What Makes Rock Christian?

From First Thoughts

The recent release of Switchfoot’s new project Fading West led to more questions for lead singer Jon Foreman on how his band can be Christian when its songs lack explicit Christian content. Foreman’s answer has basically remained that his songs are Christian because they are deeply . . . . Continue Reading »

The Eighth Day

From First Thoughts

There is a realism about history and historical progress that a Christian vision of life brings. This realism stems from what Christopher Lasch referred to as an awareness “that the contingent, provisional, and finite quality of temporal things finds its most vivid demonstration not just in the death of individuals but in the rise and fall of nations.” Such an awareness does not deny a telos to the history of life, but it does remove its fulfillment from the realm of mere human activity, whether economic, political, or otherwise. Continue Reading »

Looking Ahead to Holy Saturday

From First Thoughts

During my youth, on more than one occasion, I recall ministers declaring that Christ entered into hell’s dungeons after his death on the cross, ripped the keys out of the hands of a cowardly devil, and set the captives free. This declaration would conclude with the words of Christ, “fear not, I . . . . Continue Reading »

The Artist as Co-Creator

From First Thoughts

J. R. R. Tolkien begins The Silmarillion with Ilúvatar (the “Father of All”) engaged in the act of creation. Creation unfolds according to the theme of the Great Music that Ilúvatar inspires in each of the Ainur (“Holy Ones”) through the Imperishable Flame. For . . . . Continue Reading »