David Mills Comes to Patheos

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Early in his career, Bob Newhart won several Grammy awards (including "Album of the Year") for his his debut comedy album, "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart".Something about David Mills' new blog at Patheos reminds me of that album. It's look is deliberately buttoned-down and unfussy. There are no extraneous photos, and nothing is presented to you but the Mind of David Mills.Whether you think that mind buttoned-down or not is of course a matter of perspective. Some may remember Mills … [Read more...]

Absent Grown-Ups: Over-sexed and Material-Worlded to Death

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My column at First Things today is about what creates grown ups in the world, and what happens to the world when we resolutely refuse to be raised into it:A psychotherapist friend once confessed to me that she still makes each of her five grown children call her on rainy nights, to tell her they are safely at home. “So many mothers run away from their children or put them in nurseries or go out to work,” Dorothy Day noted, “because they can’t stand . . . the suffering that such love entails … [Read more...]

Barack and Bashar: A Miraculous Pull from the Deep?

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At the time I was putting the final edits to my latest column at First Things, things were looking as bleak as could be for President Obama and, of course, for the United States.At this writing, the headlines are chaotic and confused, and the administration seems uncertain about what it wants or needs to do, but confident that some action—perhaps “unbelievably small” action, according to the Secretary of State--must be taken, by someone, and pretty soon. . .or maybe later.What an awful p … [Read more...]

Echo Chambers Leave Us too Weak to Fight Idols and Bullies

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Since they seem to be recurring themes in my life and my writing, last week I had occasion to again contemplate idols and idolatry and also the way bullies operate. Both idols and bullies play with our psyche, of course, and can do great damage. They are like germs and bacteria that bring disease and make us exceedingly ill, but only if they can first penetrate the immune system.In the case of bullies and idols, this involves a piercing of the spiritual and psychological immune systems. We … [Read more...]

Digital Field of the Lord: Hoeing the Rows, for the Seeds

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In my my first reaction to Benedict's announcement yesterday, I wrote:Listening to some of the inanities coming out of the mouths of cable news anchors, and noting the way they are quickly, predictably, focusing on the "negative narratives" -- one voice on cable anchor is making it sound like the church has just endured 32 years of misery and she imagines "great joy" among "progressive" Catholics and "confusion" among "conservative" ones -- how grateful I am that, thanks to Benedict's … [Read more...]

“Life, Death, Truth, Governance, Morality, Pheeeh! So What?”

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My column at First Things today looks at the remarkable, innovative new theme in our discourse:The repeated thesis was simply this: “so what?”Such a disarming question; the sort of question society has long-regarded as adolescent, arrogant, disdainful, and yes, more than a little snotty. It is a question that conveys a dare in its follow-up, whether spoken or not: “Just what are you going to do about it?”In a three day period, I encountered three variations of this oddly innovat … [Read more...]

Pastor Louie Giglio and the Chill Wind of Correctness

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(image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)Considering the wide media attention accompanying the announcement that laywoman Myrlie Evers-Williams and Atlanta-based preacher Louie Giglio would offer prayers at President Obama’s upcoming inaugural, Giglio’s withdrawal from the podium just two days later garnered little notice outside of Evangelical circles, but it is a story that deserves some attention. So, I'm talking about it over at First Things:For Pastor Louie Giglio, a frequent visitor to … [Read more...]

I Won’t Label You; You Won’t Negate Me – UPDATED

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Continuing what has become and an unintended pattern, I continue with my every-other-week-Apocalypse, exclusively at First Things!Two weeks ago, I was saying, "We will have to become, ourselves, the reality we want to see. . .Let us begin, finally, to understand the true meaning of apocalypse by becoming it—not destruction and mayhem but revelation, as in the revelation of Christ to each other—in these strange and transitional days."This week, I am surprising even myself with the sta … [Read more...]

Does Church Suppress God’s Will? That’s Wicked, Right?

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Like Mark Shea, I too thought the National Catholic Reporter had endorsed female ordination years ago. I actually had no intention of writing about it for my First Things column, today.Yet somehow -- and though I had intended to write more about Calah Alexander and the idea of a Ministry of Succor to young mothers, I ended up at female ordination, asking a few questions about NCR's stand:The overbearing men of Rome, most particularly Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, are depicted as … [Read more...]

Resurrected Messianic Obama and “Being Apocalypse” – UPDATED

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An interesting resurrection is taking place: the re-emergence of the Messianic Obama theme from the tomb to which it had been consigned.It began rather modestly, with the release of The Gospel According to Apostle Barack. But that was a mere gospel. Jamie Foxx then upped the ante by referring (ironically?) to "our Lord and Savior, Barack Obama!" and today Drudge is featuring this story about a 2009 painting depicting a Messianic Obama who is "The Truth"The truth painting is old … [Read more...]


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