October 28, 2016

One reason they call it popular culture is that its popular, really, really popular. The artifacts of our media-saturated and consumeristic society are everywhere. In our time, there is an unreality for everyone. No niche remains overlooked. No lifestyle, no matter how dangerous, no interest, no matter how depraved, goes unserved by the masters of storytelling. In spite of the splintering of the mainstream, some works continue to gather a mass audience, and these often tell us more than a… Read more

October 25, 2016

For the least several years, I have taken the time to binge watch each season of the “The Walking Dead.” It’s not a great show. But, I’m into it now and I want to know if these people are ever going to get out of the mess they’re in, so I’ll probably stick with it. One thing the show does well, and one reason for its huge appeal, is its depiction of how easily everything we take for granted could… Read more

October 19, 2016

Last week at karate class my instructor said he had “something different” for me. Then, he put on some sparing gloves and punched me in the face. Well, that was different. The punch was nowhere as damaging as it could have been. A punch to the face from a black belt with lots of practice can wreak a lot of destruction. Good thing we were only sparing. Because he was going easy, the contact was more surprising than painful. I… Read more

October 17, 2016

The modern world creates all manner of spiritual and emotional disease. People everywhere suffer needlessly from the arrangements we inhabit. Loneliness, despair and every kind of dissipation characterize our every breath. “Don’t worry”, we are constantly told. The modern world, it knows the cure, we are assured. The prescription, of course, is more of the same. We never get better because the things held out for our healing: distractions, triviality, self-indulgence, just make us sicker. The medicine that promises our… Read more

October 7, 2016

If you think the fact that she attends an Evangelical church will do anything to stop a woman from divorcing her husband, think again.  Most churches wouldn’t say a word. I recently heard from someone whose pastor justified a woman divorcing her husband and destroying her family because her husband had an “emotional affair,” an Evangelical invention that deserves a post of its own. In the end, the supposed moral guardians at many churches have caved and will continue to… Read more

October 6, 2016

People sometimes say blogging is dead. They may as well say writing is dead’ or that ideas are dead. As long as people want to read others’ thoughts and writers desire to share them, blogging will be alive and well. That’s one of the things that has been confirmed to me this year. I began blogging in earnest 12 months ago. On such an anniversary, a bit of a meta-post seems appropriate, a chance to take stock and to look… Read more

October 4, 2016

Our is an age hostile to wisdom, and that hostility makes itself seen in two ways: antinomian foolishness and the endless proliferation of rules. Both these approaches to life result in misery. Unrestrained foolishness leads to lives of empty-pleasure seeking while the attempt to apply prescribed rules to every situation leads to rigidity and bitterness. Mark Baxter wrote about the second of these approaches recently. Mark writes: For most of my life I was led to believe that I had… Read more

September 23, 2016

Sometimes, serious problems can be so widespread we learn not to see them. Such is the case with fatherlessness. The National Center for Fatherlessness estimates about a third of American children live absent their biological father. The statistics are even worse for blacks. Estimates vary, but everyone agrees that somewhere between half and three quarters of black children grow up without their dads. The epidemic of fatherlessness is so pervasive we tend to forget about it, let in blend into… Read more

September 22, 2016

A lot of men hate church. To understand why, you have to understand one central point: the contemporary church, in most of her incarnations, telegraphs her hostility to traditional masculinity. I recently wrote that churches that reject tradition reject men. That earlier post was a response to this one by Rollo Tomassi. I want to explore that topic more deeply now. Rollo hints at an important point when he writes about the lack of virility in the church: “this is… Read more

September 19, 2016

I was a terrible twenty-something.  I spent that decade of freedom and high energy poorly. Most of it I spent hiding out from the world, staying in college too long, drifting from lousy job to lousy job. When I wasn’t working a lousy job, I was probably sitting in front of the television watching trash I’d never waste my time on today or playing video games. If I were eating some leftover pizza while playing, that wouldn’t be unusual. I… Read more

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