Cardinal Virtues of American Regions: the Northeast

Today’s blog on the cardinal virtues of American regions concludes with a look at the Northeast. The Northeast values above all honesty. In no other region will you find such a mass of people concerned with expressing themselves truly. Northeasterners are polite, to a point; they are calm, to an extent; and I suppose they [Read More…]

Cardinal Virtues of American Regions: the West

Today’s post covers the key virtue of the American West: coolness. It’s very interesting to observe people from the West, because they often have a care-free spirit about them. One gets the sense from those from the West that life is a little breezier, a little happier, and certainly a little sunnier. It’s probably all [Read More…]

Cardinal Virtues of American Regions: the Midwest

In my quest to offend Americans of every stripe, I’m conducting a study to determine the cardinal virtue, or esteemed trait, that particular regions prize. Today we examine the Midwest to discover its key trait and then to evaluate it. The cardinal virtue of the Midwest is calmness. In place of heated passion, cutting cynicism, [Read More…]

The Cardinal Virtues of American Regions: the South

Have you ever noticed that there are social traits that are especially prized in certain regions of America? In my post-collegiate travels through a considerable range of America, I’ve noticed the existence of a “cardinal virtue” in each major region of the country. Today, we look at the South’s defining cultural trait–not its only trait, [Read More…]

Great Experiences of Life, Part 3: Really Hard Work

One of the best things that can happen to a person in this life is to have a period of exceptionally difficult labor. In such times, we learn that our limits extend much farther than we thought they did. We are stretched, and our bodies hurt, our minds ache, and our imagination wanders to times [Read More…]

Great Experiences of Life, Part 2: Having Sin Exposed

Part 2 of this series centers around a second event that we do not often think of in positive terms. Most Christians don’t think of others calling us out on our sin as an experience that reverberates with the goodness of God, but it does. Having our flaws brought to light is an overwhelmingly positive [Read More…]

Great Experiences of Life, Part 1: Relational Heartbreak

Christians do not simply see God’s goodness in Sunday School lessons and touching devotional lessons. We see God’s goodness in the collective experiences that together comprise our lives. God is not simply good when we feel good about what’s happening to us. We see goodness in times when we feel quite the opposite. Unlike the [Read More…]

Music That Engages Culture: Switchfoot

The science of Christian cultural engagement is a delicate one. This is true particularly in the realm of music, that art form so dominant in American culture. Traditionally, engagement with the secular sphere tends to center in one of two approaches. First, we have the preaching mindset, in which artists see their responsibility to preach [Read More…]

Back at it: Some Good Music

WHEW. I’m out of the cave, friends. Before I restart the cultural engagement effort, let me just say thanks for sticking with me. Here are the totals from the last three weeks: Read: over 1000 pagesTyped: over 80 pagesTook: four finalsHad: minimal exercise, bloodshot eyes, and alot of boiled custard (it’s incredible, like drinking vanilla [Read More…]

In the Throes of Finals for Three More Days

The blog will resume on Saturday. Friends and readers, I am sorry to have fallen off in blogging this last week. I was swallowed by a fish called Hebrew last week. I was spat from its mouth just yesterday, but was immediately re-swallowed by several other predators of the waters, namely, Hermeneutics, Greek, and Ancient [Read More…]