First Things RSS Feed - John Murdock
en-usCopyright 2016 First Things. All Rights Reserved.email@example.com (The Editors)firstname.lastname@example.org (The Editors)Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:53:36 -0400https://d25wp47b6tla3u.cloudfront.net/img/favicon-196.pngFirst Things RSS Feed Image
60Clinton's Worldly Evangelicalhttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2016/08/clintons-worldly-evangelical
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 08:00:00 -0400Nicholas Kristoff just gave Deborah Fikes—until recently a prominent spokesperson for the World Evangelical Alliance and a board member at the National Association of Evangelicals—some space at his
New York Times
blog to offer “
A Challenge to My Fellow Evangelicals
.” The challenge for evangelicals, apparently, is to get with the global program and embrace “Sister Hillary.”
]]>The Eyes of Wendell Berryhttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2016/06/the-eyes-of-wendell-berry
Thu, 16 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0400The Seer
opens with a blur of urban lights and longings: the faster freeway, the taller building, the machines that become the objects of our affections. Over this, the film’s subject, in his distinctive timbre, laments the pursuit of “the objective.” These opening three minutes culminate in the blaze of car lights circling, approaching a bridge to who-knows-where. Then the screen goes dark and, after a pause, gives way to the slow rhythmic sound of feet on autumn leaves. A dog trots ahead, down the wooded trail. We are looking through Wendell Berry’s eyes, at the land he calls home—perhaps during one of the Sabbath walks that produced the
we have just heard. With this juxtaposition of frenzy and forest, filmmaker Laura Dunn seems to be asking, “Isn’t this
]]>The Christian Roots of Soil Stewardship Weekhttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2016/04/the-christian-roots-of-soil-stewardship-week
Sun, 24 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0400The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” That is a truth that gets double billing in the Bible with the Apostle Paul quoting the Psalmist David in his first letter to the Corinthians. But it is a truth that gets short shrift today. We want an unbridled personal autonomy and a cornucopia from which we indulge without thought as to limits. If taken seriously, the idea that we are not our own and that we do not really
anything could break the modern consumption conveyor-belt that feeds our appetites while bypassing our responsibilities.
]]>Brush with Greatnesshttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2016/03/brush-with-greatness
Wed, 02 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0500Many Beautiful Things
lives up to its title. With lush visuals from the English countryside, the deserts of North Africa, and the watercolors of its subject Lilias Trotter, the latest from filmmaker Laura Waters Hinson pleases the eye while asking questions of the heart. If Trotter’s name sounds unfamiliar to your ears, you are far from alone. Her work never even hung in a gallery as far as we can tell, but Trotter’s lack of lasting fame was to a large extent a chosen obscurity. Around that choice Waters Hinson centers a documentary that recently was warmly received by a standing room only crowd of well over 500 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
]]>The God of the Womb and the Worldhttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/02/the-god-of-the-womb-and-the-world
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0500The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” Psalm 24:1 is a popular verse in Christian conservation (or
) circles—one I have heard often enough that it almost rings cliché. But these words struck me anew when used in a closing benediction before thousands of fellow pro-lifers
around the Texas State Capitol. They are appropriate in both contexts, reminding us that human claims of absolute autonomy and ownership are in conflict with a much greater reality.
]]>A Golden Merry Christmas, Charlie Brownhttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2015/12/a-golden-merry-christmas-charlie-brown
Thu, 24 Dec 2015 00:00:00 -0500In
A Charlie Brown Christmas
, the round headed lead’s quest to escape a melancholy brought on by the materialism and artificiality of the season climaxes with his blanket-holding friend’s powerful recitation of St. Luke’s nativity. It is remembered now as a classic, and typical of the accelerated “holiday” calendar,
network TV already threw the show a big fiftieth anniversary party while the calendar still read November. Before you say “good grief” and drop your head, hear the good news that the original special itself will be rebroadcast on Christmas Eve.
]]>In Carbon and Capitalism We Trust?https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2015/12/in-carbon-and-capitalism-we-trust
Thu, 10 Dec 2015 00:00:00 -0500At the Crossroads
” was ostensibly a conservative gathering in Austin to discuss energy and “so-called global warming” as Senator Ted Cruz put it, but at its core was a celebration of cornucopianism. That progressive philosophy sees an ever improving world flowing from the mind of man and the power of markets. The movement’s modern prophet was remembered as “the great Julian Simon” and the optimistic tune he sang was on the lips of many deep in the heart of Texas. On matters divine, Simon was an agnostic, but he was certainly a man of faith—a deep faith in man. This late Cato Institute fellow and business professor at the University of Maryland preached a humanistic gospel centered on the infallibility of innovation. He entitled his most famous work
The Ultimate Resource
referring to “people—skilled, spirited, and hopeful people who will exert their wills and imaginations for their own benefit, and so, inevitably, for the benefit of us all.” And energy was “the master resource” that fueled this endlessly positive creativity.
]]>Evangelicals and Animalshttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2015/10/evangelicals-and-animals
Mon, 26 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0400Ribs are getting harder to eat. I was gnawing on some nice tender bones in Memphis recently, but those bones were gnawing on me. Try as I might—and there are many days that I do indeed try to recapture the bliss of ignorance—I know too much about where that pork comes from to just devour it without a care in the world. I am not opposed to treating pigs like animals, but I know an animal should be treated as something more than just a lifeless cog in an industrial protein factory (and on my better days I act accordingly). How our food lives and dies has not been a regular topic of discussion in the evangelical subculture, but a recent effort by a number of prominent Christian social conservatives may open up a needed conversation.
]]>Fiorina Stumbles Onto the Truth the Media Ignoreshttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2015/09/fiorina-stumbles-onto-the-truth-the-media-ignores
Wed, 23 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0400
On her biggest stage yet, Fiorina deserves applause for forcefully raising Planned Parenthood’s treatment of the unborn and the associated political avoidance practiced by many in both parties. Nevertheless, Fiorina’s details were in fact a bit off, and her sympathizers (a group I readily put myself into) do her and the broader cause of life and truth no favors by ignoring that fact.