HubSpot, CMO Mike Volpe explained why he hired a former editor at Newsweek. The post examines why more and more journalism graduates are moving to the world of marketing: The traditional advertising model is broken. It used to be that if you were a top-tier journalist like Dan, you went to work at a world-class publication (like Forbes), and that would pay you a nice salary because they sold a lot of ads at good prices that were placed … [Read more...]

What to do with FOMO?


  Throughout college and in the post-college years many people have told me to “try something new,” “take risks,” and “don’t leave any regrets.” The “good life” is pitched as hopping from job to job, traveling from country to country, in a who-knows-how-long Wanderjahr. The globalized world is our oyster. I have recently read A Journey Worth Taking, a book on meaning and calling by Pastor Charles Drew. The book showed me that behind the wanderlust-talk is a lot of … [Read more...]