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David Mills is former executive editor of First Things.

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American Cicero

From First Thoughts

In the new biography American Cicero , Bradley J. Birzer examines the life of an American founding father he calls “an exemplar of Catholic and Republican virtue.” (And, in the title of the first chapter, a “liberally-educated bastard.”) Birzer, who holds the Russell Kirk chair . . . . Continue Reading »

Believers at the Net

From First Thoughts

The secularist criticism of Christianity and of religious belief in general is one of continuing interest to our readers, judging from the discussions just of two recent “On the Square” articles, David B. Hart’s The Perniciously Persistent Myths of Hypatia and the Great Library . . . . Continue Reading »

An Everyman Non-American Non-Saint

From First Thoughts

In today’s “On the Square” essay, theologian Stephen Webb looks at the career of a man called “an American saint” who was, the man’s latest biographer says, neither an American nor a saint. The Methodist leader Francis Asbury was The First American Everyman . . . . . Continue Reading »

The Dangerous Iran

From First Thoughts

In today’s “On the Square” article, Iran’s Nuclear Weapon Capability , former deputy assistant secretary of defense for combating weapons of mass destruction and negotiations policy Jack David writes of the dangers facing the world and the hard decisions Iran’s . . . . Continue Reading »

The Pastor’s Page

From First Thoughts

Lutheran pastor and frequent contributor Russell E. Saltzman has just published a short, enjoyable, and stimulating book called The Pastor’s Page , published by the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau . It’s a collection of letters from his parish newsletter, and dedicated to Father . . . . Continue Reading »

Bewildering Musical Choices

From First Thoughts

At the opening Mass of the Catholic Press Association convention last week, held at Immaculate Conception church in New Orleans (the photos don’t do it justice), the cantor and choir of St. Peter Claver offered the music. They sang the hymns and the setting in Gospel music style, and the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Classic Style

From First Thoughts

Correspondence with a writer reminded me of a book on writing I really like, and like to recommend: Mark Turner and Francis-Noel Thomas’s Clear and Simple as the Truth . Here is  the book’s website and their on-line course guide . These I had not known about, and commend them to . . . . Continue Reading »

We Didn’t Burn the Library

From First Thoughts

In The Perniciously Persistent Myths of Hypatia and the Great Library , today’s “On the Square” feature, David B. Hart dismantles one of the common examples of alleged dogmatism and ignorance invoked against Christianity. I remember some time in my youth reading or being told . . . . Continue Reading »