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I Just Ran Out of Presence

From First Thoughts

That the language of love has become utterly sentimentalized in our society is a commonplace. Once it was a hardheaded, self-sacrificial, outward looking concept which looked to the well-being and needs of others. Now it often means little more than that which makes me feel good or brings personal . . . . Continue Reading »


From First Thoughts

A couple of recent events have highlighted one or two of the peculiarities of the subculture of American Christianity, specifically evangelical Christianity. First, Ergun Caner is suing a couple of pastors in an attempt to keep some material pertaining to his life from being published on the . . . . Continue Reading »

Cambridge Change, Political Style

From First Thoughts

As middle age begins to bite and life’s pleasures become either more vicarious, whereby one lives through one’s children, or less impressive, as with one’s ever-diminishing speed on a long distance run, one delight that actually becomes ever more gratifying is having one’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Our Alypian Moment?

From First Thoughts

Last week, my attention was brought to three things, sure and certain signs of this present age.  The first was the baby suit above, which bears the legend “Future Porn Star.” I assume this is an attempt at humor; but it is interesting what passes for a fashionably marketable joke . . . . Continue Reading »

McClay, Marcuse, and My Grandfather

From First Thoughts

In the latest edition of The Hedgehog Review , Wilfred McClay has an excellent article examining the importance of teaching children moral frameworks, even if they eventually choose to reject them. Near the end, he offers this profound insight into the general cultural dispositions which have given . . . . Continue Reading »

Which One’s Goliath?

From First Thoughts

Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, David and Goliath , received some attention from David Mills on this blog last week. At the same time, it was also the subject of two articles in The Spectator , both of which highlighted the troubling matter of ambiguity in application of the biblical story. In . . . . Continue Reading »

Tragic Worship

From the June/July 2013 Print Edition

The problem with much Christian worship in the contemporary world, Catholic and Protestant alike, is not that it is too entertaining but that it is not entertaining enough. Worship characterized by upbeat rock music, stand-up comedy, beautiful people taking center stage, and a certain amount of . . . . Continue Reading »