The Blind Side

Michael Lewis, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game . New York: W. W. Norton, 2006. Hardback, 299 pp. $24.95. Over the past two decades, professional football has evolved so that the outcome of games often turns on the performance of one of the least-noticed and least-glamorous men on the field, the . . . . Continue Reading »

Graduation address

It’s customary on an occasion such as this to extol the accomplishments of the graduating seniors, commend students and teachers for a job well done, and encourage you with a stirring speech about the open future that lies before you. ‘Tis the season for clichés, and you’ve . . . . Continue Reading »

Muscular Christianity and American Sport

A few fragments from another project. On October 16, 1869, Charles W. Eliot gave his inaugural address as he took over the post of President of Harvard. It was “one of the greatest addresses in modern educational history, delivered with precise diction and in a deep mellow voice that lent . . . . Continue Reading »

The Church and Pop Culture

These are notes for a talk I gave to college-bound junior and senior high school students. I want to begin with something like a quiz. For the first part of the quiz, I’ve had help from my own teenaged kids, who have given me some help identifying the right kinds of questions to ask. . . . . Continue Reading »

Consumerism again

Heath and Potter find Thorstein Veblen’s critique of consumerism much more persuasive, “far more penetrating than any of the theories developed in the 20th century.” Veblen argued that while poor societies devote every increase in production to meeting basic needs, richer . . . . Continue Reading »


In their book, Nation of Rebels , Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter explain why the Marxian critique of the consumer society as a product of “generalized overproduction” doesn’t work: “There is no such thing as generalized overproduction. Never was, never has been.” More . . . . Continue Reading »

Necessary incarnation

An article by Orthodox theology George Florovsky summarizes some of the history of the discussion of the motive of the incarnation in Western theology: “Rupert of Deutz (d. 1135) seems to be the first among the medieval theologians who formally raised the question of the motive of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Wedding Sermon

In Christ we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an . . . . Continue Reading »


Perhaps a history of modern aesthetic sensibilities could be written as a history of water. Consider: The shimmering liquity of some Romantic music (eg, Tchaikovsky), the muted submergence of Debussey, Monet’s obsession with the play of light on water. Or maybe romanticism as inspired by a . . . . Continue Reading »