Fundraising among “Friends”

From First Thoughts

Many years ago, I overheard a mother talking about graduation announcements with her teenaged child in a restaurant where I was eating.  Apparently they were going over a list of folks who would receive announcements and the child started asking who most of the people were.  The mother . . . . Continue Reading »

On Graceful Writing

From First Thoughts

On Graceful WritingRachel Toor has a fine essay at The Chronicle of Higher Education, “The Problem Is: You Write Too Well” (full text for subscribers only), which outlines a complaint that is heard with amazing frequency: your writing is too easy to read.  As Toor . . . . Continue Reading »

Arguments for the Existence of God

From First Thoughts

My academic training is in poetry but I love stout fiction, the kind Faulkner and Joyce wrote.  The kind that clothes life-like characters with carefully interwoven abstraction and emotional chaos.  Nothing emulates reality quite like these kinds of stories.  About a year ago I read . . . . Continue Reading »

Forgetfulness and the Gospel

From First Thoughts

The inimitable Russ Moore spoke at chapel on my campus (Union University) last week.  He preached from Deut. 24: 14-22, making a fascinating link between caring for the least among us and the local church, using orphans / adoption as the illustrating framework for his message. As I . . . . Continue Reading »