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About Ian

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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    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 […]

    In the Midst of Life We Are in October

    What images come to mind when you think of Halloween? Ghosts? Skeletons? Gravestones? Some Christians cry foul at such “morbid” imagery, but it seems to me this stems from a safely modern, bourgeois outlook. Our older brothers and sisters in medieval Europe most assuredly wouldn’t know what to make of the bland, sterilized Christianity regnant […]

    Memory and the Trauma of History

    What does remembering tragedies like September 11th accomplish here and now? What do we channel in remembering, and what dangers are there in it? “Remembering,” I once heard a minister claim, “is the art of the mature.” I wrote it beside the second verse of Psalm 103: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget […]

    Are Friends Electric? And Is Grace Digital?

    This one’s especially for Andy, Anna, Blake, Caleb, Chris, Jeff, Kristin, Nathan, Reed, and Trevor. It seems like a hilariously ironic turn of Providence that I who have been so deeply suspicious of connectivity through electronic media and its pernicious (albeit often unintended) consequences should find the friends I am most in touch with, most […]

    Crafting the Soundtracks of Our Lives

    The world’s jaw dropped when Apple announced the end of iTunes as we have known it these past eighteen years. For some it was simply a surprising move — splitting up Music, TV, and Podcasts across three app services was unexpected but sensible enough — but for a noisome contingent (and who can know the […]

    In Ascension Love Remains

    It has been forty days since their master turned the world upside by rising from the dead. But now, it appears, the end has come. An end the apostles could not have anticipated, to be sure. As Jesus approaches his departure they are simultaneously heavy and elated. Elated, as Jesus’ mission is at an end […]

    When Your Friends Are the Devil

    Do you ever dread meeting with a friend? Do you involuntarily find yourself imagining the ways this is going to go all wrong? Do you feel a knot in your guts when you receive a text message asking to “connect” later (why that word?) and zero elaboration is given? You feel the foreboding circulate through […]

    Whatever It Takes: Friendship and Avenging the Fallen

    This one’s for Kristin and Anna; Andy, Blake, Caleb, Chris, Jeff, Nathan, Reed, and Trevor. Some spoilers follow. “If a man should importune me to give a reason why I loved him [his friend, Etienne Boetie] I find it could no otherwise be expressed, than by making answer: because it was he, because it was […]

    Rejoice: The Absurd Command, Part 3

    The conclusion of a three-part series. Read the others here. Beloved, we are always in the wrong, Handling so clumsily our stupid lives, Suffering too little or too long, Too careful even in our selfish loves: The decorative manias we obey Die in grimaces round us every day, Yet through their tohu-bohu comes a voice […]

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