For a long time, the most desired quality in an Evangelical youth pastor was that he be crazy. Not the “he-thinks-he’s-Napoleon” kind of crazy, but the “you-never-know-what-he’ll-get-up-to” kind of crazy. He had to be the kind of guy whose behavior could aptly be described with the words “antics” and “shenanigans.” His role in the church was “to show the kids that Christians can have fun too.” Above all, he had to be the master of silly games and icebreakers. He… Read more

Another episode of The Dean Abbott Podcast has been released. In this episode, I talk with pastor and author C.R. Wiley about his book “Man of the House: A Handbook for Building a Shelter That Will Last in a World That Is Falling Apart”. The episode can be found here, or you can listen via the player below. Listen to “Ep. 06-The Dean Abbott Podcast- C.R. Wiley 4/16/2018” on Spreaker. Here is the YouTube video, if you prefer that. Don’t… Read more

Paris Je T’aime is a good movie overall, but the best part is the end. The 2006 film is unusually structured. There is no overarching plot, rather a series short stories all set in various neighborhoods around Paris. Some are sad, some surreal. All are worth seeing. The last tells the story of an American woman’s first trip to Paris. The narrative unfolds in a voice over. Underneath shots of the actress Margo Martindale wandering around the city, she reads… Read more

When a culture slides into decadence, it does not go quickly, Rather, it oozes into progressively more degraded forms of itself. Cultures rarely end through explosion. They end instead over the course of decades through apathy, attrition and acedia. Because cultures die slowly, many people believe them immortal. Skeptics look around and see that all the houses still have electricity, that the grocery store remains stocked, that in many places, at least, the streets are still safe. Since they see… Read more

Modern people live in the aftermath of a terrible rupture, in a time radically disconnected from all that came before. Their knowledge of history is limited to a few cliches about the darkness and cruelty they suppose characterized all previous eras. Rather than valuing continuity with the past, modern people seek to invent themselves out of nothing but their own wills. Rather than finding their identities through the values of the past, modern people define themselves by transgressing those values…. Read more

Another episode of The Dean Abbott Podcast is now available.  Find it here. In this episode, I chat with Andy Balio of  The Future Symphony Institute about the possibility of a renaissance in classical music.   You can also subscribe via iTunes, or listen via the YouTube below. Read more

I never got to work at L’abri , and I blame John Kerry. See, when I was younger, I aspired to a place on staff at one of the branches of that network of residential study centers founded by Francis Schaeffer. In 2004, I spent a term at the Massachusetts L’abri. Almost immediately, tensions arose between me and the other students and staff. That fall, George W. Bush was seeking re-election, and Kerry was trying to stop him.  We discussed… Read more

This post proved to be more popular than I expected. As of this writing, it has been shared almost a thousand times and read many more times than that. The number and variety of responses have been overwhelming. Responses ranged from predictable atheistic ideologues complaining about Christians talking to our skyfriend to equally knee-jerk reactions from fundamentalists insisting we only need to double-down on preaching the true gospel. The most bizarre criticism of my piece came from people who faulted… Read more

In recent decades, a plethora of evangelical ministries has emerged designed to “engage the culture”.  A Google search for “engage the culture” returns more than half a million results. Moreover, a huge number of operations designed to inculcate a Christian worldview and provide apologetics training are booming. In short, the evangelical effort to reverse America’s slide toward secularism and decadence has been vigorous and pervasive. It has also been, largely, a failure. The evidence is plain. In spite of the… Read more

Today is World Poetry Day.  I am an ardent lover of good poetry. I have been exploring the work of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for the last year or so. Here is one of my favorites: The Children’s Hour Between the dark and the daylight, When the night is beginning to lower, Comes a pause in the day’s occupations, That is known as the Children’s Hour. I hear in the chamber above me The patter of little feet, The sound of… Read more

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