Artocalypse No (Redux)

From First Thoughts

Christian complaints of being willfully misunderstood by secularists will win far more sympathy when those same Christians stop willfully misunderstanding contemporary art.  P.D. Young has some advice in that regard :   “If you cannot name five contemporary artists, you need put all . . . . Continue Reading »

An Old Enemy

From First Thoughts

In his much-discussed column last month highlighting Christian Smith’s much-discussed sociology of young adults , David Brooks laments that young adherents of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism aren’t even that moral.  “Morality was once revealed, inherited and shared, but now . . . . Continue Reading »

Salon des Refusés

From First Thoughts

Those frustrated with the art world’s prohibition of non-ironic religious art might enjoy this lecture from art historian John Walford. Walford begins by quoting a contemporary art critic who asserts the non-existence of serious art by Protestant Christians.  Walford then goes on to . . . . Continue Reading »

In Defense of a NASCAR Prayer

From First Thoughts

Everyone is loving to hate Pastor Joe Nelms’ oft-viewed prayer to open a recent NASCAR event.  I couldn’t even find an articulate condemnation—something with conviction like, “High priest of consumerism breathes oil-addicted Empire’s last pious gasp.”  . . . . Continue Reading »

John Stott: A Young Evangelical

From First Thoughts

Amidst commentary on the passing of evangelical leader John Stott has been the occasional suggestion that Stott represented the propositionalist, logic-driven, “modern” evangelicalism of the past. For better or for worse, younger evangelicals today, on the other hand, tend to prefer . . . . Continue Reading »

When Art Plays Church

From First Thoughts

The Venice Biennale - the World Cup of art - just awarded top prize to Germany, the Leone d’Oro for Best National Participation, because of a church . The winning entry, built by the recently deceased artist Christoph Schlingensief, is an impressive pseudo-chapel lined with the artist’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Knowing the Beautiful

From the May 2011 Print Edition

Poetry, Beauty, and Contemplation: The Complete Aesthetics of Jacques Maritain by John Trapani Catholic University of America, 176 pages, $34 .95 The turn of 2011 saw the art world embroiled in a controversy as predictable as the Venice Biennale. This time it was a protest of the Smithsonian’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Ecumenical Ball in the Catholic Court

From First Thoughts

Richard John Neuhaus and Avery Cardinal Dulles were fond of referring to the Catholic Church’s irrevocable commitment to ecumenism.  Why then haven’t any Catholics yet taken up the Andrew and Sarah Wilson’s proposal to respond to their Lutheran pilgrimage from Erfurt to Rome . . . . Continue Reading »

Not Your Grandmother’s Atonement

From First Thoughts

Father Thomas Hopko, the former Dean of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, relates an unusual anecdote.  He describes sitting in on the Lesbian Christology session at the American Academy of Religion, where he heard a scholar severely criticize the notion that God the Father . . . . Continue Reading »