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Posts tagged "Failure"


Another Week Ends: OWL Pushback, Antihero Armstrong, Pearls for Gleason, New McCartney, Ambitious Slackers, Space Cowboys, Food-Profiling, and Dilbert’s Failure

1. Yesterday I mentioned the name-dropping op-ed that appeared on the Washington Post, Tullian Tchividjian’s “The Missing Message in Today’s Churches.” It’s fine little piece, notable as much for where it was published as what it is saying, most of which will be familiar to readers of this site: “Too many churches perpetuate the impression […]

The Mercilessness of College Football’s Win-Now Age

What an interesting time it is for college football. Lane Kiffin and Paul Pasqualoni were fired from their jobs last week–Kiffin from USC and Pasqualoni from UConn–after only three years of coaching. After The University of Southern California suffered a loss to Arizona State this past Saturday, Kiffin was let go. Finishing his career at USC with […]

Mariano Rivera and Success Made Memorable by a Failure

As a Red Sox fan, the many laws of sports kinship demand I hate Yanks closer Mariano Rivera. But the reality is, while I’ve watched him shutdown countless potential Sox comebacks, I’ve always respected him. Then the other day The Atlantic ran this article on his blown save in Game 7 of the 2001 World […]

Another Week Ends: Merciful Pontifex, Louis CK’s Daughters, Winning Losers, Seinfeld Movies, Dairy Queen Grace, and Whitewashing Walter

1. This guy! No doubt you’ve seen it elsewhere, but a must-read interview with Pope Francis I appeared this week in which the undeniably humble and surprisingly sympathetic Bishop of Rome articulated something like a new poetics of faith. Ironically enough, most pundits have jumped on his decidedly apolitical focus as evidence of some political […]

Adrian Peterson’s Theology of Glory (and Why It’s Unhelpful)

Perhaps you know the story: Adrian Peterson, who suffered from an injury that was to alter his career (tearing his ACL), returned the next year and had such a good season that he was named the NFL’s most valuable player. Players who tear their ACL usually don’t bounce back very well or very quickly, let […]

Jayber Crow’s Way of Mistakes and Surprises

An enchanting novel all the way around, Wendell Berry’s Jayber Crow is one of the Port William series, based fictionally on Mr. Berry’s own home, Port Royal, Kentucky. Jayber Crow is a barber-priest, a seminarian who left seminary to cut hair. He says this about the life that’s been given him:

d85bf1df2b96a58af0a3872824e1dc96c066f390_mIf you could do it, I suppose, it would be a good idea to live your life in a straight line–starting, say, in the Dark Wood of Error, and proceeding by logical steps through Hell and Purgatory and into Heaven. Or you could take the King’s Highway past appropriately named dangers, toils, and snares, and finally cross the River of Death and enter the Celestial City. But that is not the way I have done it, so far. I am a pilgrim, but my pilgrimage has been wandering and unmarked. Often what has looked like a straight line to me has been a circle or a doubling back. I have been in the Dark Wood of Error any number of times. I have known something of Hell, Purgatory, Heaven, but not always in that order. The names of many snares and dangers have been made known to me, but I have seen them only in looking back. Often I have received better than I have deserved. Often my fairest hopes have rested on bad mistakes. I am an ignorant pilgrim, crossing a dark valley. And yet for a long time, looking back, I have been unable to shake off the feeling that I have been led–make of that what you will.

Jesus Rides Beside The Replacements

Taken from A Mess of Help. There are no better poster-boys for “unrealized potential” than The Replacements. The Minneapolis band, affectionately known as The Mats, never quite made that one masterpiece or had that one smash hit. Their legend has only grown since they called it a day in the early 90s, but they are […]

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Meaning To

And here we have this morning’s second reflection on Malcolm Gladwell’s must-read “The Gift of Doubt”. Malcolm Gladwell recently wrote a piece for The New Yorker on the quirky but charismatic economist Albert O. Hirschman and his unorthodox ideas about creativity and success.  Despite being a “planner” himself, Hirschman thought that creativity can only be […]

The Paralysis of Analysis vs. the Gift of Bad Planning

This one comes to us from Sam Bush: I cringe to think of how much time I’ve wasted making decisions. The hours I waste paralyzed in the cereal aisle easily match the time I spend eating cereal (and I always end up choosing Oatmeal Crisp anyways). Personally speaking, the ratio of time spent agonizing over a decision to […]

Moral Failures, Half-Way Love, and the Wonder of Imputation

Heidelberg Catechism (1563) Question 60: How are you righteous before God? Only by true faith in Jesus Christ: that is, although my conscience accuses me, that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God, and have never kept any of them, and am still prone always to all evil; yet God, without any […]

No Success Like Failure?

I remember a couple of years ago someone protesting against something we had written, suggesting that “not everything in life can be boiled down to man’s struggle with success or failure.” While one could certainly see where such a rejoinder might come from–Lord knows we are no less immune to projecting a comfortable schema on […]

Upstream Ambition and the Universal Drift in Herman Melville’s “The Happy Failure”

The only short story most people are required to read in the Melville anthology is “Bartleby, the Scrivener”–a completely depressing novella about a man gone gloomy in Wall Street. People really do like Melville, and he’s gained the critical respect of the academy for his complex and vast allusive knowledge, as well as his unprecedented […]