Breaking News: Pope Francis is a Christian

JoyGospel

 Some of the headlines about Pope Francis' recently-released Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium would have you believe that the Pope's central message is about decentralizing the Church, affirming populism, denouncing libertarian economics, or condemning capitalism as tyrannical. The Pope himself seemed to anticipate such reactions when he said in the Exhortation, "In today's world of instant communication and occasionally biased media coverage, the message we preach runs greater ri … [Read more...]

The Juvenilization of American Christianity

Juvenilizatoin

 This book review originally appeared in the Fall 2012 issue of Fare Forward. There is ample evidence that American churches are failing to spiritually train mature Christians. Surveys reveal that Christians in America are just as likely as their non-Christian peers to engage in premarital sex, give a meager 3 percent of their income to charity, and are perceived by nonbelievers as more judgmental than loving. The prevailing theology among American Christians might best be … [Read more...]

On Yeezus and Jesus

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 My morning devotional the day of the Kanye West concert came from the eleventh chapter of Matthew where Jesus asks the crowds, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see?” As odd as it may seem this might be a good question to ask yourself before attending a date on the Yeezus Tour. What are you setting out to hear? Merely a rapper? A genius? A conflicted egotistical moron who happens to make good music? Or as our President has called him, a ‘Jackass’? Any answer might be good, but … [Read more...]

The Unsettling Emergence of Marilynne Robinson as Environmentalist

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Marilynne Robinson's three novels are gentle, compassionate, wonderful in the strict sense, and haunting. However, none of these adjectives describe Mother Country, her 1989 tirade against nuclear pollution and English civilization. You can imagine her writing the novels – Housekeeping, Gilead, and Home – from a desk by the bright east window in a quiet house. But Robinson herself provides the image for Mother Country: “the unsettling emergence of lady novelist as petroleuse.” (What a chanteuse i … [Read more...]

Suburbia and the American Dream

suburbs

 This article originally  appeared in Fare Forward’s third issue.“To put it bluntly, President Obama would like to abolish the suburbs… Moving to a suburb in pursuit of the American dream… looks to Obama and his [community] organizing mentors like selfishly refusing to share tax money with the urban poor.”So begins Spreading the Wealth by Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Written before President Obama’s re-election, Kurtz’s book—whose prose r … [Read more...]

A Flaw in the Light: Thoughts on ‘The Counselor’

The_Counselor_Poster

 Sometimes—maybe even most of the time—truly great works of art seem flawed at first.  They are creations forged in a particularly intense imaginative fire, liable to leave them charred around the edges, or even a bit warped.  Hamlet is the prime example: the greatest play of all time is nothing like you would expect, containing a play-within-a-play, strange existential soliloquies, and a plot that is driven more by the verbal and intellectual energy of its characters’ speeches than by t … [Read more...]

The Plough and the Sails

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 J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were part of the Inklings, a small circle of literary enthusiasts who built a friendship around sharing their ideas and creativity. The informal group would gather regularly at a local Oxford pub, The Eagle and Child, to discuss their latest work over food and drink. The editors of Fare Forward hope to foster a similar sense of community around rigorous and innovative Christian thought, so we created this space as our virtual “corner pub.” Our readers and w … [Read more...]


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