Category: Books

Books

How to Think

My review of Alan Jacobs's forthcoming book How to Think: A Survival Guide For a World at Odds, is up at the Mere Orthodoxy main page. Here's a snippet: Happily, How To Think is not a Trump-directed polemic or a guidebook for navigating Twitter. Readers familiar with both topics will probably get the maximum satisfaction from Jacobs’s…

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BooksCultureTheology

God Is & God Does

I've been reading Joe Rigney's The Things of Earth: Treasuring God By Enjoying His Gifts, and cannot recommend it too highly. For me Joe's contemplations have been like cold spring water on a thick August afternoon. For years I have felt like something was missing in my understanding of how to love the things God…

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BooksCultureTheology

What Hogwarts Can Teach Us About Friendship

Why were the Harry Potter stories so wildly successful? What was it about them, as opposed to hundreds of other "young adult" novels, that embossed onto the consciousness of a generation? Why are we celebrating the 20th anniversary of their US publication with the same kind of enthusiasm as if the books were published last…

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BooksCultureLifeMusing

Some Advice for Writers

Recently a few friends of mine have asked me about writing, and for some perspective and/or advice on how to get started doing it seriously. I've given the same advice enough times that I figured it might be helpful to put what I most frequently say here as a kind of reference. As always, none…

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BooksPoliticsPop culture

The Death of Expertise

Remember that famous scene in Peter Weir’s “Dead Poets Society,” in which professor Keating (played by Robin Williams) orders his English literature students to tear out the introductory pages of their poetry textbook? Those pages, Keating explains, are the soulless pontifications of a scholar trying to explain verse. Nonsense, says Keating. Poetry isn’t what some…

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BooksCultureLifeMusing

The Other Woman

Thinking about this passage from Brian Jay Jones's lovely biography of George Lucas: What wasn't right was that George and [then-wife] Marcia's thirteen year marriage was quickly imploding, largely because of Lucas's own neglect. He knew he could be difficult to live with. "It's been very hard on Marcia, living with somebody who is constantly in…

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BooksPop cultureTheology

The Pagans Who Will Save Christian Publishing

I was reminded recently of one of my favorite anecdotes from Russell Moore. It's about the day that Dr. Carl F.H. Henry told him that the next great Christian leaders were probably pagans right now: Several of us were lamenting the miserable shape of the church, about so much doctrinal vacuity, vapid preaching, non-existent discipleship. We…

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BooksCultureMusingTheology

Purpose-Driven Premodernism

I've finished reading Rod Dreher's "The Benedict Option." In my view, it's a fine book, one that articulates a theologically faithful response to the West's cultural moment. I'll have more thoughts on it later (and a brief review in a forthcoming issue of the ERLC's Light Magazine) , but for now I want to share a couple…

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BooksCultureeducationFeaturedTheology

Homeschooling and the Benedict Option

While reading Charlotte Allen's nice takedown of a fearmongering Washington Post piece about homeschooling, I was reminded again how hard it can be to extinguish certain anxieties. The anti-homeschooling activists profiled by the Post have had difficult life experiences inside homeschooling. That shouldn't be minimized or ridiculed. But, as Allen points out, the rhetoric of these anti-homeschooling crusaders…

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