Category: Culture

my review of Jamil Jivani’s “Why Young Men?”

I reviewed Jamil Jivani’s new book, Why Young Men?, for Comment magazine. It’s a fascinating (and sometimes frustrating) book that explores the very important question of why young men are radicalized and embrace violence. It is a bit tricky to nail down...

/ June 11, 2018

“What would it be like to surrender?”

This story by Jonathan Parks-Ramage about his encounter with an evangelical church in LA is moving and beautiful: Treat presents a ready-made identity, perfect for those who feel lost. In the months leading up to this service, I spoke with...

/ June 4, 2018

when the plant closes

Alec MacGillis has been doing stellar work about some of America’s neglected places, and this piece about a town in Ohio grappling with the imminent closure of a coal-fired power plant is no different: Lee Anderson, director of governmental affairs...

/ June 1, 2018

“we don’t speak a language, we speak normal!”

Our family lived down the road from Shelvis and Nancy Smith-Mather when I worked in South Sudan, and we were enormously blessed to be their neighbors and friends. They, like us, have had to relocate and are now doing peacebuilding...

/ May 28, 2018

sex robots: not just about sex anymore… or ever!

Everyone loves a good read about the history of sex robots, right? “Sex robots,” therefore, have always been about more than sex. They’ve been a cultural repository for wider uncertainties in times of social change: a literalization of the fear...

/ May 18, 2018

it’s all about governance and trust

Shadi Hamid, Vanda Felbab-Brown, and Harold Trinkunas share an excerpt from their new book on governance and trust, a subject that I’ve been banging on about for quite a while now: The Taliban claims to adhere to a strict interpretation of...

/ May 17, 2018

the history of capitalism and the glory of man

Note: I am sorry for the inconsistent posting schedule. Our family moved two weeks ago to our new field of service and the internet here is so inconsistent that I have been unable to connect every time that I sat...

/ May 14, 2018

the problem with values

Charlie Clark (one of the Fare Forward founders) has published a speech he gave recently at Dartmouth, and I empathize quite a bit with these lines about “values” in regards to medical education: I don’t know about you, but my...

/ April 25, 2018

“For G-d So Loved Haiti”

There is so much here in this long essay about the controversial Pentecostal preachers of Haiti and the traditional Vodou practices: I asked [the pastor] whether he had founded Shalom to combat Vodou in the country, and he shook his...

/ April 23, 2018

spend time with poor people, be friends and neighbors

I love it when Eve Tushnet gets on her soapbox about poverty and virtue, and this great piece about the much-touted “success sequence” is no exception: The people I speak with believe they have a responsibility—there’s that word again—to achieve...

/ April 17, 2018