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

 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

 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...]

Fantasy Worldviews: From Middle Earth to Westeros

 “The battle of good and evil is a great subject for any book and certainly for a fantasy book, but I think ultimately the battle between good and evil is weighed within the individual human heart and not necessarily between an army of people dressed in white and an army of people dressed in black. When I look at the world, I see that most real living breathing human beings are grey.” —George R.R. MartinMany more qualified authors have debated the relationship between J.R.R. Tolkien … [Read more...]

The Wonderment of Grace

 A narrow understanding of faith very readily turns to bitterness and coerciveness. There is something about certainty that makes Christianity un-Christian... Therefore, because I would be a good Christian, I have cultivated uncertainty, which I consider a form of reverence. -Marilynne Robinson, “Credo,” 2008In every sense, Marilynne Robinson is an act of God.First of all, she belongs to that rare confederacy of authors who loom large in the moral imagination of their own day. La … [Read more...]

You Can’t Choose Your Friends

 Axiomatic in our times is the foundational nature of choice. Our politics, economics, and law are all based on the idea that individuals make choices that can be good or bad. When asked, this is what we mean by “responsibility”: we are responsible for our own choices. After all, we can’t be responsible for other people’s choices. Responsibility, therefore, implies personal responsibility. It only exists when we choose something.Even friendship with others is reduced to choice. As th … [Read more...]

Disappearing Bodies

 Many atheists and agnostics hold that they would believe in God if he would only show himself to them. After all, why couldn’t he, if he is all-powerful? Why wouldn’t he, if he is kind and loving, and if he really wants people to believe in him as much as he says he does? In response, Christians point to God’s incarnation as Jesus Christ, a man who lived on the earth just as we do. The people who lived in Christ’s time walked with him, ate with him, and touched his scarred hands. I’ve o … [Read more...]

The Tyranny of Data

 Data science has been dubbed by Harvard Business Review as “the sexiest job in the 21st century” and by The New York Times as a “hot new field that promises to revolutionize industries, from business to government, health care to academia.” As the Times article explains, technology has given us access to gargantuan amounts of data, and companies, universities, and governments are rapidly hiring data scientists with the statistical and programming skills to make sense of “big data,” a ph … [Read more...]