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Posts tagged "Fyodor Dostoevsky"

Experiencing Law and Gospel Through Dostoevsky and Jesus

Grateful for this post from Lisa Cooper: For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (Rom 3:20) If you had asked me as a fourteen-year-old where I was destined to be after I died — Heaven or Hell? — I […]

On Quarantine Moods and Finding Grace “Here, within These Peeling Walls”

When Books and Music Console Us in Insolation

Another Week Ends: Contingent Self-Esteem, the Devil in the Mirror, the Perception Gap, Little League Brawling, Cain and Abel and Forgiveness

1. Some fascinating links for your perusal this week, first of which is this, from Vice: The Pursuit of High Self-Esteem Is Making Us Miserable, by Shayla Love. What is here defined as “self-esteem” would be more accurately rendered “contingent self-esteem.” Notably the most popular of its kind, contingent self-esteem resembles flattery or affirmation and […]

Memories from the Future: A Word on Abandoned Houses, Nostalgia, and the Hope of the World

Grateful for this incredible piece by Nate Mills: When I was 3 or 4 I had an apocalyptic vision. It may not have been as otherworldly as the Ancient of Days appearing in resplendent glory like in Daniel 7, but it was unmistakably surreal. My family was taking a road trip from our home in […]

The Idiot Redux

Elif Batuman takes the title of her first novel, The Idiot, from a Dostoevsky classic. Her young protagonist, Selin, mirrors the innocent Prince Myshkin of the Russian novel. Although an allusion to that giant makes Batuman’s literary ambitions clear, for her sharp narrator, the title may be too self-deprecating. Selin’s a Turkish-American student starting at […]

Another Week Ends: Amy Chua’s Three Traits for Success, Nietzsche’s Subversion of Atheism, Why Fun Is Fun, The Eighth-Grade Ubermensch, Dostoevsky’s Internet Anxiety and Lena Dunham’s Eden

1. What happens when you combine an unshakeable superiority complex with deep insecurity? Probably a nervous breakdown in mid-life, or Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan. But Amy Chua (of “Tiger Mother” fame) asks us to guess again. The real answer is… success. For those unfamiliar with her work on hyper-controlling parenting (using that adjective as value-neutrally as possible), it’s […]

Hopelessly Devoted: Joshua Chapter Six Verses Fifteen through Twenty Five

This morning’s Hopelessly comes from the one and only Bryan Jarrell. Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house. But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, […]

John Gray and the Politics of Grace

“To think that human beings are freedom-loving, you have to be ready to view nearly all of history as a mistake.” So says pessimistic philosopher John Gray, in his wonderful recent book The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths. If it’s already beginning to sound a bit glum, well, he can’t really […]

Dostoevsky Talks Romans 7, Original Caprice, and Performancism

From his Notes from Underground, in which the great Russian author’s disturbed protagonist questions ideals of human progress, enlightenment, secular humanism, and other naïvetés of the nineteenth century – but timeless, too: But these are all golden dreams. Oh, tell me, who first announced, who was the first to proclaim that man does dirty only because […]

Religious Facts and the Difference Between a Crime and a Sin

More thoughts from the late Jaroslav Pelikan, taken from the “Dostoevsky: The Holy and the Good” chapter of Fools for Christ: The central discovery… for Dostoevsky was his realization that sin was not primarily a moral, but a religious fact. Sin did not consist in the mere violation of a law or transgression of a […]

The Element In Man For Which Moralism Cannot Account

Some germane thoughts from the late Jaroslav Pelikan, taken from the “Dostoevsky: The Holy and the Good” chapter of Fools for Christ, ht CB: Wherever Christianity is viewed as a quiet submission to traditional patterns of conduct and an acceptance of social convention, there will be no appreciation of the atheism of Ivan Karamazov. His […]

Another Week Ends: Manti Te’o, More Humblebragging, Russian Arrested Development, Pauline Economists, Pentecostal Megan Fox, Don’t Label Me and Shaking Caricatures

1. Some of the biggest news this week was Notre Dame quarterback Manti Te’o’s girlfriend – the one he had reportedly visited between games, who was sick and eventually died of leukemia – turning out to be a hoax. It was one of the most inspirational and heart-rending stories of the 2012 college football season and […]