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Week In Review


Another Week Ends: Toxic Positivity, Justin Townes Earle, Boredom, College Reopening Disasters, and Unsolicited Advice

1. Kicking off this week’s review is a fantastic reflection in the Wall Street Journal by Mike Kerrigan: “A Late Bloomer Learns to Forgive.” A lawyer by occupation, Kerrigan speaks of his long-standing, uncomfortable relationship with forgiveness: In his autobiographical “Confessions,” St. Augustine of Hippo, whose Feast Day is celebrated Friday, admits praying as a […]

Another Week Ends: Strange Rites, QAnon, Gracious Gardens, Accelerated Alienation, Imputed Memes, Masterclasses and The Killers

1. First up, I had the privilege of penning the lead review in the latest issue of Christianity Today on Tara Isabella Burton’s phenomenal new book Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World. While the title might suggest significant overlap with #seculosity, Strange Rites is very much its own thing, both in terms of […]

Another Week Ends: No Good Choices, Fitness Prohibition, The Weight of Gold, Acceptable Prayers, Failing at Hygge, and How Not to Incentive Your Spouse

1. On The Mockingcast this week, our intrepid trio open the show by swapping their school plans for their kiddos. Sarah Condon shared that, even with a whole history of pot-stirring social media posts, she’s extremely hesitant to post her kids’ back-to-school photos. Claire Cain McMiller in the New York Times says Sarah is right […]

Another Week Ends: Canceling Hamilton, the Political Necessity of Forgiveness, the Worst Novel Ever, St. Augustine and Talking Heads, Tobe Nwigwe, and the Burdens of iOS Updates

1. For years I counted myself “above it all.” Never listened to the soundtrack. Never really wanted to. But when it became available on Disney+, at last I tuned in, albeit suspiciously. Reader, Hamilton is good. How good, the playwrights can debate. But there’s no question of the talent, creativity, and ultimate message of redemption […]

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 […]

Another Week Ends: Tom Holland, White Fragility, Religious Fandom, J.I. Packer, and Cancel-Culture Fear

1. High Profiles this week featured a fascinating in-depth interview with history writer Tom Holland about his intellectual journey, personal beliefs, Islam, secular liberalism, contemporary news, and Christianity more broadly. I think I am naturally conservative. I think I’m more moved by things that have been than things that might be. I feel the power of what’s […]

Another Week Ends: Cognitive Dissonance, Habit Formation, Transparent Influencers, Aging Album Covers, and a Love That Casts Out All Fear

1a. It’s been a big week for the social scientists among us. Two of our favorites, Elliot Aronson and Carol Tavris, had a hit article over at the Atlantic this week. We’ve been following the duo since 2011, when they published Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me). The authors are experts in describing how […]

Another Week Ends: UK Football, Mental Health, Passionate Rituals, Fundamentalist Politics, the Pure History Myth, and Jesus Working from Home

1. This week’s first link comes from the Athletic. As a young player, UK footballer Michael Johnson was a natural talent who appeared to be “in supreme control of his destiny.” He played professionally for only a few years before announcing his retirement in January 2013, when he was just 24, saying “he wished to […]

Another Week Ends: Jim Carrey’s Revelation, COVID Judgment, a New PZ Interview, Political Idolatry, the Curated Authenticity of Rachel Hollis, and the Great Awokening in Fiction

1. If you’ve ever seen an interview with Jim Carrey, you quickly realize that he is incredibly weird and awkwardly introspective. At times he seems to either be the lunatic of The Mask or a shaman-mystic, or both at the same time. Carrey is always fascinating, and judging from this LA Times article, his upcoming […]

Another Week Ends: Unreliable Interpreters, Radical Acceptance, Strange Rites, White Guilt, Parental Burnout, Doomscrolling, and Gritty Hope

Before we get going, time for our semi-annual update-and-appeal video: Click here to take us up on the invitation. And as always, THANK YOU! 1. Not sure how I missed this first one. Tim Kreider penned “A Pandemic Commencement” for Medium a few weeks ago and one paragraph in particular warrants embroidery (on a very […]

Another Week Ends: Sad Americans, Orphan Attachment, Fear of Failure, Wack-a-Mole Preaching, and the Greatest Weapon of the State

1. Any time the Resurrection breaks into the New York Times, it’s generally a thing to celebrate. But when Esau McCaulley offers the Resurrection as the balm for the trauma and rage of our times, it’s more than a celebration — it’s proclamation, which is even rarer. I’m tempted to share the whole op-ed, but […]

Another Week Ends: Hospital Housekeepers, the Resurrection, Systemic Racism, “Amazing Grace,” David Hume, and Ramy’s Performance of Religion (and Ours)

1. We’ll begin this weekend’s round-up with a truly lovely story of grace. Reported by Daniel Burke at CNN, it’s about a hospital housekeeper, Rosaura Quinteros, whose job was to mop floors, pull trash, and clean surfaces in the rooms of COVID-19 patients. In one particular room, the patient’s last rites had been administered; via […]