Slippery words

You might like my latest post at Good Letters. An excerpt: “We are used to words not meaning anything, you see, and so who cares if foot-long is not supposed to mean eleven inches, that cheese is not supposed to be a vegetable oil and whey composite, that deli meat is not supposed to be shaved from …

Literally small-minded

Granted, playwright turned conservative-screed artist David Mamet lately comes across like that kid in philosophy class who just got hold of Atlas Shrugged and believes everyone should read it immediately. Still, he’s not an idiot. Which is what makes Ta-Nehisi Coates’s critique of Mamet’s recent gun rights essay so, well, idiotic. Consider the paragraph that particularly …

Elect art

My latest short story is in the current edition of Image, for those of you with a literary bent. And for those of you bent theologically, in this case, because in my story John Calvin attends a writing workshop so he can learn to craft Christian romance novels. That’s not what the story is about, …

Problem-rushers

We’re trying to find an office manager, and so I’ve had to articulate what makes for a good employee. This is a treacherous and particularized endeavor, because the people who appear to be good employees for other bosses would likely drive me crazy to the point of pushing them from a window, and this is …

Childlike

Back when I thought I knew something about God, I sought arguments. God is this, and God is not that, and those scriptures you think say one thing actually mean something else, don’t you know. I thought her simple and silly, though good-hearted. Hers was the Sunday School God, the “Jesus Loves Me” God, a …

Abandoning children

The intellectual consensus seems to be that having children is miserable business. This consensus is built on shoddy thinking and shoddier statistics. The latest example is brought to us by Why Have Kids? author Jessica Valenti, who notes that in the wake of Nebraska’s “safe haven” law allowing parents and caregivers to abandon children without prosecution, …

Words

Some of you might like my recent essay at Image’s Good Letters channel. Here’s an excerpt: “The vicissitudes of life may chink or scorch or even crack that die, but if your child doesn’t come with the self-restraint app, for example, the twin-studies data suggest you’re not going to build it into him. So don’t …

Silence

Some of you may appreciate my essay at Patheos about the long silent witnesses to Jerry Sandusky’s crimes against children, and the propensity for most of us to avoid the courageous and costly choice. Here’s an excerpt: “We all imagine we’d choose bravely: We’d lead a revolt against the slaver. We’d turn our backs on …

Homecoming

Some of you may like my latest essay at Image Journal’s section of Patheos, “Coming Home to Fatherhood.” Here’s an excerpt: “Or perhaps it’s closer to truth to say that nearly everything we do, so long as we love our children, keeps us moving closer to the full heart-knittedness that we yearn for with anyone …

Thin thread

Some of you may like my latest essay at the Image Good Letters blog. Here’s an excerpt: “Telling a story along that thin thread, however, means abandoning the notion that the world pierces us more deeply, that our hearts sing more loudly. What if the opposite were true? What if the reason there are television …