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About Ian Olson

Another post-Barthian Thomist Midwesterner growing weary of irony and exhausted by scrupulosity. Paradoxically, though, that's only fueled my passion to advertise and commend every fantasticity strewn throughout the cosmos by the One who does all things well. I'd rather talk up a gracious God than chalk it up to my ability. Can you dig it?

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Author Archive

    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 […]

    The Death of Desire Is Not Adulthood: The Millennial Burden to Grow Up

    This summer, as graduation parties are celebrated across the country, older teenagers will find themselves expected to swiftly eject from a liminal stage they began only a few short years prior. Dwelling in the uncomfortable region between childhood and adulthood, it will be impressed upon them to direct their verve towards and subsume their fears […]

    The Grace to Not Give Up on Me

    It’s got to be hard sticking it out with me. I don’t know yet how to recognize that fact and constructively absorb its truth without engaging in self-flagellation, but I know I want to. I have no illusion that rattling off my faults effects some proportionality of sanctification in me, as if some transaction takes […]

    The Acquittal of Our Guilty Pleasures

    Comfort for the Contradictory I

    Finding Our Way Home to Jesus, Again and Again

    Henri Nouwen’s Encouragement in an Age of Anxiety

    Alone Together In One Body and Spirit

    Finding Forms of Fellowship Right Now

    Death and Life Under the Mark of Cain

    The Best Bad News We Could Receive

    Love Is Also One of the Things That’s True

    Fifteen years ago this winter my dad drove me up to Madison for the third and final surgery on my right collarbone, which I had shattered earlier that year. (I had front-flipped onto blacktop, accomplishing a football injury while playing basketball. It’s a whole sad, dumb story.) We left home early in the morning and […]

    Are We the Romans?

    I remember purchasing Botch’s We Are the Romans at Earwax on State Street in Madison in October of 2003, and I remember buying along with it Dying Fetus’ latest record, Stop At Nothing. This was a time in which I not only listened to bands with names like Dying Fetus but also took perverse delight […]

    The Weight of Advent: Speak What You Feel, Not What You Ought to Say

    As Black Friday reaches further back in time each year, so as to even colonize the twilight hours of Thanksgiving Day, we in North America are no strangers to the porousness of time. Commercial interests can collapse chronology such that two times can overlap in a way purely linear calendar time can’t countenance; we can […]

    C. S. Lewis: Evangelist of the Burning Heart

    November 22nd is an exciting day for me and for many others as it marks the commemoration of the blessed Clive Staples Lewis in the church calendar. Lewis (“Jack,” as he was affectionately known to friends and family) needs little in the way of introduction: defender of the faith, author of the Chronicles of Narnia, […]

    Curing the Post-Halloween Blues

    Every November 1, without fail, I’m down in the dumps. The moment I wake, I am viscerally aware in the cilia and flagella of my cells that Halloween is gone, having slipped away with the other faithful departed we commemorate on All Saints’ Day. Anymore, even as I’m trick-or-treating with my family, the sadness is […]