April 20, 2021

Two years ago, I embarked on my longest fictional read to date with Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel of Time.” Weighing in at almost four-and-a-half million words, this brick wall of a series is enough to make even seasoned fans of fantasy count the cost. Last week I finished book fourteen, “A Memory of Light” as I sat on my front porch and the sun dipped below the rooftops. This four-course meal of a saga fed my imagination as few books… Read more

March 29, 2021

Recently, I’ve had occasion to ponder suffering in a deeper way than ever before. I say this not because the situation I’m in is worse than it has ever been (my family have by now become hardened veterans of this private war), but because I’ve become more familiar with the true character of suffering. It isn’t about circumstances. Not really. As pro-life author Stephanie Gray Connors explained in our recent conversation on Upstream, suffering is the gulf between what we… Read more

March 29, 2021

TheOneRing.net reported recently that the talent agency in charge of hiring actors for Amazon’s upcoming prequel series to “The Lord of the Rings” put out a casting call for men and women who are “comfortable with nudity.” The ad continues: “Up to $500 per day. We need Nude people based in Auckland – age 18 plus, all shapes and sizes…” If this is accurate, it doesn’t take a Palantír to see that Amazon and director J. A. Bayona intend to twist the mythology… Read more

March 29, 2021

On my drive home from a men’s Bible study on Tuesday night, my five-year-old son Elijah (who always accompanies me to give his mom a break) announced, “I just love fighting. I love swords. I like to kill the bad guys.” His declaration followed weeks of donning whatever makeshift armor lay close at hand and taking up weapons ranging from brooms to vacuum cleaner parts (His trusty shield is always filched from among our kitchen pot lids). Many parents, confronted… Read more

March 29, 2021

A house is an inanimate object, and as a terrifying number of people in the western United States and the Gulf Coast can now attest, houses are objects that burn or blow away. But these stacks of wood-and-nails also have a way of becoming symbolic of more important things, especially to children. That was the case with my Grandmother’s house of almost twenty-five years, which still stands, but now belongs to a stranger. Saying goodbye to that house and moving… Read more

November 23, 2020

For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave… At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or turn my ear to my instructors…. Read more

September 23, 2020

Progressives keep promising conservative evangelicals they’ll be our friends if only we stop harping on sex and serve people. The problem is that every time evangelicals try to serve people, progressives want to harp on sex. A few years back, the late Rachel Held Evans wrote an opinion piece at CNN on why millennials are leaving the church. As a left-leaning Christian, she took it upon herself to speak for her generation. One of the explanations she offered for the millennial exodus… Read more

May 14, 2020

Another week, another lengthy YouTube video alleging a coronavirus-related conspiracy reaching to the highest levels of government. This time the villain is National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease director Dr. Anthony Fauci who, as the title of the video in question suggests, is supposed to have planned this pandemic. If my experience is any guide, conservative evangelicals are among the quickest to share this sort of shoddy documentary (and have been for some time—the Religious Right is a hothouse… Read more

April 13, 2020

Our gym has closed during the coronavirus quarantine. That means more than me having to try chin-ups on tree branches (which I don’t recommend). Thanks to the childcare service our gym offered, it also means that my wife has lost one of her rare reprieves from watching the kids, along with a chance for us to exercise together. This leaves her trying to snatch breaks whenever and however she can. She’s taken to leaving our brood with me while she… Read more

February 4, 2020

Two of my best friends and I have an informal liturgy: whenever we go camping, SCUBA diving, or hiking, and find ourselves assaulted by some unexpected vista or impromptu congress of dolphins, one of us turns to the others and quips, “It’s the End Times, y’all.” The inside joke is that we share a more or less postmillennial eschatology and expect that the parousia will look little like it does in the popular, evangelical imagination. We think we are saved to enjoy… Read more

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