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David Mills is former executive editor of First Things.

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The Revolutionary Manger

From First Thoughts

I commend to you Ross Douthat’s latest column, Ideas From a Manger . The classic manger scene is “an entire worldview in a compact narrative,” he writes. It’s about the vertical link between God and man — the angels, the star, the creator stooping to enter his creation. . . . . Continue Reading »

Francis Speaks Again

From First Thoughts

“The Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don’t feel offended,” says Pope Francis, in answer to a question about how he feels about “ultraconservative” critics of his  Evangelii Gaudium calling him a marxist. . . . . Continue Reading »

Christians, Conservatism, and Jews

From First Thoughts

The satire may be a little heavy-handed in an Onion article on the Worldwide Jewish Conspiracy , but it does get at the way some people feel about Jews. Or, as some of them would put it, “the Jews.” (That definite article is important.) Or, at a strategic rhetorical distance, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Christmas Earthquake

From First Thoughts

A lovely and imperative meditation on Christmas from  America on   The Terrifying First Christmas . The First Christmas, we tend to forget, rattles a marriage. It exiles a family. It endangers lives. And it provokes a madman to murder. The brisk descriptions in the New Testament fail to . . . . Continue Reading »

Meet Dr. Boli, and Bailey as Well

From First Thoughts

An interview with our own Dr. Boli and his invented alter ego Christopher Bailey. For example: PETE: Dr. Boli, do have any words to describe your relationship with your persona, Chris Bailey? DR. BOLI:  What bicentenarian gentleman would not wish to imagine himself, even if only for a moment, . . . . Continue Reading »

Edward T. Oakes, R.I.P.

From First Thoughts

Father Edward Oakes, S.J., distinguished theologian, gifted writer and teacher, generous ecumenist, and our friend, has died, of pancreatic cancer, at 8:00 this morning. The announcement from the Academy of Catholic Theology, of which Father Oakes was president, reports: Father Oakes entered . . . . Continue Reading »

A Note on Anti-Semitism

From First Thoughts

“Why are we compelled to dismiss him simply because the truth regarding the history of Zionism may be uncomfortable?” protests a commenter on reading my Greek Archbishop Speaks, Doesn’t Help . He argues that the criticism of the archbishop’s words—mine and the Greek . . . . Continue Reading »