First Things - Religion and Public Life First Things on your tablet & mobile
Login forgot password? | register Close

Christ and Nothing

As modern men and women—to the degree that we are modern—we believe in nothing. This is not to say, I hasten to add, that we do not believe in anything; I mean, rather, that we hold an unshakable, if often unconscious, faith in the nothing, or in nothingness as such. It is this in which . . . . Continue Reading »

Halfway Through the Hail Mary

A Methodist friend of mine has always been puzzled by the emphasis Catholics place upon ready-made prayers. She considers recourse to the Hail Mary to be little more than prayer on autopilot, the rote droning of words learned and memorized as children. How, she wonders, can it possibly produce an . . . . Continue Reading »

Pulpit Economics

In debates between Christian theologians and economists over the nature of capitalism, facts and figures count for almost nothing. At times the two seem to speak separate languages—perhaps most strikingly when they use the very same words. On the one hand, economists purport to be practical . . . . Continue Reading »

The End of Magic

Of a fair evening in the mythical but true world of Middle Earth, towards the end of the Third Age, a young hobbit named Frodo is holding private counsel with Galadriel. She is the queen and lady of Lothlórien, the most secret and beautiful reserve of the Elves. Frodo has been gazing into her . . . . Continue Reading »

American Satyricon

We live in what we like to think of as a very sophisticated society. International commerce keeps the economy humming day and night. Silicon chips grease the wheels of calculation and communication. Medical centers are engaged in perpetual expansion as research facilities grow at a furious pace. . . . . Continue Reading »

Augustine of Hippo: A Biography

My worn and heavily marked copy of the original hardback edition of Peter Brown’s biography of St. Augustine, its binding held together by sturdy book tape, sits on a bookshelf close to my desk as it has since it first appeared in 1967. On the inside cover I have a little note, “Reviewed in . . . . Continue Reading »

J. S. Bach in Japan

Twenty-five years ago when there was still a Communist East Germany, I interviewed several boys from Leipzig’s Thomanerchor, the choir once led by Johann Sebastian Bach. Many of those children came from atheistic homes. “Is it possible to sing Bach without faith?” I asked them. “Probably . . . . Continue Reading »

“Father, Forgive Them”

The first word from the cross: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Christians call them the Triduum Sacru, the three most sacred days of the year, the three most sacred days of all time when time is truly told. Maundy Thursday, so called because that night before he was betrayed . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles