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In Praise of Emotional Time Travel (Sort of)

In Praise of Emotional Time Travel (Sort of)

It arrived while we were at the beach. I had almost delayed our trip to be there to receive the package in person. Even from afar I could feel the tectonic plates of my personal archaeology click into place. After decades of dreaming and pining, a copy of New Mutants...
Freedom to Be ... Bored?

Freedom to Be … Bored?

Starting around mid-June, people in our St. Louis suburban neighborhood began shooting off fireworks every night (illegality notwithstanding). Both firepower and frequency steadily increased until the climax on Independence Day. Some households had clearly spent hundreds of dollars apiece for the occasion, particularly on the heavy-duty artillery shell fireworks. The...
Forty-Eight Years After John Lewis Was Attacked

Forty-Eight Years After John Lewis Was Attacked

A stop-you-in-your-tracks story of (and reflection upon) sin, repentance, reconciliation, and hope from the late congressman John Lewis’ final book, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America, which we discuss on the forthcoming episode of The Mockingcast. Even if you’ve heard about the incident elsewhere,...
COVID Stole the Wienermobile and Everyone Is Grieving

COVID Stole the Wienermobile and Everyone Is Grieving

Well, the virus finally hit my small town in rural Pennsylvania last week, and it hit in a way that surprised us all. Don’t worry, we’re all fine and healthy for the most part. But the virus hasn’t just come for our bodies and spirits. The most recent casualty of...
Auden's Missing Mercy

Auden’s Missing Mercy

The constant background of stress caused by a brand-spanking-new kind of plague, combined with widespread social unrest and a particularly contentious election year, have all conspired to put a serious crimp in my attention span. This has become particularly noticeable in my reading habits; it has to be good, like...
A Newly Discovered (and Entirely Short-Sighted) Ancient Roman Letter

A Newly Discovered (and Entirely Short-Sighted) Ancient Roman Letter

A rare find that’s almost too good to be true: Demetrius to Celsus, greetings. I pray you may always be in good health for many years to come. I praise you for your inquiring mind to discern the truth and wish to pass on to you what I have learned...
May My Virtue Signals Be Transformed Into Love

May My Virtue Signals Be Transformed Into Love

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains,...
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In Praise of Emotional Time Travel (Sort of)

It arrived while we were at the beach. I had almost delayed our trip to be there to receive the package in person. Even from afar I could feel the tectonic plates of my personal archaeology click into place. After decades of dreaming and pining, a copy of New Mutants 87 was mine. We’re talking […]

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 […]

Self-Care for My Inner Child and Me

Not to rub it in, but we’re in better shape over here in Australia than you are in America (pandemic-wise). But I’m still smarting from the effects of lockdown and, in particular, homeschooling — although I know that both could re-emerge at any moment. When the lockdown walls first began closing in, I knew that […]

Freedom to Be … Bored?

Starting around mid-June, people in our St. Louis suburban neighborhood began shooting off fireworks every night (illegality notwithstanding). Both firepower and frequency steadily increased until the climax on Independence Day. Some households had clearly spent hundreds of dollars apiece for the occasion, particularly on the heavy-duty artillery shell fireworks. The action was quite literally non-stop […]

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 […]

The God Who Needs

You could be forgiven for thinking you are no longer necessary. Since March, a flood of unemployment has judged countless people “non-essential.” But you don’t need to be waiting in the unemployment line in order to feel superfluous. Employed ministers cannot conduct crucial services in-person, while therapists feel helpless to guide their clients over Zoom. […]

Please Scream Inside Your Heart

A couple weeks ago the Wall Street Journal wrote about how several theme parks in Japan have recently reopened, but in an effort to keep the coronavirus contained, they’ve banned screaming on roller coasters. To enforce this no-screaming policy, their message is this: “Please scream inside your heart.” Of course, it didn’t take long for […]

#GospelResistance

Thankful for this post by our good friend, Jason Micheli: On Twitter today, the hashtag resist trended in dizzying directions, linking causes as disparate as police brutality, cancelling Tucker Carlson, and even cancelling cancel culture. #Resist was also linked to standing up against “oppressive” mask orders in localities hit by surges in the coronavirus. Given […]

When the Romans Got Infected

Grateful for this post by David Evans: Even though the media has called these months dominated by COVID-19 “unprecedented times,” historians have been quick to point out that epidemics and plagues are anything but unprecedented. Modern historians have reminded us of the Spanish Flu of 1918; medieval historians would ask us to consider the Bubonic […]

Masked Morality

The yarmulke, the burka, the hijab, the grey flannel suit, and the pork pie hat are all governed by cultural sanction and personal projections of belief. All are inwardly meaningful and outwardly expressive of that meaning; what we wear is far more than mere personal preferences for comfort or functionality. Undeniable sartorially manifested morality, messaged […]

The Reproachful Lectures of a Father: People-Watching in Gilead

If mid-twentieth-century Gilead were a real place, I would certainly buy a bus ticket there. This fictional Iowa town of Marilynne Robinson’s soon-to-be four novels has captured my imagination from the beginning, with Gilead (2004), followed by Home (2008), and Lila (2014). I can’t wait for the release of Jack (2020), but in the meantime, […]

John Lewis on Redemptive Suffering, Grace in Practice

Famously called “the conscience of the House,” the late congressman John Lewis began his career of activism at the American Baptist Theological Seminary. The following is an excerpt from his memoir, where he describes what he learned from his seminary professors: We talked a lot about the idea of “redemptive suffering,” which from the first […]