Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

What’s Wrong with “Family Values”

In a recent talk at the Wheaton Theology Conference, the Kenyan Anglican Archbishop David Gitari told of a Christian ministry that hired an ambulance to assist employees at a factory where injuries were being reported regularly. Eventually, someone had the bright idea of finding out why so many accidents were happening in the first place. … Continue Reading »

Military Honors

My fourth son’s Afghanistan deployment ceremony was in March. It has taken me a while to sort through my still incomplete thoughts. We missed the actual ceremony. An overnight Kansas City snowstorm dropped eight inches over the seventy-five mile route to Warrensburg, Missouri, where it was held. … Continue Reading »

Dallas Willard (1935-2013): A Reader’s Appreciation

When Dallas Willard’s magnum opus, The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God, came out in 1998, I was a junior in high school. I can’t recall now what made me pick up a copy, but I knew soon thereafter that I’d found a book that would prove to be a milestone in my spiritual and theological pilgrimage. … Continue Reading »

Remembering Max Kampelman

Some twenty-three years ago, Ambassador Max Kampelman”former nuclear arms reduction negotiator with the Soviet Union and Counselor to the Department of State”decided that I needed a bit of diplomatic experience and invited me to be a public member of the U.S. delegation he would lead to the Copenhagen meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, in the summer of 1990… . Continue Reading »

From the May First Things: “Nature Loves to Hide”

Two issues back, I spoke ill of a modern form of natural law theory that unsuccessfully attempts to translate an ancient tradition of moral reasoning into the incompatible language of secular reason. Because of an obscurity I allowed to slip into the fourth paragraph, several readers imagined that I was speaking in propria persona from that point on, rather than on behalf of a disenchanted modern rambling among the weed-thronged ruins; and some were dismayed… . Continue Reading »

The Days of Bullying and Idols

In 1986, Paul Simon took a look at the headlines full of pain and promise—stories about a boy in a bubble, bombs in baby carriages, ubiquitous cameras, and the ever-constant streams of information that engulf us—and wrote “Boy in the Bubble.” His lyrics, coupled with Zulu-pop-infused instrumentals recorded in South Africa, conveyed a jaunty optimism … Continue Reading »

From the May First Things: “Unmythical Martyrs”

The tedium of repeated déj vu in this sad little volume did at least send me back to Gibbon’s Decline and Fall. It is as if a publisher came to Candida Moss, a professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Notre Dame, with a proposal for a quick buck, relying on the political twitter of the times: “You’re an expert: Reframe Gibbon’s notorious chapter on the Romans and the Christians with some contemporary scholarship and cultural fillips, and we can put out a nifty pamphlet that’ll sell.” … Continue Reading »

Capitalism and Conservatism

We are not suffering from significant threats to economic freedom and capitalism. Instead, our political challenges mostly flow from the triumph of capitalism. And American conservatism is in trouble because it can’t acknowledge much less respond to this fact. These are two admittedly sweeping claims, and Robert Miller thinks I’m mistaken about both… . Continue Reading »

From the May Issue: “Lena Dunham’s Inviolable Self”

In an episode from the first season of HBO’s series Girls, Hannah Horvath”played by the show’s creator and chief writer, Lena Dunham”is having sex with her occasional lover Adam when Adam does something odd. The description I am about to give will strike some as exceedingly graphic, but in fact I will exclude the more disturbing details… . Continue Reading »

Response to Reno

Last week in this space R. R. Reno set out to challenge the foundational beliefs of economic conservatives. They must, he said, come to grasp what the postmodern left already sees: that current economic and regulatory conditions are such that market forces and the creative destruction inherent in capitalist economies will produce significant economic inequality as well as serious hardships … Continue Reading »



Filter Web Exclusive Articles