Tikker: The Death Watch That Makes Every Second Count!

A few weeks ago, I was delighted to hear a story on the Colbert Report about Tikker, "the death watch that makes every second count!" As Tikker's Kickstarter page indicates, "Tikker is a wrist watch that counts down your life from years to seconds, and motivates you to make the right choices. Tikker will be there to remind you to make most of your life, and most importantly, to be happy. But it's not really about how much time you HAVE, it's what you DO with it." Thus, for $59 plus shipping, you … [Read more...]

I Guess It’s Chocolate

 One of the misconceptions that recent literature on religion tries to take down is the idea that there is such a thing as “neutral” culture. Consider, for instance, the attention that Calvin College philosopher James K.A. Smith gives to the concept of “secular liturgies” in his book Desiring the Kingdom. There, Smith makes the audacious claim that seemingly innocent practices such as shopping at a mall actually shape us into certain types of people – people who think, feel, and move as … [Read more...]

Christian Commitment, Symbolism, and Farming

 The Christians I am closest to tend to fall into one of two camps as regards the question of “orthopraxis” --- the question of what right Christian practice looks like. One camp sees right Christian practice as oriented “internally”: the practices that matter most before God are those which belong to my own inner life or to my individual communion with God. Prayer, meditation, the cultivation of a devotional life --- these practices stand preeminent over what might be called “social” pr … [Read more...]

Why Read Middlemarch?

 Thanks to Rebecca Mead and her memoir, My Life in Middlemarch, 2014 looks to be “The Year of Middlemarch.” This has created a cultural moment both wonderful and surreal—seeing commentary on Middlemarch at Vulture, reading comments about it on Twitter, and watching friends and acquaintances pick up the book and read it feels like a dream come true.  That’s because George Eliot’s most famous novel has a hold on me so strong that whenever I encounter someone who didn’t care for the book, I … [Read more...]

Letters to the Editor – Issue 6

The following letter and response pertain to this article from Issue 6.Letter:My first reaction after I finished reading Michael Bradley’s essay, “Eros Beyond Sex” in the Summer 2013 issue of Fare Forward was to grab my copy of The Four Loves and give the chapter on Eros a reread. Bradley attributed a few points about Eros to C.S. Lewis that seemed to mischaracterize his description of Eros, and I wanted to see if he was correct.Well it turns out that, in the first instance, he was. … [Read more...]

Why Fast?

 For as long as I can remember, my dad has fasted every Wednesday and Friday – eating nothing but bread and drinking nothing but water. At a young age, the very prospect of fasting seemed not only daunting but ludicrous. Human loves exist to attract us to the things that are good for us. And food is obviously good. Why would you want to deprive yourself of it?The most obvious answer to this question is that you may want to abstain from eating for health reasons. But this very p … [Read more...]

Jesus and the Art of Presence

A poignant article rippled through my social media sphere three weeks ago. In "The Art of Presence," David Brooks describes a family’s lessons on how to support those who grieve or, as he says, “how those of us outside the zone of trauma might better communicate with those inside the zone.” Brooks calls for "a sort of passive activism. We have a tendency, especially in an achievement-oriented culture, to want to solve problems and repair brokenness ... But what seems to be needed here is the art … [Read more...]