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The Coach Who Changed Michael Lewis's Life

The Coach Who Changed Michael Lewis’s Life

Very late to the game on this one, pun intended. For years people have been urging me to read Michael Lewis. Moneyball, The Big Short, Liar’s Poker; these are required reading for American dads my age. I know his appeal extends beyond that demographic, but I’ve resisted nonetheless, leaning more...
On the Rachel Hollis Divorce: Girl, Here's Some Mercy

On the Rachel Hollis Divorce: Girl, Here’s Some Mercy

Whenever someone we envy goes through great suffering, our first instinct is always to revel in their pain. As Christians, the next step is to ask for forgiveness for that very common sin. And hopefully, God willing, to find some compassion for those we once envied.  I am of course...
Tell Me Exactly What To Do (And I Will Do the Opposite): A Brief History of Advice

Tell Me Exactly What To Do (And I Will Do the Opposite): A Brief History of Advice

“How is it possible to expect that mankind will take advice, when they will not so much as take warning?” – Jonathan Swift I’ll always remember our wedding caterer telling me and my wife that, if we wanted to make sure our reception ran smoothly, we would assign a master...
COVID Stole the Wienermobile and Everyone Is Grieving

COVID Stole the Wienermobile and Everyone Is Grieving

Well, the virus finally hit my small town in rural Pennsylvania last week, and it hit in a way that surprised us all. Don’t worry, we’re all fine and healthy for the most part. But the virus hasn’t just come for our bodies and spirits. The most recent casualty of...
Grace at a Funeral

Grace at a Funeral

When it was his turn to speak, I didn’t even recognize him. I hadn’t seen him in 30 years. Making his way to the podium, he paused and genuflected before my father’s casket before sharing his reflections of having known my dad. His name is Ryan Sattler and he and...
The Most Lost of Them All: Madness and Rescue from Kafka’s Prison

The Most Lost of Them All: Madness and Rescue from Kafka’s Prison

Whether Franz Kafka was a religious writer has been considered an open question. For many people, of course, anything too dark, too weird, smacks of faithlessness. Edwin Berry Burgum once described Kafka as “the most lost of them all”; his “personal deterioration paralleled the degeneration of the society that produced...
May My Virtue Signals Be Transformed Into Love

May My Virtue Signals Be Transformed Into Love

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains,...
A Newly Discovered (and Entirely Short-Sighted) Ancient Roman Letter

A Newly Discovered (and Entirely Short-Sighted) Ancient Roman Letter

A rare find that’s almost too good to be true: Demetrius to Celsus, greetings. I pray you may always be in good health for many years to come. I praise you for your inquiring mind to discern the truth and wish to pass on to you what I have learned...
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Another Week Ends: Success-o-holics, The Office, Bob Ross, Singing Science, Antibody Blues, Sinful Goats, and Jarvis Cocker Gets Churched

1. Let me ask you this: which religions-that-aren’t-called-religions do you think are the most popular, and which do you predict will become even more popular? Those are two questions I got in nearly every interview for Seculosity, so for the paperback–out Aug 25th!–I took the opportunity to put a few thoughts down on paper. Needless to […]

Forty-Eight Years After John Lewis Was Attacked

A stop-you-in-your-tracks story of (and reflection upon) sin, repentance, reconciliation, and hope from the late congressman John Lewis’ final book, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America, which we discuss on the forthcoming episode of The Mockingcast. Even if you’ve heard about the incident elsewhere, it’s worth reading Lewis’ own […]

The Beautiful, Godforsaken Mess of Taylor Swift’s folklore

Last Thursday, Taylor Swift announced the surprise release of her eighth studio album, folklore, to be dropped that night at midnight. The album is made up of 16 songs Swift created in quarantine with the help of Aaron Dessner of The National, alongside Jack Antonoff, Bon Iver, and others. Naturally, my friends and I stayed […]

The Folly of the Cross in Our Divided World

Crucifixes are kind of everywhere, if you look closely enough. We wear them as necklaces, earrings, or tattoos; we use them to decorate our houses; and most churches usually place a cross front and center. Athletes make the sign of the cross when they excel in competition. Vampires are repelled by the mere sight of […]

Auden’s Missing Mercy

The constant background of stress caused by a brand-spanking-new kind of plague, combined with widespread social unrest and a particularly contentious election year, have all conspired to put a serious crimp in my attention span. This has become particularly noticeable in my reading habits; it has to be good, like brake-squealing good, for me to […]

New Book Release! The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience, by Simeon Zahl

It’s here! After years in the making, Simeon Zahl‘s new book The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience is now available in the US! This groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research covers everything from Pentecostalism to affect theory, from Augustine to Luther, and much, much more. In short, Zahl delivers a dynamic account of the work of the Holy […]

Emily Dickinson Has More Hope than Pharaoh

It is an honorable Thought
And makes One lift One’s Hat
As One met sudden Gentlefolk
Upon a daily Street,

That We’ve immortal Place
Though Pyramids decay
And Kingdoms, like the Orchard
Flit Russetly away

(Franklin Variorum 1115A)

NOW AVAILABLE! Peace in the Last Third of Life: A Handbook of Hope for Boomers by Paul Zahl, in Hardcover and Audiobook

It’s here! Paul Zahl’s new book is now available both in hardcover and audiobook. This instant classic could not be more timely. As one reviewer put it, “This book is for anyone trying to make sense of their life before they die. So it is for everyone.” Get yours through our online store or Amazon. More details here:

Everyone wants peace and hope.

As we grow older, we feel a special urgency to make peace with the past and to discover hope for the future. In his newest book, Peace in the Last Third of Life, the Rev. Dr. Paul F. M. Zahl provides a roadmap to finding peace and hope for the ‘Boomer’ generation. Zahl’s wisdom comes not only from decades in pastoral ministry, but also from cultural and historical illustrations as varied as Philadelphia Soul, War of the Worlds (1953), and the skin of St. Bartholomew. With piercing wisdom and unflagging humor, Peace in the Last Third of Life connects the core questions of Boomers to the Supernatural Power of God.

Now available in hardcover, audiobook, and e-book. Grab your copy today!

In Praise of Emotional Time Travel (Sort of)

It arrived while we were at the beach. I had almost delayed our trip to be there to receive the package in person. Even from afar I could feel the tectonic plates of my personal archaeology click into place. After decades of dreaming and pining, a copy of New Mutants 87 was mine. We’re talking […]

Our Unwelcome Infinite Summer: David Foster Wallace and Martin Luther on Desire and Discontent

Probably the least sexy limit-experience one can have is of being bored with something one otherwise normally enjoys. Sitting in a lawn chair with Infinite Jest while my kids play with water is a good thing, one I look forward to as part of a relaxed afternoon. But why, then, do I periodically lift my […]

Self-Care for My Inner Child and Me

Not to rub it in, but we’re in better shape over here in Australia than you are in America (pandemic-wise). But I’m still smarting from the effects of lockdown and, in particular, homeschooling — although I know that both could re-emerge at any moment. When the lockdown walls first began closing in, I knew that […]

Freedom to Be … Bored?

Starting around mid-June, people in our St. Louis suburban neighborhood began shooting off fireworks every night (illegality notwithstanding). Both firepower and frequency steadily increased until the climax on Independence Day. Some households had clearly spent hundreds of dollars apiece for the occasion, particularly on the heavy-duty artillery shell fireworks. The action was quite literally non-stop […]