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From First Thoughts

Several months ago, I disembarked a bus here in New York City, moved into a Brooklyn studio apartment, and began a summer of service here at First Things. These few weeks have been full of learning, educational conversations, and fellowship. Now, as I leave First Things and move on to the next stop . . . . Continue Reading »

Grace and Truth on Campus

From First Thoughts

As a conservative Christian at a small liberal arts school, I’m a part of a small minority group in an emphatically liberal student body. Thanks to my views—as well as my willingness to share my opinion—I have had the dubious privilege of becoming, for many, the representative figure of conservative Christianity on my campus. Continue Reading »

Postures of Prayer

From Web Exclusives

How ought we to pray? Kneeling, standing, sitting, prostrate? Should we pray out loud, in song, or silently? The most specific instructions we receive in Scripture pertain to the content of our prayers, not to the outward delivery of those prayers. In Matthew 6, when Jesus instructs the disciples . . . . Continue Reading »

A Cape of Good Hope

From First Thoughts

In his recent piece, SOS, my colleague Dominic Bouck, O.P., argued that the Church is much like a ship plying the ocean currents en route to her heavenly destination. I was particularly struck by a lengthy quote from Tertullian describing the apostles in their storm-tossed boat: That little . . . . Continue Reading »

A Communist Crucifix

From First Thoughts

On Pope Francis’s recent visit to La Paz, Bolivia, he received an unusual—and many would say, offensive—gift. Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia, presented Pope Francis with a wooden crucifix made of a hammer and sickle. A video shows Pope Francis considering the gift . . . . Continue Reading »

In Praise of Missionary Dating

From First Thoughts

You haven’t kissed her yet?” A classmate furrows his brow, as if trying to understand some antiquarian cultural rite. “And you’ve been dating how long?” As a conservative Christian within a libertine college environment, I have heard variations of this same conversation played out . . . . Continue Reading »

Forgetting God

From First Thoughts

Laudato Si, last week’s encyclical from Pope Francis, seeks to address a plethora of problems in the modern world—predominately focusing on environmental issues, distributive justice, and perceived problems with consensus developmental economic theory. Pope Francis offers a harsh critique of . . . . Continue Reading »

Seeking Justice in the Wake of Tragedy

From First Thoughts

A horrible tragedy occurred earlier this week, when a young white male walked into Emanuel A.M.E. church in historic Charleston, South Carolina, and killed nine congregation members. Unfortunately, many common responses to the massacre threaten to undermine efforts to seek real, substantive . . . . Continue Reading »