Category Archives: Life in the Fifth Act

Screwtape and the Spiritual Life

I’ve been on a C. S. Lewis kick these last couple of months.  It started with finally getting around to reading his Reflections on the Psalms.  Definitely not the book I thought it would be, but brilliant nonetheless.  Then I … Continue reading

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Grace, Forgiveness, the Engine

From a recent post by Alan Jacobs concerning the school he teaches at and the issue of racial reconciliation: Christianity has a lot to say about sin, repentance, and forgiveness. It tells us that we all sin. It tells us … Continue reading

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Minding the Messengers

In the section of Antifragile about “skin in the game,” Nassim Nicholas Taleb defines prophets and their task: Prophecy is a pledge of belief, little else.  A prophet is not someone who first had an idea; he is the one … Continue reading

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Something Beyond Bad Traditionalism?

It’s always amazing to me how one thing you read can inadvertently lead to another.  I spent a good bit of my spring slowly reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb‘s Antifragile.  I read it because it had a praise-worthy mention in an … Continue reading

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NT Wright and Covidtide

Today I received my copy of N. T. Wright’s God and the Pandemic (many thanks to the folks at Hearts and Minds Books in Pennsylvania for the amazing service).  It’s a tiny book, clocking in at just over 70 pages.  … Continue reading

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Big Picture Warning

As a single guy led by faith to live far from home, I often find myself trusting in the Big Picture more than others.  On the best of days I hope to live a life that more closely resembles the … Continue reading

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The Long and Short of It

Scrolling through social media can be daunting and depressing in even the best of circumstances.  How much more daunting and depressing it can be in times of concern and crisis.  But it can also be of some comfort, as it … Continue reading

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“The Story We Carry in Our Bones”

One of my “best moments” in 2018 was the opportunity I had in the summer to “hang out” with James K. A. Smith for a while.  Not long, mind you, as there were a few dozen other people at Laity … Continue reading

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“We Want to Play the Music”

As the year comes to an end, I find myself with a short stack of articles and essays that I never quite got around to writing about here.  One of them was yesterday’s question of religious language through Jonathan Merritt’s … Continue reading

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The Question of Religious Language

Let’s start with the classic Peanuts strip that ran at gocomics.com on Christmas day: Most of us, I think, would relate a bit more with Charlie Brown, who understands the Christmas story primarily through the main images of the gospels. … Continue reading

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