A Return to Mystery

Hans Boersma is a distinguished evangelical theologian who holds the J.I. Packer Chair at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. In Nouvelle Théologie and Sacramental Ontology he reveals himself to be not only a scholar but also something of a mystic for our times. In studying the Catholic nouvelle théologie of the twentieth century, Boersma aims to overcome what Jesuit theologian Jean Daniélou described as the “rupture between theology and life.” … Continue Reading »

Johnny Cash: One More Time

As goes Scripture, so goes country music: The great lines are reused forever. Just listen to the final song that Johnny Cash composed, titled “I Corinthians 15:55,” and the refrain, which goes like this: Oh death, where is thy sting?
Oh grave, where is thy victory? Oh life, you are a shining path
… . Continue Reading »

Scoundrel Time(s)

The sexual and physical abuse of children and young people is a global plague; its manifestations run the gamut from fondling by teachers to rape by uncles to kidnapping-and-sex-trafficking. In the United States alone, there are reportedly some 39 million victims of childhood sexual abuse… . Continue Reading »

Bad Medicine

A kind of exhaustion always settles in, murky and miasmatic, after battle. The nation’s conservatives foresaw the apocalypse if the Democrats’ plan for health-care reform passed, and on Sunday”yesterday, as I write”it did pass. The world didn’t end. The people didn’t rise up in rage. Furious lightning didn’t descend from the heavens to smash the apostate Capitol into rubble… . Continue Reading »

Should Catholic Charities Settle for Harm Reduction?

Sr. Maureen Joyce, CEO of Catholic Charities in Albany, New York, described its recent decision to implement a needle exchange program for HIV/AIDS prevention as mere “common sense””a perfect reflection of the conventional, which is to say misguided, wisdom of favoring “harm reduction” techniques over other methods of confronting drug abuse… . Continue Reading »

The Loser Letters

I hope you guys all know that it’s a bit daunting having this much expert firepower trained on my little book“kind of like having the National Symphony Orchestra sit in on a first grader’s piano recital. I can only hope that if in the course of the book, or this talk, I commit any literary sins of the theological variety, all the eminent religious leader here will just do the obvious Christian thing”and keep quiet about them. Remember, it’s Lent… . Continue Reading »

The April Issue Is Here!

The April Issue of First Things is now available on newstands and online! This issue is filled with thoughtful essays, critical reviews, and lovely poetry”all of which, for a limited time, you can access for free below! For starters, here’s film critic Armond White’s excellent piece in this issue, “Do Film Critics Matter?””the perfect piece to read following Hollywood’s recent Oscars season. Continue Reading »