December 26, 2015

We can hope that Western civilization is in the early stages of awakening from a bad dream. Mary Eberstadt’s new book may help with that. It is more a stirring nudge than a blaring alarm—in part because it is an accessible work of social science, not a moral treatise. Throughout, she reassures us that she is just looking for the truth—the truth being amoral and merely factual in this case. Apart from my own doubts about the possibility or desirability… Read more

December 23, 2015

If someone told me a story about an old industrial town that defended its beautiful creche from a group of tasteless, and mean-spirited atheists,… and if that story included a judgment that allowed the town to keep its cherished creche on condition that the atheists could put up a display of their own,… and if the story ended with the atheists erecting a plywood standee painted white with a sign that read: “Keep America Secular!”,… I would feel like an… Read more

December 21, 2015

I share good news with family and friends less often than I used to. I’ve lost too many relationships that way. Tell people you’re sick or you’ve lost your job and the sympathy just oozes from every pore. Tell them you just got an award and…crickets. I’m happy. I really am. If I were to tell you all the reasons why (and there are many), it would probably irritate you. I might come across as a gloater, even if I were… Read more

December 18, 2015

A Christian woman, teaching at an evangelical college, has unintentionally stirred controversy by donning the Hijab. But if controversy was what she had really been after, all she needed to do is wear a hat to church because the Apostle Paul told her to. I didn’t want to talk about the hijab thing, it seems like ambulance chasing for bloggers; but I can’t help myself. It’s a teachable moment as they say. How many times does head coverings for women… Read more

December 16, 2015

So I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I like granola. But why should that make me a hippie? There’s probably a better word—but hippie just works for me. They’ve won by the way—the hippies I mean. Not the unkemptness thankfully, but the outlook. You can see them everywhere now—where you might expect, in Hollywood, and where you probably don’t, Silicon Valley and Wall Street. It is their appearance on Wall Street that tells you they won. When Monsanto… Read more

December 14, 2015

Animals, I assume, are literalists. Metaphors, analogies: animals just don’t get them. I tried a few on my dog. No success. Culture is just lost on him. I’ve observed that philistines are literalists too. (I’ll let you make the connection.) There is something philistine to Protestantism, at least in its lowest expressions. I suppose that has something to do with being against things, i.e. “protesting”. The finer arts tend to be for things; they’re allusive. There’s a “this is that”ness about them. And… Read more

December 11, 2015

If you’re the sort of person who believes that the universe is hermetically sealed, with God, if there is a God, on the outside, nothing I am about to say will speak to you because what I am about to talk about is the Virgin Birth. I was asked to address the Virgin Birth a little while ago by a group of believers and their curious friends and the time of my delivery is at hand. As I thought about… Read more

December 9, 2015

“Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow, Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow. None has ever caught him yet, for Tom, he is the master: His songs are stronger songs, and his feet are faster.” Rod Dreher is well known for his interest in the Benedict Option. I share that interest, but there are times I despair for it. It’s a group effort after all. But what do you do when you’re group-less, when you’re as… Read more

December 7, 2015

I never pulled it off. When Jesus did it it wasn’t just a wonder; it was a sign. I didn’t see that until someone directed me to Revelation 21:1, “…and the sea was no more.” (ESV) That was an “Aha!” moment for me. My mind flew back to the second verse in Genesis, “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the… Read more

December 4, 2015

Grudgingly, I am coming to accept that you don’t choose the place; the place chooses you. I’ve moved around a lot during my time on the planet, first as luggage, then as the guy with the luggage. But I’ve been sitting on the same spot for the last ten years or so. The spot is in the Connecticut River valley, the rusted heart of industrial New England. The mills are largely gone; the gun makers are leaving, and if we… Read more

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