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Mark Driscoll’s Problems, and Ours

From Web Exclusives

The recent revelation that Mars Hill Church in Seattle paid an outside company to boost sales of its pastor’s books has raised questions not simply about personal integrity but also about the very culture of American Evangelicalism.As an English Presbyterian living in the States, I am never . . . . Continue Reading »

Queen Latifah’s Grammy Mass Wedding

From First Thoughts

At the Grammys last night Queen Latifah officiated a mass wedding ceremony—with some couples heterosexual, some gay—followed by a surprise song from Madonna. Was it satire? I am a big fan of satirical mockery, even satirical mockery of important things such as marriage. Such satire . . . . Continue Reading »

Dylan Thomas and Giving Death Its Due

From First Thoughts

Many will already be aware that 2014 is the centenary of the start of the Great War of 1914-18. Fewer may have realized that this year contains another centenary of significance: That of the birth of the self-destructive Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas. Thomas died at only 39—-older, it is true, than . . . . Continue Reading »

Newman Family Values

From First Thoughts

For the biographer, friends and family of the chosen biographical subject present perennial problems. The subject was almost certainly a public figure; the major elements of the biography will thus address public actions; but it would have been that private world of friends and family which occupied . . . . Continue Reading »

Nothing New Under the Sun

From First Thoughts

I am currently enjoying Edward Short’s delightful and learned Newman and His Family , a study of John Henry Newman’s relationships with his parents and siblings, and a sequel to Short’s equally fascinating Newman and His Contemporaries . Protestant to the core of my being, I . . . . Continue Reading »

A Significant Opinion

From First Thoughts

Earlier this year, I accepted an invitation to respond in a public forum to Kyle Duncan, a Becket Fund lawyer involved in the religious liberty cases currently addressing the provisions of the ACA. That experience turned me into something of a keen amateur legal eagle on this particular issue and, . . . . Continue Reading »