All Too Human

From the Aug/Sept 2008 Print Edition

Original Sin: A Cultural History by Alan Jacobs HarperOne, 304 pages, $24.95 Chesterton said of original sin that it “is the only part of Christian theology that can really be proved””by which he meant empirically demonstrated in every era, in every culture, and in every human . . . . Continue Reading »

The Saints of John Paul II

From the March 2006 Print Edition

Of the making of saints there is no end cries the modern Ecclesiastes, and with some justification. A thousand years ago—or even twenty-five years ago—the roster of canonized saints was severely circumscribed. From 1000 a.d. to 1978 a.d., fewer than 450 men and women had been “raised to the . . . . Continue Reading »

Seeking Signs and Wonders

From the November 2005 Print Edition

The Miracle Detective by Randall Sullivan Atlantic Monthly, 448 pages, $25 Few things rankle the modern mind more than religious apparitions. See a ghost, and you may raise a few eyebrows; see a celestial being, and eyes will roll, tongues clack, friends worry and strangers edge away. To believe in . . . . Continue Reading »

In Defense of Jabez

From the October 2001 Print Edition

“Read not the times, read the eternities,” said Henry David Thoreau. It isn’t often that the two realms intersect, but they have this year”and not only in the New York Times , but in news media across America”with the runaway success of Bruce Wilkinson’s The Prayer . . . . Continue Reading »

Dear James

From the August/September 1994 Print Edition

Some writers capture national headlines; others capture local hearts. This observation was brought delightfully home to me a few months ago, when I dropped a small pile of books on the checkout desk at my neighborhood public library. The librarian working the computer screen, a small, quiet woman . . . . Continue Reading »