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Alone Together In One Body and Spirit

Social distancing has reorganized our public life by sequestering us within the familiar spheres we tell ourselves we are comfortable with. But when self-quarantining excludes the normal distractions and opportunities that inhabit our everyday lives, we are forced to reckon with the compromises and loneliness we are usually able to ignore. Long before the pandemic […]

Compassion, Connection, and the Singular “With” of the Gospel

“Now we have the privilege of seeing what only God can do.” – Ray Ortlund, quoting his friend Alfred Dickson Our eight-year-old woke up the other morning beside me, because that is our life right now, and in his half-asleep haze murmured, “This is the best time.” He was talking about that moment, which is […]

The End of Individualism

I have a friend who once worked at a school for poor children in Central America. One year, he invited one of the high schoolers, who was then attending a boarding school in America, to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family in New York City. After a whirlwind weekend, my friend asked the young man for […]

The Couple Who Quarantines Together

It was one of those corny marriage memes that make the rounds every couple weeks. This one said something like, “in every relationship there’s one person who turns the lights off and another who always leaves them on.” I can’t find it now. But maybe you’ve seen its like. They’re all over the place, usually […]

Reasonable Access

I shared a version of these words at the inaugural Mockingbird Dallas event on March 7, 2020. Major thanks to all who came and helped pull it off. Have you ever played the children’s card game “Concentration”? You have all these facedown cards randomly distributed, and you turn over two at a time looking for […]

Memoirs of a Geisha’s Hairline and the Halftime Show

This one comes to us from Isabella Yosuico. Some Christians are still lamenting the recent Super Bowl halftime show, murmuring disapproval at scantily clad Shakira and JLo pulsing to Latin beats and pole dancing in barely-there costumes. My own small group raised voices and prayers in sincere concern about America’s moral decay. But are racy […]

Scorekeeping on Valentine’s Day

The book tour continues for #Seculosity! Catch David Zahl as he travels to Richmond, VA, on March 4; Pittsburgh, PA (Ligonier), on March 12; and Colombia, SC, on March 18. He’ll also be presenting at The Virginia Festival of The Book in Charlottesville on March 19. In the meantime, in honor of Cupid’s holiday, here’s a snippet […]

On Being the Occasion of Joy in Rowan Williams’ “The Body’s Grace”

This is about “the doomed task of getting it right.” And by “it,” I mean sexuality. And by “I,” I mean Rowan Williams. Doomed, he says, because “[n]othing will stop sex being tragic and comic. It is above all the area of our lives where we can be rejected in our bodily entirety … And […]

An Exhausting Valentine’s Day c/o the “Religious Cards Section”

Last week I found myself flipping through wedding cards, looking for the perfect one for a friend tying the knot this month. I always have high expectations to find what I never can — the perfect mix of sincerity, humor, a nice design, and not too much cheese. It’s an impossible task. And I’ve always […]

Damaged Goods, Law/Gospel Confusion, and the Elusive Meaning of Love…

Sometimes I’m thinking that I love you But I know it’s only lust The sins of the flesh Are simply sins of lust… – Gang of Four, “Damaged Goods” The popular 80s song declares, “I wanna know what love is.” We all want to know what love is. More specifically, we want to know what […]

Signals Lead to Earplugs

In the office we recently ordered Kate Murphy’s You’re Not Listening. Murphy, a journalist based in Houston, is good at her job because she is good at listening, and has basically written a book about the lessons she’s learned in the field—what makes for a good listener, why pretend listening is so easy to sniff […]

Little Women and the Truth We’re Too Scared to Say

This response to the hit film comes to us from Grace Leuenberger. Back in August, the first trailer for Greta Gerwig’s Little Women was released to the world wide web. I watched it approximately fifteen times, enraptured by the casting, the energy, the excitement surrounding a new version of a movie I loved growing up. […]