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Surprised By Sacraments

From First Thoughts

I love being part of ecumenical dialogues because I always learn as much about my own family of churches as I do about the other traditions represented. A few years ago I was involved in an ecumenical conversation as one of five representatives of Pentecostalism. The team members were from various . . . . Continue Reading »

The Bourgeois Are At the Gates

From First Thoughts

In 1939, the historian Christopher Dawson penned the essay ” Catholicism and the Bourgeois Mind ,” a call for resistance to the bourgeois mentality. Dawson set a hostile tone almost immediately by declaring that “it is difficult to deny that there is a fundamental disharmony . . . . Continue Reading »

On Learning to Fly Together

From First Thoughts

I wish to thank Gerald McDermott for his response to my opening First Things blog . Rather than addressing what he says in a straightforward manner, in part because I recognize agreement on the basic thrust and do not wish to quibble over the details, let me propose a way forward. First, I think my . . . . Continue Reading »

The Poets Tell Many Lies

From First Thoughts

In his short treatise How to Study Poetry , Plutarch (d. ca. 120) takes a somewhat cautious approach to the form. On the one hand, he commends poetry as providing an introduction to philosophy (in the ancient sense of a quest for wisdom to live a life that flourishes). On the other hand, he . . . . Continue Reading »

The Two Wings of Evangelicalism

From First Thoughts

You’ve heard of Bonaventure’s famous image of faith and reason as two wings by which the soul flies toward God? Well, evangelicals have two wings, one devoted to that mystical ascent of faith and the other toward the rational exposition of the faith. These two wings are the revivalist and . . . . Continue Reading »

God’s Paradoxes

From the March 2012 Print Edition

Infinity Dwindled to Infancy: A Catholic and Evangelical Christology ?by Edward T. Oakes Eerdmans, 471 pages, $44 We think of God as glorious and magnificent, the creator and lord of all things. And yet Christianity tells us to seek him in an infant’s manger in a humble stable. We look to him . . . . Continue Reading »