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Week In Review

Another Week Ends: Jesus in the News, Body-Positivity, Unconditional Love, Score-Keeping, and Grace for Life-Wasters

1. Kicking off this week we take a bit of a deep dive into all the Jesus articles that appeared over the holiday season, which featured no small amount of controversy. On Christmas Eve, Peter Wehner wrote in the New York Times of “The Forgotten Radicalism of Jesus,” assembling a variety of gospel narratives to argue […]

Another Week Ends: Eating Chips, the Age of Machines, Family Estrangement, Self-Forgiveness, Andy Reid, Dunkin’ Affleck, and the Long-Awaited Jesus Idea

1. But have you tried eating chips? This week at the New York Times, Sam Anderson makes a case for wading through the morass of now with the nearest bag of Cool Ranch Doritos: That is the great virtue of chips: They are here for us to eat them. So that is what we will […]

An Epiphany for the Haters (and Anyone Else Tempted, Like Me, to Call it on 2021)

“Make the world go away / Just get it off my shoulder.” Elvis sang those lines in 1970 and the refrain has been ringing in my head the last few days. This is a week, after all, usually spent generating excitement about the new year. Brainstorming, organizing, “casting vision,” setting balls in motion, girding loins, […]

Another Week Ends: A Darth Vader Nativity, Holiday Blues, Christmas Hope, the Star of the Magi, & the Parable of a Dirty Sock

1. Every year, the Vatican erects a different nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square. They’re kind of a big deal. Past displays have been politically themed, while others were more traditionally beautiful. But the chosen scene this year is causing quite the stir. Including a fire extinguisher, ring-wraith figurine, and an astronaut helmet, the New […]

Another Week Ends: COVID Travel, Library Life Lessons, Celebrity Downfalls, Satan Claws, Advent, and evermore

1. Late in November, I had to stop watching the news. (As if it had been so beneficial prior to that.) But more than ever, the headline refrains were becoming, for me, untenable: Don’t visit your family! Thanksgiving=bad! But I had already made up my mind. I was going. And it seems I wasn’t the […]

Another Week Ends: Liam’s Hymn, UnOptimistic Hope, Medical Forgiveness, Neo-Feudalism, Toxic Productivity, Bradbury Imputation, and Bee Gees

1. First up, just in the nick of time, Oasis main-man/’90s troublemaker Liam Gallagher ushers us into the season with a soul-stirring hymn to the “kind of love that’ll be there when the world is at its worst.” The tune is what they call a real belter, potent enough to close out the next season […]

Another Week Ends: Martin Luther’s Emails, Resilient Kids, Fresh Starts, Popped Pandemic Bubbles, and Joy with Parkinson’s

1. Every now and then, you get to start the weekender out with the humor section. This week’s gem from the New Yorker, “Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses, as E-mailed by Your Passive-Aggressive Co-Worker,” stole the show: FROM: TO: All Vatican Staff Subject: A Quick Note Not to be that guy, and most of this […]

Another Week Ends: Active Listening, Moral Injury, Salad Righteousness, Yoga Humor, and Fat-Shaming

1. Leading off this week, Carlen Maddux has a fantastic interview with none other than Mary Zahl discussing the practice of active listening and its transformative, healing power. While most of our daily conversations could be said to be two people waiting for the other person to stop talking, active listening is something else altogether: […]

Another Week Ends: The Good Lord Bird, American Weakness, Election Anxiety, Romance, Segmented Sleep, and the Power of Sound

1. Probably the smartest thing I did this week was bypass most election coverage to binge The Good Lord Bird, a limited series on Showtime about John Brown. The show’s title comes from a nickname for the glorious ivory-billed woodpecker, a rare bird that represents understanding: “They say one feather from a Good Lord Bird […]

Another Week Ends: Unhappy Affluence, Aging Springsteen, COVID Grief, High Art Humor, Ghostly Foes, and Billy Joe Shaver

1. Not a particularly easy week to round up, as almost everything out there right now is conjecture of one kind or another, and I’m pretty sure I just wrote something about the pitfalls of prediction addiction. So I’ll stick to the handful of evergreen subjects that’ve come across my screen. First up would be […]

Another Week Ends: Niche Sports, Faith Healers, Super-Parents, Rediscovering Privacy, and Your Done List

1. Mbird speaker emeritus Oliver Burkeman has a new twice-a-month newsletter with a great name, The Imperfectionist, which you can sign up for if you’d like. In his inaugural edition of the newsletter, Burkeman has an uncanny insight into the unpayable debt of the cosmic to-do list: What if — and personally I find this […]

Another Week Ends: Canceling Christmas, Acceptance Parenting, Emily Dickinson, the Church in 2020, Law and Gospel, and Myside Bias

1. Will COVID cancel Christmas this year? I certainly hope not, but that’s what Giles Fraser asks in his latest at UnHerd. Much about this year’s celebration will undoubtedly be different, if not cancelled; [The Grinch] COVID might steal our banquets, caroling, pageants, and large gatherings, but perhaps this year the pathos and joy of […]