June 14, 2016

When I was a senior at Huntington University, I took a class on the life and writings of C. S. Lewis. Each day Dr. Michelson required us to turn in a reading response. As a part of the assignment, he had us jot down some “snappy quotes,” as he called them, little zingers or one-liners that really jumped off the page or connected with us in some way. That’s the approach I’m going to take with this review. It’s also the approach… Read more

May 25, 2016

It’s been a difficult spring for me. By “difficult,” I don’t mean fresh and exciting challenges that move a person into writing, creativity, and overcoming. I wish it was that kind of difficult. I love that kind of difficult. No, I mean the sort of difficult that makes you question whether you have anything worth saying at all (hence my not writing here at Patheos). I spent 2013-2015 in a state of oblivion, some call it “survival mode,” the term “Dark Night of the Soul” may also… Read more

April 8, 2016

I’m sitting down by the highway Down by that highway side Everybody’s going somewhere Riding just as fast as they can ride I guess they’ve got a lot to do Before they can rest assured Their lives are justified Pray to God for me baby He can let me slide – Jackson Browne Read more

March 28, 2016

Today is Easter (at the time of writing). There is a soft breeze rustling the ivy on the brick outside my window. It’s not even April, but the air carries a feeling of graduation, baseball, and summer vacation. The sun is beaming in through the pair of French doors which connect my bedroom to the arbor outside. My cat, Pancake, is rolling around in the patches of light, pausing now and again to lick her paws. A bird is chirping, but Pancake… Read more

March 21, 2016

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a pleasant Palm Sunday. When I was a high school student, about age 17, the first real, academic history question that ever interested me was “What caused the Great Depression?” Not so much why it lasted so long (which, as I would later learn, is a separate question) but what caused the economy to crash in the first place? I wasn’t satisfied with memorizing 4 or 5 lines about the subject, enough to get… Read more

March 16, 2016

Posts about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki normally make their rounds in early August, but I couldn’t resist posting this today. It’s a letter from J.R.R. Tolkien to his son, Christopher, dated 9 August 1945, the day the U.S. dropped the second atomic bomb on Japan. Together, the bombs killed over 200,000 people: 120,000 in Hiroshima, 80,000 in Nagasaki, and these are conservative estimates. I’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to decide which of Tolkien’s characters the U.S. more closely… Read more

March 14, 2016

In this post, I respond to David Schell’s post “Is Socialism Unbiblical?” which is itself a response to a post entitled “Dear Liberal ‘Christians’: No, it’s Not ‘Christian’ for the Government to Redistribute My Money,” written by Courtney Kirchoff.  Before we get going, I want to note that Schell does a tremendous job responding to the tone of Kirchoff’s post, so as far as that goes, we’re in complete agreement. Truth be told, I’m not sure Ms. Kirchoff’s post merits a response. I’m writing this primarily for… Read more

March 12, 2016

Our first guest post! David Schell, a friend and fellow Huntington University alum, has granted me permission to reprint his post “Is Socialism Biblical?” I appreciate his generosity. I also appreciate his courage, since I intended to formulate a response (edit: click here to check out my response). If you are interested in publishing something here at The Pickled Pencil, email me at and let’s talk about your ideas. I hope you enjoy this post! A note about David: He earned his B.S. in… Read more

March 10, 2016

Ah, the first post of a fresh new blog! Welcome to The Pickled Pencil! I’d been tossing around a few different ideas on what would be a good opening article to set us in the right direction, but the Freakonomics Radio episode I stumbled upon the other day settled things for me. Pencils and economics. How perfect! (and how obvious!) The episode (which you must check out) explores Leonard Read’s famous 1958 essay entitled “I, Pencil.” The host, Stephen Dubner, describes it as… Read more

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