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By the Bowels of Christ

From First Thoughts

From a letter from W. H. Auden chastising his pastor at St. Marks in the Bowery for changes to the liturgy: Our Church has had the singular good-fortune of having its Prayer-Book composed and its Bible translated at exactly the right time, i.e., late enough for the language to be intelligible to . . . . Continue Reading »

Where the Girls Are

From First Thoughts

was the title of a slim volume published by the Daily Princetonian in 1965. The guide provided phone numbers, campus rules and curfews, and directions to seventeen women’s colleges on the East Coast along with evaluations (some more charitable than others) of the young scholars at each of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Happy Birthday to our Mutual Friend

From First Thoughts

“To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.” Such was the auspicious beginning of David . . . . Continue Reading »

PSA for Percy Fans

From First Thoughts

You might remember that in February we published an interview with Win Riley , the director of the forthcoming Walker Percy: A Documentary Film . Well, the forthcoming has finally come. If you’re in New York City, you can catch a screening of the film this Saturday , presented by Crossroads . . . . Continue Reading »

Malta’s Folly

From Web Exclusives

Over Memorial Day weekend, 72 percent of the Maltese electorate”about the same number of Maltese who go to mass each Sunday”went to the polls to vote on a referendum to legalize divorce. With just over 50 percent of the vote, the victory went to the pro-divorce movement. After some fine-tuning, a divorce bill is expected to pass the parliament this July, leaving to the Philippines the distinction of being the only country in the world where divorce is still not legal”well, the only country where 90 percent of the citizens aren’t celibate… . Continue Reading »

Quotas, the Holy Spirit, and the ELCA

From First Thoughts

What went wrong with the ELCA? Russ Saltzman asks today in his On the Square column . Membership in the denomination that was supposed to unite two-thirds of American Lutheranism is “poised to dip below four million, and the number of congregations below nine thousand,” the denomination . . . . Continue Reading »

The Confessions of Russ Saltzman

From First Thoughts

This morning On the Square , Russ Saltzman writes his abbreviated Confessions, recounting how he stumbled into faith without ever “getting” religion: Far from being a “religious” person, I think of myself primarily as an ex-atheist. But just as there’s no such thing as an . . . . Continue Reading »

Seeking the Good Caliphate

From First Thoughts

This morning On the Square Russ Saltzman reads his favorite Islamic magazine, Al-Jumuah and considers what the magazine reveals about its readership: Al-Jumuah is written for Muslims trying their best to live in America and not become whatever equivalent of mainline Protestantism exists for Islam. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Bishop of London’s Sermon

From First Thoughts

I promise I have not spent my entire day slavishly following the royal wedding. But a friend sent along the text of the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres’ wedding sermon and I thought it worth sharing (at least in part): A spiritual life grows as love finds its centre beyond ourselves. . . . . Continue Reading »