The Ugliness Next Door

Let’s continue this. The culture is out there. It’s interesting, it’s fun, it’s informative, it’s enriching. Potentially, that is. If we can find out how to engage it. Or should we? One option before Christians is to withdraw and isolate ourselves from the culture. At least, as best as we can. This has traditionally meant [Read More…]

Toward a Definition of Ugliness

We began a discussion yesterday on a question that has long played in my mind. I introduced the question of “ugliness” but did little to define it. I did so for a purpose: I wanted to get any readers I do have to think for themselves about a definition of ugliness. I happen to like [Read More…]

Should Christians View Ugliness?

Here’s something to think about: as a Christian committed to a life of holiness, how should one deal with the ugliness of this world, particularly as pictured in the arts? Speaking as a Christian, this is a difficult question to wrestle with. In the last five years of my life, I’ve transitioned out of a [Read More…]

Food and Butter

It seems to me that Americans are fixated on butter. Here are a number of butter-related items commonly consumed. 1) Apple butter2) Green beans cooked in butter3) Apple pie crust4) Ice cream5) Chocolate chip cookies6) Milk7) Banana Pudding8) Rolls and butter9) Pizza crust10) Baklava11) Cinnamon rolls So some of the thinking behind this post is [Read More…]

Final Fall Reminisces

I remember the races. I remember going out too fast in the County Championship my senior year. I was the favorite to win going in and lost the race by starting the race at a pace my father had cautioned me against going. His warning became a prophecy when I was passed at the last [Read More…]

Fall Reminisces, Part Two

Fall is also a time of family. I have many memories of fall days spent with family. Driving to the summer cottage to shut it up for winter. Discussing the race with Mom and Dad. Traveling to Trinity in Connecticut, Amherst in Massachusetts, Harvard in Cambridge, Colby in Waterville, Maine, Bowdoin in Brunswick, Maine, Bates [Read More…]

Fall Reminisces, Part 1

Fall is my favorite season. I feel slightly trite writing that, because favorite is so often connected with nothing more than appetite. “I love Sunkist—it’s my favorite.” There’s sometimes precious little behind our “favorites.” There is much, however, behind my affection for fall, and some is worth unspooling here. Fall brings to mind cross country [Read More…]

Fall: America’s Season

Why do I say that fall is America’s season? Easy. Here are two reasons. Football—Though I am not a pigskin fanatic, many are. A huge chunk of Americans love college and pro football, each of which run from August to January. There is great psychic satisfaction in football. One roots for a team and becomes [Read More…]

Fall’s Sad Beauty

I’ve wanted to write a post about fall for a long time. Why? Because fall is such an evocative season. Nothing provokes more response from us than the changing of the foliage, an annual testimony to the presence of great beauty in our world. Tourists travel, locals marvel, all the world stops for a time [Read More…]

More on Preaching in Music

Yesterday’s post got a firestorm of response for this blog: two comments! Whew. I almost didn’t know what to do with myself, but I took a few hours to sort through it all. Here are some concluding remarks on my rather controversial remark of yesterday. I want to affirm wholeheartedly that I am for the [Read More…]


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