The Other Internet

From the March 2016 Print Edition

It is not the labor that is divided; but the men,” complains the author. Society produces “morbid thinkers, and miserable workers” because we have separated thought from labor in pursuit of a destructive freedom. What we need instead is a countercultural submission to the patterns of creation, . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Ground in Wheaton

From Web Exclusives

The following remarks were among several friendly responses to Professor Miroslav Volf’s presentation, “Do Christians & Muslims Worship the Same God?” delivered at the Islamic Foundation of Villa Park, IL on Feb. 27, 2016. Caught up in national headlines about our presumed Islamophobia, we . . . . Continue Reading »

The Cardinal Virtues & The Walking Dead

From Web Exclusives

An academic friend was visiting from abroad, and after a day of talks and teaching, we wound down around ten o’clock at night. Noticing my exhaustion, he offered a secret to decompression. “Zohmbies, Mahtt,” he counseled in his inimitable Greek accent. So it was that I tuned into my first . . . . Continue Reading »

An American Virgil

From Web Exclusives

Among the more adventurous sallies in church décor in recent memory is the dancing saints sequence at San Francisco’s Saint Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church, where Hypatia, Charles Darwin and William Blake among others have been drafted into the communio sanctorum. Perhaps the program is less a . . . . Continue Reading »

Celibacy in the City

From Web Exclusives

The day after the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage this summer, I was in line for the Ferris Wheel with my three year old daughter. An insufficiently directive ride attendant left me confused as to which car to enter. Do we get our own? Do we pile in with strangers? Whatever our options might . . . . Continue Reading »

All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Evangelicalism

From Web Exclusives

Sometime in the mid-1990s, sickened by what I perceived as the shallowness of evangelical culture in suburban Wheaton, Illinois, I launched into the post-hippie, proto-hipster nightlife of Chicago. I roamed not yet fully gentrified streets with dropouts and homeless people, under the L-tracks and along the wind-battered shores of the third coast. The counter-culture then radiated from Belmont Avenue, which I imagined to be something like what Haight-Ashbury (since colonized by Ben & Jerry’s) must have been in 1969.Following one such night of seeking suburban Wheaton’s opposite, I experienced a moment of transfixing beauty. I wandered into Lincoln Park Zoo at dawn and had it all to myself—a solitary Adam among the animals. Then, as I watched sea lions frolic in the shallows of their tank I braced myself for a return to Wheaton College where I would reluctantly (and barely) finish my undergraduate degree. In my arrogance, I may have even thought to myself that I was returning to splash in the shallows with evangelicals like the animals before me. Continue Reading »

50 Years from T. S. Eliot

From Web Exclusives

Much already has been and will be said about T. S. Eliot this year, which marks a half-century since his death. Attempts to map his posthumous critical fortunes inevitably convey a downright Biblical pattern—the uniform literary “Hosanna!” of the 1960’s morphing, by the 1990’s, into a collective “Crucify him!” The turnabout is well expressed by literary maven Cynthia Ozick, who displayed something of both attitudes in an exquisite essay entitled T. S. Eliot at 101. Continue Reading »

Our Death Mounds

From Web Exclusives

As the Western suburbs of Chicago go, it’s a spectacular view. To the distant north is the angular, imposing steeple of Wheaton Bible Church. To the south looms the imperious tower of Fermilab, guarding its unnaturally circular particle accelerator. Continue Reading »

Advent for Artists

From Web Exclusives

After years of premature Christmas celebrations, even evangelicals are learning to reclaim Advent, the season of preparation. Might the enclaves of high culture do the same? What follow are a few suggestions.

 Among the holiday specials on offer at the Museum of Modern Art right now is the Robert Gober retrospective, The Heart is Not a Metaphor. But it unfurls far too quickly. Art-loving audiences are confronted all at once with a decapitated Jesus, a trash-can baptismal font, genitally themed wallpaper, cryptic sinks, decontextualized fragments of Hieronymous Bosch paintings and androgenized body parts roasting in a fireplace. Why not mete these gallery features out slowly, over four weeks?

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