Category: Culture

CultureLifeTheology

Sitting Athwart History

Today I'm re-upping this post from May 2016.  Timothy George’s profile of Capitol Hill Baptist Church and its senior pastor, Mark Dever, is a joy to read. It was a joy for me personally because my wife and I are members of a church in Louisville that owes much to Dever and Capitol Hill. My…

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CultureLifeMusing

Against Snark

Snark, which the American Heritage Dictionary defines as a "snide, sarcastic, or disrespectful attitude," is the basic currency of online writing. Without mockery, sarcasm, or innuendo, a majority of published internet writing would simply evaporate. That's unfortunate, because among the low forms of discourse, snark might be at the very bottom. It is the least…

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CultureLifeMusing

The Politics of Distraction

I think Ross Douthat is exactly right about the need for some kind of positive, strategic response to the smartphone age. "Compulsions are rarely harmless," he writes, and therein lies the key point: Digital addiction is real, and its long term consequences, though mysterious now, will not be something to receive with gladness. Some may…

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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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CultureJournalismPolitics

The Ignore Button

So let's recap: Milo Yiannopolous's career thus far consists entirely of a rhetorical con. He insists that he is a champion of free speech and that people only shut him down because they are scared by the correctness of his ideas. Meanwhile, he is silly, flamboyantly offensive, needlessly cruel, hopelessly recalcitrant, and endlessly self-absorbed. But…

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CulturePoliticsRandom

Michael Novak & Me

Michael Novak passed away today. I owe this remarkable Catholic intellectual a debt of gratitude, because his lecture "Awakening From Nihilism" was crucially formative for me. At the First Things blog, I've written a brief reflection on Novak's insights and why they are so relevant right now. Here's an except from the blog: What I found…

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CultureLifeMusing

On Moral Equivalency and Xbox

A friend of mine got a (predictably) hostile reaction on Facebook when he recently posted this status: If you are a young man wishing he had a young woman with whom to spend Valentine's Day, the single biggest thing you can do to improve your prospects is to stop playing video games. I am not…

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CulturePolitics

The Coming Polygamy Showdown

Critics of legalized same-sex marriage have often made the point that many, and perhaps all, of the arguments in favor of what the Supreme Court in Obergefell can also be applied to the legalization of polygamy marriage and plural marriage. Proponents of marriage redefinition have often responded by dismissing this claim as slippery slope scaremongering; Andrew Sullivan's "conservative…

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