Review: “Beauty and the Beast” (2017)

When the history of Hollywood’s current creative stagnation is written, we very well might regard the new live action version of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” as the quintessential movie of the era. It is a remarkably efficient summation both of...

/ March 21, 2017

My Father’s Anger

Growing up, I did not see my father angry often. But it did happen. If my father was angry with me, it was almost certainly for one of two reasons. Either I had disrespected my mother, or else I had...

/ March 18, 2017

If You Like Your Theocracy, You Can Keep Your Theocracy

My issue with pieces like this one comes down to a question of good-faith. In a certain context, given some mutual assumptions and amongst people who share particular convictions, arguing from the New Testament to a certain political program can...

/ March 16, 2017

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...

/ March 16, 2017

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...

/ March 14, 2017

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...

/ March 12, 2017

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...

/ March 10, 2017

The Shack and the Problem of Christian Entertainment

Look at this headline from a movie review in The Metro: The evangelical entertainment ‘The Shack’ is almost a real movie I’m not entirely sure why, but what struck me most about this headline was not the clever zinger, but...

/ March 3, 2017

New Atheism vs Science

Thomas Nagel has an erudite and punchy review of a new book by “Four Horseman” Daniel Dennett. Read the whole thing here, but here’s the haymaker: I am reminded of the Marx Brothers line: “Who are you going to believe,...

/ March 2, 2017

Policing the Purity Police

As someone who is generally sympathetic to the ideological quadrant from whence arguments like this one come, I am slow, usually, to critique writers who call for more purity, more clarity, and more protection for men and women in the...

/ February 28, 2017