The Origin of Knowing & Doing

As I left Pittsburgh the other day, I decided to leave slowly, lingering through some of its neighborhoods on my way back to Virginia– so I got off the parkway, and drove through Oakland one more time, stopping near the Cathedral of Learning. For several years I worked and studied here, entering into the PhD years [Read More…]

To Fly, Fly Away…

“You must live in the place that is the station of your labor and your love. Down there in the swaying forests, the dark sleeping fields, the cold barren lands, and the cities of man, where the indestructible, the faithful, the true are needed.” Several weeks ago when I began packing for Central Europe, I [Read More…]

Three Words We Should Care More About

Cult. Cultivate. Culture. About a month ago in Bratislava, Slovakia, at the conference, “Visions for the Marketplace,” in one lecture I talked about these three words. They are not only etymologically connected, but philosophically too. They define each other, each in their own ways growing out of the other. They push-and-shove each other, moving back-and-forth on [Read More…]

“Joy” and the Power of a Dream

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that will not work.” Dreams are strange things. The stories that run through our souls at night are more often than not impossible to recollect; it’s hard to remember them for ourselves, much less explain them to someone else. But there are other kinds of dreams, [Read More…]

A Conversation with a Stranger and Common Grace

“It was such a dark time.” A couple weeks ago I was on a train from Prague to Bratislava, from the Czech Republic to Slovakia, which for most of the 20th-century were one nation, Czechoslovakia. Surrounded by countries we know— Germany, Poland, Austria, Hungary, the Ukraine —these peoples have fought for their identity over centuries. On [Read More…]

Our Moral Responsibility to Pay Attention

Pay attention. I have been teaching for a long time, and I confess that while I am always hoping that my words find a home in astudent’s heart, I never know. As the rabbi Jesus said at the beginning of his teaching, “If you have ears to hear, then hear.” That is as deep a wisdom [Read More…]

When Peacemaking is Unpopular

Commonwealth is an unusual word in the modern world. Still used in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Massachusetts for the word “state,” it is a way of seeing life together, a political community founded for the common good. I thought of this a while back while listening to an Israeli, a Palestinian and a Jordanian, each one committed [Read More…]

Sonship in Star Wars

Of the Father’s love begotten…. I do love music, and love different kinds of music. But of all the music I know, this Christmas carol is one of those I love best. That it is centuries-old is important to me, as I have consciously chosen to root myself in the deeper, longer story of human [Read More…]