Category Archives: The Long Story

“The Soil for Unexpected Good”

About fifty letters into The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien edited by Humphrey Carpenter we get a series of letters to Tolkien’s third son, Christopher.  The letters move back and forth wonderfully and soberingly between the events of World … Continue reading

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Gospel and Church, Mold and Platform

In his survey of failing institutions in American life, Yuval Levin writes about the church in the “close to home” section (which also includes the family and community organizations.  While he writes about the loss of authority of the Catholic … Continue reading

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Living with Loss

Last week America posted a short reflection by James K. A. Smith about how Christians handle loss.  What begins with a nod to Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead takes a personal turn that I found difficult and brilliant.  Smith writes: A number … Continue reading

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The Story of a Vocation

This weekend I spent some time in my classroom getting ready for the end of the semester.  When I do that kind of thing, I usually play sermons or lectures that I find on YouTube.  This time I listened to … Continue reading

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Wendell Berry and “The Commitment That Doesn’t See Any End”

At the end of a recent interview with Amanda Petrusich of The New Yorker, Wendell Berry characterized the life of faith with some interesting wording.  When asked about religion, particularly in terms of his parents’ faith and his upbringing, Berry … Continue reading

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Concerning Hurricane Lane

Today was one of those weird days where you are waiting and preparing for something that just hasn’t happened yet . . . and that can’t be undone once it’s happened.  I am writing, of course, of Hurricane Lane (which … Continue reading

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“Distill, and Know That I am God”

Let’s start with this recent classic Calvin and Hobbes strip recently posted to gocomics.com: I’m about to board a plane that will take me to a place I’ve never been that’s also a place where there’s a lot of nothing … Continue reading

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