Against the Recreational Household, preliminary thoughts, Part 1

In just three short weeks I will be presenting a paper at The Academy of Philosophy and Letters at the academy's annual conference entitled, Against the Recreational Household.(If you're in the Philadelphia area the first weekend in June, drop by Villanova and say, hello.)Generally, when I write anything, from a sermon to a story, I begin with a very rough outline, and then I enter a stream of consciousness style of composition. Later I take my ramblings (usually 3 or 4 of them) and I … [Read more...]

About That Article I Wrote for National Review

I had something of a ride last week following the publication of something I wrote for National Review.Being the flagship publication of conservatism I expected it. Left-wingers tend to hangout on the periphery of things like National Review. So when the trolls descended I wasn't surprised. There was a call to harm me that went out on Twitter, but I saw it early and managed to turn the person in to the Twitter police. I did get some kudos from folks--Alec Steele sent me a thank you via … [Read more...]

Why I don’t read most books for men written by evangelicals

There are loads of brightly colored books out there for men about being a man, many of them written by evangelicals. I'm sorry, but I don't read many of them. (Since liberal Protestants don't even write them, there's nothing there not to read.)What follows is a list of reasons.Before I begin, I'm open to your suggestions for good books for men I should read. That's why I've left the comments section open.(Generally I don't leave it open because I think the right to voice an opinion … [Read more...]

Liberalism & the Curse of Debt-Free Living

Liberalism is only honest when men spontaneously generate. Any other way of coming into being lands a man in debt.If we are social animals, as Aristotle taught, then we owe just about everyone and everything for the existence we enjoy.It is this innate sense of our indebtedness that makes modern people to pick up the scissors. To deliver ourselves from our debts we libel our ancestors: snip; hand over children and our aged parents to the "helping professionals": snip, snip; and finally … [Read more...]

Re-enchanting Male & Female

We're in a bad way, but we may be coming to the end of it. I'm not saying the people responsible for it will give way without a fight, they've managed to ensconce themselves in our most important institutions. They've written themselves into the budgets. But I think we can see where they're trying to take us. And it is an place that most of us want to stay far away from.They are the Disenchanters. We can roughly identify them as belonging to one of two parties, both artless and ugly. The … [Read more...]

The Way of Men: Nietzsche or Aristotle?

When I was in graduate school (Harvard Divinity School) one of my professors put the choice starkly: "It is Nietzsche or Aristotle, make your choice."*It seemed off topic at the time, we were working through Montaigne's essays. But it really wasn't, because Montaigne, and others like him, have lead us away from Aristotle and in the end gave us Nietzsche.I've been thinking about this for a long time as it applies to another question: "What does it mean to be a man--not just biologically … [Read more...]

Theological Foundations of the Family: Infant Baptism

Largely it is axiomatic among libertarians that human institutions are fictions and only individuals are real.It is used as a check to the the overweening ambitions of our social engineers. To keep those people from grinding us all down to a lowest common denominator, or turning us into cogs in machinery of the Total State, we must reduce the really real to the social atom we call the individual.But this is a false choice because the libertarians and the social engineers share a common … [Read more...]

Mike Pence and the Crazy Lady Problem

You know, I've never met a woman who self-identifies as a home-wrecker, but I've known a few home wreckers nonetheless.Generally, I don't chance ambulances. That's what blogging with the newspaper in hand has always looked like to me. But this Mike Pence and the dinner date thing is something I just couldn't talk myself out of dealing with.The first reason is I've practiced the Graham Rule for over 30 years and I've never regretted it. And I've never even had a single complaint. It is … [Read more...]

Honest Work in a Virtual World, Thoughts on Working with Your Hands

I learned how to frame when I was in seminary. What I mean by "frame" is rough-in carpentry.There were half a dozen of us, all aspiring preachers with one exception. We'd spend mornings in class learning Greek and studying Wesley and Calvin, then jump in our trucks and head out to the job site.We specialized in cedar decks for the new subdivisions going up around Kansas City. Many of the homes we worked on were pretty upscale. I recall building a seven level deck that cascaded down a … [Read more...]