Truth’s Divided Disciples

As I read David Lebedoff’s latest book, The Same Man: George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh in Love and War , I began to think of George Orwell as a real-life Dr. Rieux, the hero of Camus’ The Plague , whose heroism suggests that it is possible to be a saint without believing in God. In support . . . . Continue Reading »

Russell Kirk & Postmodern Conservatism

This week marks the ninetieth anniversary of the birth of Russell Kirk. Kirk, who died in 1994, is best remembered for his role in helping to create the postwar conservative movement in America. His groundbreaking work, The Conservative Mind , received national attention when it was published in . . . . Continue Reading »

The Danger of Abstract Words

We have a chronic problem in America with abstract words. We cannot do without them, since they are carriers of our highest ideals and aspirations: “justice,” “democracy,” “dignity,” “liberty.” But it is for precisely this reason that we should beware of them, . . . . Continue Reading »

A Man for This Season

“Your conscience is your own affair; but you are a statesman!”“When statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.” Sir Thomas More may indeed be a “man for all seasons,” but . . . . Continue Reading »

Brain Science and the Soul

We often hear that modern science requires us to reject traditional Christian views of the human person. The argument goes something like this: If we can see the physical process by which ideas are associated or feelings felt or decisions made, then surely we must admit that human beings are nothing . . . . Continue Reading »

Painting and St. Paul

In a recent book assessing the state of evangelical scholarship, Mark Noll refers to “a boomlet in evangelical art history [that] rests squarely on the work of the Dutch Reformed scholar Hans Rookmaaker.” Had Noll seen Daniel Siedell’s book God in the Gallery , he might have thought . . . . Continue Reading »

Fresh from Our Kitchen

The November issue of First Things is now hot off the griddle¯a rich, tasty new issue, with major essays from the likes of Richard John Neuhaus, Gilbert Meilaender, and Stephen Barr. Book reviews, poems, letters, and Opinions¯to say nothing of another flavorful installment of the The . . . . Continue Reading »

Was Balthasar a Heretic?

Readers will no doubt remember the recent heated exchange in the pages of First Things . Alyssa Lyra Pitstick summarized her analysis of Balthasar’s provocative and dramatic (and by her reading unorthodox) vision of the depths of the paschal mystery. Balthasar scholar Edward Oakes, S.J., rose . . . . Continue Reading »