The Thrill Is Gone

Some scattered thoughts about that Sherlock finale….[warning: possible spoilers ahead] To me, the whole of season 4 has been a scattered, hokey, delight-scarce mess. “The Final Problem” epitomized that characterization. Yes, it was interesting, in the same way that lots...

/ January 17, 2017

Who Framed Christopher Hitchens?

One of my favorite books from 2016 was Larry Taunton’s The Faith of Christopher Hitchens, which I reviewed for Mere-O. I found it to be a gripping spiritual biography of an atheist. No, the words “spiritual biography of an atheist”...

/ January 10, 2017

Flattery Politics

What’s the value of a populist policy platform if the campaign is obsessed with celebrity glitz and glamour? Why was the Democratic convention a parade of celebrities? Why are you turning over your social media accounts to Lena Dunham, to...

/ January 9, 2017

Thoughts on Christian Publishing

On Twitter, Jared Wilson flagged this list of the bestselling Christian books of 2016. I’ve seen previous iterations of this list, and each one that I’ve seen looks frighteningly alike. The gentlest way to say it: the Christian publishing industry is...

/ January 5, 2017

Social Media Resolutions for 2017

I will be less cynical. Sarcasm and withering criticism are to social media what static is to AM radio. There’s no need for one more person’s trying too hard to be funny. I won’t start or join a “pile-on.” If I...

/ December 28, 2016

Disappointed By Christmas

I’ve heard several people say the days and weeks after Christmas are one of the sadder and more melancholy times of the year for them. True for me as well. My parents have told me that when I was younger they watched...

/ December 27, 2016

C.S. Lewis on Christmas Gifts

From “What Christmas Means to Me” …the idea that not only all friends but even all acquaintances should give one another presents, or at least send one another cards, is quite modern and has been forced upon us by the...

/ December 23, 2016

The Threat to Reading

One of the most widely quoted sentences of Sir Francis Bacon–it comes from his essay “Of Studies”–concerns the reading of books: “Some books are to be tasted, others are to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested;...

/ December 21, 2016

Christmas and the Wrong Side of History

When you think about it, nearly everyone and everything connected to the first Christmas was on the wrong side of history. Zechariah and Elizabeth were on the wrong side of history for sure. They were an elderly Jewish couple, living...

/ December 21, 2016

It’s the Great Pariah, Charlie Brown!

Scene 1: An online “journalism” site pretends to be utterly shocked to find that two evangelical Christians, hosts of a feverishly popular home renovation show, actually attend an evangelical church, pastored by an evangelical theologian. The site earnestly contends (with...

/ December 16, 2016