The Importance of Family Farming

The Curator (which has a new look!) published an interesting little piece on the trend toward transparency in food systems and the importance of a very old institution: We should be encouraged to note that a people-based food system isn’t just a trend; it’s the model by which most of the world’s food is grown. Family [Read More...]

The Pointlessness of Unplugging

We often talk about the importance of stepping away from our screens and iDevices in order to “unplug.” Going cold turkey, we feel, will help us decrease our dependence on our devices. But Casey N. Cep had a fascinating piece over at the New Yorker‘s culture blog about “the pointlessness of unplugging”: Unplugging from devices [Read More...]

Running as Therapy

I started running about a year and a half ago, more or less seriously (with some weather-induced breaks), and a little over a week ago I ran the New York City Half Marathon, my fifth race at that distance. It was very cold, and the course was challenging, and my time wasn’t quite as good [Read More...]

What’s With the Doppelgangers?

There’s a whole bunch of movies about doppelgangers (someone’s exact double) coming out in the next month or so. Over at The Atlantic, I wrote about that, and speculated on why this may be (hint–maybe the Internet has something to do with it): That mainlined update on everyone else’s life, I think, taps into the root [Read More...]

Growing Up With Each Other

I wrote a little blog post over at Relief Journal‘s blog about the movie Her and how relationships make us mature: In the days since I saw the film the second time and noted how the film lingers, at the end, on a shot of Theodore and Amy, I’ve thought about whom, exactly, the titular Her is. Maybe it’s [Read More...]

Productivity Tips – from the SAT

Two weeks ago, the news broke that the College Board is changing the SAT, the test that nearly every high school junior and senior takes (and that decades of high school graduates remember with either rueful fondness or PTSD). Over at The High Calling, Marcus Goodyear considers productivity tips gleaned from the switch: No one can [Read More...]

Notes from a Pilgrimage

My friend Stephen started a review of Christian Wiman’s memoir My Bright Abyss a year ago, and finished it a few weeks ago. The result is a beautiful melding of the personal and the critical: On this trip to Kentucky, I’m staying in a small cottage overlooking the pond at the back of Bethany Springs (the [Read More...]

The Sacred and Profane in ‘The Great Beauty’

I saw the Oscar-nominated film The Great Beauty a few weeks ago, and as I told some friends, I hated it halfway through and then loved it by the end. So I enjoyed this consideration of the film at The Curator: Athens and Jerusalem, the sacred and profane, discipline and dissipation—they impress us most when they are [Read More...]

What’s the Most Popular Bible Translation?

The answer may surprise you: “Although the bookstores are now crowded with alternative versions, and although several different translations are now widely used in church services and for preaching, the large presence of the KJV testifies to the extraordinary power of this one classic English text,” Noll commented in the IUPUI report. “It also raises [Read More...]

Inside the Cloister

Casey N. Cep recently wrote about Abbie Reese’s new book Dedicated to God: An Oral History of Cloistered Nuns at the New Yorker. The book contains essays and photographs about an order of nuns in the Corpus Christi Monastery of the Poor Clare Colettine in Rockford, Illinois: In a time when abstaining from social media for a [Read More...]

What Will You Remember About This Chapter?

What will you remember of this chapter of your life? Over at Q Ideas, Micheal Hickerson recently asked that question after reading Ulysses S. Grant’s memoirs: What if someone had asked Grant to write his memoirs in 1859? What would he have said about himself? A professional soldier with an undistinguished career, retired at 32, now [Read More...]

An Interview with Keith Getty

Do you know the modern hymn In Christ Alone? There’s an interview in The Curator with Keith Getty, one-half of the songwriting duo who wrote the song: NZ: Would it be fair to say that there’s a tension you’ve experienced between writing music as an art form—as a liturgical art form—and creating it as a commodity for the marketplace? KG: There’s [Read More...]

Maintaining Your Faith While Playing ‘Words With Friends’

There’s a fun (and sort of tongue-in-cheek) post at The High Calling about “maintaining your faith” while playing Words With Friends, the popular Scrabble-style iPhone game: 1. Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s words. Just like in Scrabble, each time you play a turn, you get a collection of letters you can use to spell [Read More...]

The Great Diagram

Just for fun: a poster of sentence diagrams of the first sentences of famous novels made the rounds on the Internet last week, and the Paris Review decided to take a look at the history of sentence diagrams: As a pedagogical device, sentence diagrams have fallen out of fashion; I never had to draw them (if that’s [Read More...]

An Unlikely Mentor

At The High Calling, Christine Scheller remembers an unlikely mentor: Ours was an unlikely pairing on the surface. Me: an evangelical Christian, one-time homeschooler, pro-lifer. He a secular Jew, pioneering New York City public television host and station co-founder, long-time president of the Motion Picture Association’s ratings board. What we had in common was Rutgers [Read More...]