Marriage — for the Common Good?

In Comment, James K.A. Smith looks at marriage from a different perspective: This romantic picture is already enacted in the honeymoon: to kindle your marriage, you need to “get away,” retreat from the drudgery of the workaday world (which is, apparently, matrimonial poison). For your marriage to last, according to this logic, you’ll have to keep [Read More...]

Internet Writers: Beware

I publish almost exclusively on the Internet, and I’ve grown to like it: it’s easier to correct an error on the web, and it’s nice to feel like the distance between reader and writer has closed (since feedback – for good or bad – is more readily available through comments, emails, Twitter, and so on). [Read More...]

Teaching O’Connor

It’s that time of year again – the time when teachers (like me) are enjoying the summer, but still thinking about what we’re going to do in the fall. Here’s Nic Ripatrazone at The Millions on teaching Flannery O’Connor (the great American Catholic writer): As a Catholic, I find O’Connor less perplexing than illuminating. This is [Read More...]

The 18 Minute Plan

I rather like this 18-minute plan for focus – not just because it helps us to feel more organized and calmer, but also because ritual frees us up to do better creative work and serve one another more fully. Here’s the plan (it’s a short read!): We start every day knowing we’re not going to get it [Read More...]

Doing the Difficult Things

In In Earnest, Laura Herrod writes about doing difficult things, and sometimes not getting recognition – but doing them anyhow: The road of difficulty seems to be the road less travelled. And yet, we all relate to its perils. The switchbacks and the cracks in the pavement catch us now and again. The hills we climb [Read More...]

Sabbath: Axis of Rest

At Art House America, Shelly Miller writes about how Sabbath is an axis of rest in times of uncertainty: Walking past a sink full of dishes, a cluttered coffee table, and my writing desk with deadlines awaiting attention, I escape to the back porch, curl up on my damp couch in my pajamas, and savor each [Read More...]

Fasincating Review of a Fascinating Movie – “Boyhood”

boyhood-review

My colleague and contributor to this blog, Alissa Wilkinson, is the chief film critic for Christianity Today. Check our her review of Boyhood, which sounds like a fascinating, unique (truly), and compelling film. I had not planned to see this film until I read Alissa’s review. Here’s how it starts: I don’t write these types [Read More...]

The Creative Pair

We often think of creative geniuses – but what about creative genius pairs? The latest issue of The Atlantic looks at some, including John Lennon and Paul McCartney: For centuries, the myth of the lone genius has towered over us, its shadow obscuring the way creative work really gets done. The attempts to pick apart the Lennon-McCartney [Read More...]

Adoption in Reality

Over at The Curator, Geoffrey Sheehy wrote about what his family learned about the theological metaphor of adoption .  . . through adoption itself. I teared up in part because the sentiment echoed the reasoning I’d been using to explain why my wife and I were looking to adopt, reasoning I’d also acquired with a reading [Read More...]

The Vacation That Wasn’t

Over at The High Calling, Sam Van Eman remembers a family vacation – or, rather, not a vacation: In the meantime, I had been writing stories about my childhood, an era when my own dad spent more time at the bar than home. He had neither vacation time to take, nor interest in doing anything of [Read More...]

Staying Busy – or Getting Things Done?

Over at Inc, Paul Brown writes about why staying busy isn’t the same as getting things done: Just because you show up at work every day and put in long hours doesn’t mean you are getting the right things done. In fact, thinking about the numbers of hours you work just confuses the issue. Time is [Read More...]

Summer Reading

I love books – so much that I devote considerable time to making lists of books I want to read. Over at Her.meneutics, the writers have done the same thing, and their picks – from fiction and memoir to spirituality and more – are wonderful. Go take a look, and pick up some recommendations for [Read More...]

Political Campaigns Worth Running?

Happy Fourth of July! Over at Capitol Commentary, Stephanie Summers reflects on what it might look like to run a political campaign that savors public justice: As many Christians have developed an aversion to uncivil political discourse, our taste has been rightly cultivated towards civility, but not necessarily towards substance. This is a crucial distinction. [Read More...]

Louis Zamperini: The Happiest Man I’ve Ever Known

I just heard the news that Louis Zamperini died. In honor of his life, I thought I might repost something I wrote a few years ago, shortly after his biography, Unbroken, came out. Louis Zamperini: The Happiest Man I’ve Ever Known No, I’m not exaggerating. If you were to ask me, “Who is the happiest [Read More...]

What We Really Miss When We Miss College

A great reflection from Leadership Journal regarding what we’re really missing when we feel nostalgic for college (the answer might surprise you): I miss my university years. It has been twenty-two years since I graduated from college. I went to a state school in a medium-sized Oregon farm town. For me, it was a fantastic [Read More...]

How Can We Get Along When We Disagree?

This week isn’t just the week leading up to Independence Day here in the U.S. – it’s also a week full of contentious Supreme Court decisions, including Monday’s ruling regarding Hobby Lobby and the decisions that will likely result. So it seemed appropriate that Q Ideas’ weekly question is “How can we get along when [Read More...]


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