Category Archives: Being Human

Of Secular Novels, Governments, and Drinks


Amy Julia Becker recommends secular novels to Christians. Among the reasons she gives are these: The earnest and bleak atheist world-view provided by Camus in The Plague challenges any trite answers we might want to offer to the problem of suffering. The searing portrait of pain and loss that makes up much of the southern… Read More→

Posted in Being Human | Tagged , , , | 130 Responses

Pagan Virtue or Angel Unawares?


I wonder if the w-wists out there have considered how much travelers to foreign countries need to trust people with the wrong w-w (only two exist, right?). Of course, back in the States we depend on pagans to drive on the right (spatially and legally) side of the road, give us correct change (not for… Read More→

Also posted in Application of Redemption | Tagged , , , | 44 Responses

Does Christianity Make Me Less Human?


I finished a seminar yesterday on the Turkish writer, Orhan Pamuk. I presented to class his speech upon receipt of the Nobel Prize for Literature (2006). (In addition to being a great writer, Pamuk is great for thinking about differences between East and West, secularism and religion, political Islam and secular Turkey, by the way,… Read More→

Also posted in Christ and culture | Tagged , , , , | 92 Responses

Before Garrison Keillor, H. L. Mencken

Calvinus beer

In honor of Keillor’s line about non-smokers living longer and dumber, here’s an early review by Mencken on the benefits of alcohol (the inflamed may want to avert their eyes): Dr. Williams’s proofs that total abstinence is necessary to extreme longevity are convincing without being impressive. Before the human race will accept the conclusions he… Read More→

Also posted in Book of Nature | Tagged , , | 17 Responses

If You’re Not Butch, You’re Not Much


The good Rabbi proved once again the appeal of Rush Limbaugh-style arguments to the cultural transformers. His couple of recent blasts at Old Life may have made him feel especially masculine, but I don’t think he advanced the discussion. Wait. This isn’t a discussion. It is arm wrestling (or some body part.) But while Brett… Read More→

Also posted in Are They On Their Meds?, Because Someone Has to Provide Oversight, Neo-Calvinism, spirituality of the church | Tagged , | 29 Responses

Noah Millman’s On a Roll


First he renders Inside Llewyn Davis a great movie (I left the theater scratching my head about a good movie that defied the Coen’s conventions): There’s a poetic rightness to the fact that “Inside Llewyn Davis,” one of the best films of the year, was not nominated for Best Picture by the Academy of Motion… Read More→

Also posted in Are the CTCers Paying Attention?, Worldview | Tagged , , , , | 43 Responses

All About My Hyphenated Self


Since we have multiple callings that require us to juggle our various identities — I relate to my wife differently when wearing my hat as elder compared to when wearing my pajamas as husband — I was glad to see that I am also conflicted when it comes to politics. Time has a personality quiz… Read More→

Also posted in Novus Ordo Seclorum, Shameless Selves Promotion | Tagged , , | 79 Responses

New Year’s Sobrieties


In observance of the seventy-seventh anniversary of J. Gresham Machen’s death (Jan. 1, 1937), what follows is an excerpt from a Westminster Seminary commencement address (1931) that reflects a measure of sympathy for an otherworldly Roman Catholicism that embodied it in significant cultural expressions, and has the added benefit of exposing the provincialism of evangelical… Read More→

Also posted in J. Gresham Machen, Otherworldliness | Tagged , , , | 4 Responses

When You Have ‘Splainin’ To Do and Don’t Know It


The Big Kahuna is not necessarily the movie to see on Christmas Day. The options for the Harts are to re-watch Family Man (which is a very clever retread of It’s A Wonderful Life set in contemporary New Joisey) or Metropolitan, both with Christmas themes. (Unfortunately, the copies that we own of each are in… Read More→

Also posted in Are the CTCers Paying Attention?, Wilderness Wanderings | Tagged , , , , , | 30 Responses

Male Pattern Sensitivity

Bill Clinton

Who is more sensitive? Bill Smith in response to Thabiti Anyabwile on crazy Confederate uncles? I should not have to say these things, but I will, though I know some, perhaps including Brother Anyabwile, will take it as the equivalent of “I have black friends”: (1) I have no sympathy for the League of the… Read More→

Also posted in Wilderness Wanderings | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Responses