I haven’t had much direct experience with death. Only now, in my mid-thirties, have I gained a sense of anything remotely like permanent loss. Nearly two years ago a friend my age passed away from lung cancer. At the time we were both part of a reading group which had just finished a book entitled […]
Perhaps you’ve watched the interview in which Stephen Colbert talks about his faith? A couple of things said in the interview got me thinking about my own faith and the fine balance between hope and despair. This is partly due to the fact that at the moment I’m trying to make sense of the […]
What is responsible for the rise of atheism in history? According to Nick Spencer the answer lies in politics, not science. And it’s politics, he thinks, that explains why only 2% of American report being atheists, and why those atheists continue to be regarded more negatively than religious believers.
Spencer’s general argument rests on […]
How do we recognize the hand of providence? All historians have to confront this question in some form. Considered in literary terms providence is a trope, one emplotment of structured explanation amongst many. In the attempt to understand and explain the past historians offer scholarly stories in which evidence is intentionally collected, critically evaluated, and […]
Has triumphalism been defeated? That’s a purposefully ambiguous and potentially self-contradictory question. It may be safe to say that it has been seriously challenged, but you don’t have to listen to the news very long before you hear narratives of political, cultural, or religious triumph aired from New Delhi to New York.
In his magnum […]
Since Sources of the Self Charles Taylor has contended that ours is a fractured world. The world in question is that of the North Atlantic, including Europe and North America. The world in question is also a worldview in that Taylor has examined what he takes to be the trajectory of the moral and mental […]
The first song I learned by heart was Harry Chapin’s “Mr. Tanner,” (embedded below) a crushingly sad tune about a laundromat owner from Dayton, Ohio, who loves to sing. Here’s the first verse:
“Mr. Tanner was a cleaner from a town in the Midwest
And of all the cleaning shops around, he’d made his the best
William James wrote things that can still ring true. Consider a quote from the The Varieties of Religious Experience: “This inferiority of the rationalistic level in founding belief is just as manifest when rationalism argues for religion as when it argues against it.” I say “ring true” because James attempts to describe the varieties of […]
I’ve been eavesdropping a bit on the conversation about celebrity pastors. I first peaked in on Richard Clark’s piece at The Gospel Coalition, and then read this great followup on the irony of TGC hosting Clark’s piece and then tossing up a bunch of candids of everyone’s favorite celeb pastors and theologians […]
I grew up in a fundamentalist church that purposefully and actively sequestered itself and its members from the rest of the world whenever possible. For example, when its founding members’ children reached school age, they started a school to spare their children the corruption of secular schools.
This is not uncommon, perhaps your Christian school […]
TagsAndrew Sullivan Apologetics Arts Atheism Barack Obama Bible Book Review Books Capitalism Catholic Church Charles Taylor Christian Christianity Christianity Today Church Conservatives Evangelicalism Evangelicals Facebook Faith God Gospel Coalition History Jesus Journalism Mark Driscoll Marriage Marvin Olasky Media Michele Bachmann New Sincerity New York Times Not Your Mother's Morals Patheos Philosophy Politics Pop Culture Religion Religion and Spirituality Rob Bell Ross Douthat Same-sex marriage Secularism Theology United States