First Things - Religion and Public Life Donate to First Things
Login forgot password? | register Close

Homosexuality and Impatience for Joy

From First Thoughts

I’ve been rereading Josef Pieper’s  lovely little exposition of Aquinas on hope , and it strikes me as being very much in line with the point I was trying to make in my last post that quoted Vaclav Havel . Pieper writes: “The concept of the  status viatoris  is . . . . Continue Reading »

Teaching on Christian Friendship

From First Thoughts

In the June term this year at the seminary where I teach, Trinity School for Ministry, I’ll be the instructor for a week-long intensive class on a Christian theology of friendship. I’m excited about this opportunity not least because I’m working on a book about friendship , and . . . . Continue Reading »

Neither Presumption nor Despair

From First Thoughts

Many of you have thought much more deeply and carefully about sexual orientation change efforts than I have, and none of what I say here is meant to minimize the complexity of that discussion. But I just wanted to note that my understanding of the character of  hope  leads me to approach . . . . Continue Reading »

‘Hope for the Gay Undergrad’

From First Thoughts

Over at Christianity Today , Allison Althoff has a story about the growing attention to LGBT issues on evangelical Christian college campuses : Same-sex attracted students at several Christian institutions have attempted to start on-campus organizations with varying degrees of success. Seattle . . . . Continue Reading »

Christians: Siblings, Not ‘Friends’?

From First Thoughts

Last week I caught up with some friends in England, my former next-door neighbors and parents of my godson. My friends have just had their second child and were remarking on how their fellow church members have been bringing meals and helping with household chores and in general offering support. . . . . Continue Reading »

Friendship in the Ordinary

From First Thoughts

If friendship needs to be seen afresh in our time as an intimate love in its own right, distinct from the love of spouses or romantic partners, then we need stories of friendship that  show  us how its rediscovery is possible. I’m always on the lookout for such stories, and I just . . . . Continue Reading »

Bonhoeffer’s Argument Against Religious Blackmail

From Web Exclusives

Krister Stendahl’s classic 1963 essay, “The Apostle Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West” makes the case that Augustine and the Western (Protestant) Christian tradition, preoccupied as they were and are with personal human guilt, present us with a drastic misreading of Paul. Unlike his fourth-century reader who poured out confessions of sin and misery to God, Paul was relatively untroubled by a sense of personal failure. According to Stendahl, himself an ordained Lutheran clergyman, Paul was very different from Augustine and Luther insofar as Paul possessed a “robust conscience.” … Continue Reading »