I am pleased to introduce two friends who have recently joined the list of regular writers for “First Thoughts.” We are honored, touched, moved, pleased as punch, happy as clams, and tickled pink to have them.

Readers of the magazine may recognize Mark Barrett, as he has been quoted several times in “While We’re At It” and is the source for other stories about which he didn’t say anything quotable. Or maybe I just pinched his lines. Can’t remember. He is the author of The Snug of the Pub tumblr, which gathers an eclectic collection of things and sometimes includes his own photographs. Mark grew up in a Irish Catholic family in the Bronx and now lives outside Pittsburgh, where he was a good friend and frequent companion, and writes with a sympathy for working and lower middle-class concerns rare among conservatives. He’s also a lawyer, and a Yankees fan, a wound of which, sadly, he will only be healed in the next world.

Readers of the magazine may also recognize Carl Trueman, who contributed Tragic Worship to the June/July issue. A professor of theology at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, former editor of the journal  Themelios , and author of books thick (his Luther’s Legacy: Salvation and English Reformers, 1525-1556 [Oxford]) and thin ( Republocrat is the latest), he is an Englishman with a sharp view of things American as well as a genteel and irenic Calvinist. He writes frequently for the Reformation 21 weblog. He was also my host last week when I spoke at the seminary, and a very gracious host he was too.

One is American, one English. One is Irish, one English. One is Catholic, one Presbyterian. One works in the real world, one in academia. They both live in Pennsylvania, follow European football, drink good ales, admire Thomas and Calvin, and have interesting things to say. We’re glad to have them writing for us.

Update: I should have mentioned that Mark was the one who introduced me to Carl’s writing.

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