Category: Liberal Arts

The Metaphysical Stalemate Behind Political Divisions

It’s been over 35 years since Lutheran theologian George Lindbeck published The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age. Lindbeck wrote The Nature of Doctrine as an attempt to grapple with the incommensurability of intra-Christian division, and...

/ July 21, 2021

The Ordinary Beauty of Flower Bouquets

“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing – to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from.” – Till We Have Faces As I type this I’m staring at a bouquet...

/ June 16, 2021

Prolegomena to Poetry

A poem is a thought that comes out sounding good, and lingers awhile; But it doesn’t have to rhyme, Though it could What is poetry? A poet will maintain that it is a noble enterprise; a numinous expression of the...

/ June 15, 2021

Know Thyself: What Medieval Christians Teach Us About Humility

“Are Americans humble?” a family member asked as I explained part of my dissertation on medieval humility to him. “Um… I don’t really think so. Not generally,” I awkwardly mumbled. This answer was unsatisfactory; firstly, because I bungled it. Secondly,...

/ May 6, 2021

The Austen Years: A Review in Six Movements

Rachel Cohen. The Austen Years: A Memoir in Five Novels. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2020. 304 pp, $28. “We do not enjoy a story fully at the first reading. Not till the curiosity, the sheer narrative lust, has been...

/ May 5, 2021

Purity Culture

So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.” (Matthew 27:24) Our contemporary culture has...

/ April 13, 2021

In Praise of Reading Aloud

It felt a bit awkward at first, a group of friends in their mid twenties sitting around in my library in an old Capitol Hill row house. We had all brought our copies of various Tolkien, some with a well-loved...

/ April 6, 2021

Becoming a Perennial: A Conversation with Grace Olmstead

In Uprooted: Recovering the Legacy of the Places We’ve Left Behind (March 2021) Grace tells the story of her hometown of Emmett, Idaho, where her great-grandfather and great-grandmother lived and farmed, and where her grandparents and parents still live. Through...

/ March 22, 2021

Marcion’s “Gift”

The church’s participation in various historical injustices is a familiar theme, one rehearsed in some instances to discredit her, but in others to prompt her to needful repentance. But the primordial sin of the church which makes other, more tangible...

/ March 19, 2021

‘Passages,’ Chapter 1

(originally published on “Passages”) Who wrote the Nicene Creed? Why did the estimated 300 bishops present at the Council of Nicaea use terms such as “Light of Light… consubstantial… proceeding…” and more to describe God? Is the creed even intelligible...

/ March 8, 2021