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Week In Review

Another Week Ends: The Capacity for Every Crime, the Unimportance of Being Cool, Violence Ad Infinitum, Defiled Lunch Meat, the Dallas Street Choir, and the Essential Anthropology of Philip Roth

Another Week Ends: The Capacity for Every Crime, the Unimportance of Being Cool, Violence Ad Infinitum, Defiled Lunch Meat, the Dallas Street Choir, and the Essential Anthropology of Philip Roth

1. Lots of good reading material for this Memorial Day weekend! Our first article—a ripe one 😉 by philosopher Crispin Sartwell, for the New York Times—defends the concept of original sin, from a secular standpoint. And while the era of extreme division and gun violence might seem the perfect stage for the original sin renaissance, […]

Another Week Ends: Tom Wolfe, Royal Weddings, Unlikely Hospice Workers, Babylon Bee Book, New Marcionism, and More Loneliness

Another Week Ends: Tom Wolfe, Royal Weddings, Unlikely Hospice Workers, Babylon Bee Book, New Marcionism, and More Loneliness

1. As far as “theology of the cross” illustrations go, this one is unforgettable. A pastoral care initiative in a prison’s hospice wing, led entirely by fellow inmates, most of whom are convicted murderers serving a life sentence. Suleika Jaouad tells the story in this week’s New York Times Magazine, about the Pastoral Care Service […]

Another Week Ends: Napalm Conversions, Technophile Faith, Kanye Gambino Jackson, Nomophobia, Camp Manna and Atlanta

Another Week Ends: Napalm Conversions, Technophile Faith, Kanye Gambino Jackson, Nomophobia, Camp Manna and Atlanta

1. First up, there’s the jaw-dropping testimony that appeared in Christianity Today last week, in which Kim Phuc Phan Thi, the subject of one of the 20th Century’s most iconic photographs (above), outrageously confesses that “These Bombs Led Me to Christ”. She describes the anguish of the day in question, as well as the bodily […]

Another Week Ends: The Craigslist Confessional, Ethical Beauty, Luck, Reincarnation, Realistic Wedding Vows, and Divided Times in the Body of Christ

Another Week Ends: The Craigslist Confessional, Ethical Beauty, Luck, Reincarnation, Realistic Wedding Vows, and Divided Times in the Body of Christ

1. This weekend’s opener: stories from the Craigslist Confessional. Several years ago, on a whim, a woman named Helena Bala posted an ad online, offering anyone who needed it the service of a non-judgmental listening ear. Crazy, huh? “Woke up the next morning…inbox was flooded.” The video is a testament to the power of listening—just […]

Another Week Ends: Social Poverty, A Lutheran Take on Chik-Fil-A, Jacobs on Propaganda, Some Occult Stuff, Faking Russian Lit, New Prince, and the Work/Life Conundrum

Another Week Ends: Social Poverty, A Lutheran Take on Chik-Fil-A, Jacobs on Propaganda, Some Occult Stuff, Faking Russian Lit, New Prince, and the Work/Life Conundrum

1. Looks like David Brooks this week is onto something again–his article on “The Blindness of Social Wealth” strikes gold. Increasingly, the defining pathology of our time is loneliness, a theme we’ve surveyed on mbird pretty extensively. Brooks makes the case sharply and succinctly: Bob Hall was a rancher. In 1936, in the midst of the […]

Another Week Ends: De-Konged, Earning Easter, Natural Causes, Deep Laziness and American Recordings

Another Week Ends: De-Konged, Earning Easter, Natural Causes, Deep Laziness and American Recordings

1. Not quite sure what to make of the fact that in the eleven or so years I’ve been writing on Mbird, I have never been forwarded a single news item more than this one. I suppose I should take it as a compliment, as Lord knows there are worst things to be associated with. […]

Another Week Ends: Jean Vanier, Amen Dunes, Father Freeman, Invisibilia, 1 Corinthians (Ortberg Translation), and A Flock of (Hotel) Seagulls

Another Week Ends: Jean Vanier, Amen Dunes, Father Freeman, Invisibilia, 1 Corinthians (Ortberg Translation), and A Flock of (Hotel) Seagulls

1. Stephen Freeman, at it again, this time translating the story of the rich man and the eye of the needle. Freeman offers that maybe we should read the pronouncement today as saying that it is impossible for the middle-class man to make it to heaven, not just the rich man. Freeman argues that whenever […]

Another Week Ends: French Police, Long Hours, Divine Pranks, Self-Aware Addicts, Oldham's Charms, and Wild Country

Another Week Ends: French Police, Long Hours, Divine Pranks, Self-Aware Addicts, Oldham’s Charms, and Wild Country

1. First, if you didn’t catch the headlines about French policeman Arnaud Beltrame, they’re tailormade for today, e.g., “French officer who swapped places with a hostage in terror attack dies.” The story is really something: The Daily Mail ran an interview with the Catholic monk who gave Beltrame last rites and was in the midst […]

Another Week Ends: Self-Defeating Measurements, Neurotic Moralities, Self-Justifying Meritocracies, and Gospel-Centric Snoop Doggs

Another Week Ends: Self-Defeating Measurements, Neurotic Moralities, Self-Justifying Meritocracies, and Gospel-Centric Snoop Doggs

1. Over at the New York Times, Molly Worthen (of Apostles of Reason fame) wrote an interesting piece on the burgeoning learning-assessment industry. For those seeking to hone their “truthseeking” and “analyticity” (!!), teacher assessments aren’t enough; we need big data to tell us what we’re learning. Worthen’s skeptical: Here is the second irony: Learning […]

Another Week Ends: The Book of Life, Tribal Culture, Seasonal Depression, A Wrinkle in Time, Sister Jean's Prayers, David Attenborough's Horror, and Mason Pryor's Second Chance

Another Week Ends: The Book of Life, Tribal Culture, Seasonal Depression, A Wrinkle in Time, Sister Jean’s Prayers, David Attenborough’s Horror, and Mason Pryor’s Second Chance

1. Let’s begin with a couple links to Alain de Botton’s (wellspring of a) website, The Book of Life. The first is about the importance of confession. A traditionally Christian practice, confession remains as necessary in 2018 as it ever was (ht JB): …many of us feel like very bad people and have certainly done […]

Another Week Ends: Kevin Love, Self-Awareness, Addiction and Morality, Super Important Longreads, Fake News, and the City of God

Another Week Ends: Kevin Love, Self-Awareness, Addiction and Morality, Super Important Longreads, Fake News, and the City of God

1. Lots to talk about this week! First, a profound confessional from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love, in which he describes the life-changing experience of a panic attack (mid-game!) and the importance of asking for help. “Everyone Is Going Through Something”: Growing up, you figure out really quickly how a boy is supposed to act. […]

Another Week Ends: Mental Health (x4), Wreck It Ralph 2, Curling Cats!, David Chang, Marilynne Robinson and Billy Graham

Another Week Ends: Mental Health (x4), Wreck It Ralph 2, Curling Cats!, David Chang, Marilynne Robinson and Billy Graham

1. A lot of mental health features this week, and we’ll start with this one published by Vox, and written by Johann Hari, whose new book Lost Connections, delves into the problem of depression, and the limits of its modern prognoses, most of which are medical. Not at all wanting to dismiss the anti-depressant as a […]