Lila and the Religious Novelist

Here’s a great review from The New Republic of Marilynne Robinson’s highly acclaimed latest novel, Lila: Marilynne Robinson is one of the great religious novelists, not only of our age, but any age. Reading her new novel Lila, one wonders how critics could worry that American fiction has lost its faith, though such worries make one think there [Read More...]

The Problem with Positive Thinking

Here’s a fascinating piece from the New York Times about the problem with positive thinking (and a solution): Positive thinking fools our minds into perceiving that we’ve already attained our goal, slackening our readiness to pursue it. Some critics of positive thinking have advised people to discard all happy talk and “get real” by dwelling on [Read More...]

How We Form Our Routines

Speaking of routines, Casey N. Cep wrote at Pacific Standard about how we form our routines: We might not live in manors as grand as Gardencourt or inherit sums as large as Isabel Archer, but we can all make ceremonies out of the things we do every day. A ceremony is simply something we do with [Read More...]

Holy Routines: Teatime Sanity

Over at The High Calling, Marcus Broaddus writes about the routine of teatime, and how it brings peace to a hectic day: You get home from work late, again, with just enough time to eat before getting the kids ready for bed. They argue over whose turn it is to take their shower first or who [Read More...]

What to Eat for Lunch

And for fun, on a Friday, so you can determine now to make good choices next week: you probably already know that what you eat for lunch affects your productivity the rest of the day. So what should you eat for lunch? The Harvard Business Review has answers: Unhealthy lunch options also tend to be cheaper [Read More...]

Watching Well: Developing the Intellectual Virtue of Curiosity

I’m writing a series of articles for the “Reel Spirituality” project at Fuller Seminary’s Brehm Center, and the first one was published last week. In it, I explored how and why we might develop the intellectual virtue of curiosity through watching TV and movies: That is, I believe that being good watchers— that developing good [Read More...]

Dear Siri

In the New York Times this past weekend was the touching story of a boy with autism whose best friend became Siri (the automated “assistant” built into Apple’s iPhone): Gus is hardly alone in his Siri love. For children like Gus who love to chatter but don’t quite understand the rules of the game, Siri is [Read More...]

Living the Good Life: Rowan Williams on Marilynne Robinson

This was an exciting week for book lovers, as Marilynne Robinson’s latest novel, Lila, was released to much acclaim – even from people who weren’t huge fans of her previous novels: the National Book Award-winning Housekeeping or the Pulitzer-winning Gilead and its follow-up, Home. In the New Statesman, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, wrote about Robinson’s fiction, and how [Read More...]

Your Work Is Not as Important as You Want It To Be

At The High Calling, Marcus Goodyear reviews Called, the new book by Fuller Seminary president Mark Labberton. Your work, he proposes, is not as important as you want it to be (and that’s good): This little book calls the entire faith and work movement to task, reminding Christians to focus on the First Thing. My career, my [Read More...]

Ordinary Mornings

At Art House America, a beautiful reflection on ordinary mornings from Allison Gaskins: The coffee pot steams and hisses at me like a surly teenager. Is this an early morning rebuke or a salute of some kind? Tentatively I suss my emotions: is the nagging fear there today? Does dread rest heavy on my shoulders [Read More...]

Is Your Ambition Holding You Back?

At 99U, they’re asking if your ambition – contrary to intuition – could be holding you back: Most of us aren’t short on ambition. We all want more wealth, more success, more accolades, more everything. The ones that succeed in life and in business are the ones that have figured out how to deal with their [Read More...]

Saint Fred

Who doesn’t love, and miss, Mr. Rogers? At The Curator, Vesper Stamper writes about the beloved show and its creator: Booking flights to Europe—does anyone have any SAS Airlines horror stories? The Waldorf educational philosophy pinpoints the end of a “fantasy worldview” right at about age six or seven, which is why, in that model, formal education [Read More...]

The Habit of Dinner

At The High Calling, Kimberlee Conway Ireton wrote about the habit of dinner-making – and the gift of that habit: I have been making dinner for my family since I was ten years old, only back then I made it for my sister and my parents, and now I make it for my husband and our [Read More...]

The Tiresome Gift

Over at Relief, I wrote about Augustine’s Confessions and Christian Wiman’s My Bright Abyss, and small gifts: It’s beautiful, then, that two books by two men from opposite ends of history can speak to one another, and to us, so well, in so many ways. Wiman’s book, despite its subtitle, seems sometimes ancient; Augustine’s feels intriguingly modern. One way [Read More...]

Elevating Dinner for One

I read Tamar Adler’s lovely book An Everlasting Meal in graduate school, and I still return to it, so I was delighted to discover that she’s now writing a column for the New York Times. In her first essay, she writes about elevating dinner for one: For a happy life, Montaigne wrote, we “should set aside a [Read More...]


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