Category: Books

Everything Is Awful (But Only On Twitter)

I’m headed to the mountains for vacation tomorrow, and will be signing out of all social media for the duration of my holiday. Unplugging from social media and taking vacation seem to go hand in hand, for a lot of...

/ May 9, 2017

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...

/ April 20, 2017

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...

/ April 5, 2017

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...

/ March 27, 2017

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...

/ March 23, 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

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

Why Do Liberals Love Harry Potter?

My favorite read of the day is this article on understanding why progressives, especially millennials in the Obama to post-Obama era, are so in love with using the Harry Potter stories as metaphors for America’s current cultural moment. The author...

/ February 6, 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

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