Identity and Morality in The Americans

What is it about The Americans that kept me glued to a screen for two straight days? And now that it's over, why can’t I stop thinking about Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, fictional characters both in real life and on the show? The story is certainly compelling: two KGB spies in 1980’s America struggling to … Continue reading Identity and Morality in The Americans

Declutter Your Soul with Christian Minimalism

Less is the new more. Marie Kondo is just the latest incarnation of a bigger trend toward living more with less. Yet minimalism is not without its critics. Some have accused it of being a luxury of the upper middle class, a subtle form of virtue-signaling akin to veganism. Others guard their beloved possessions from minimalist … Continue reading Declutter Your Soul with Christian Minimalism

Beauty as a Gateway to Faith in Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited

Imagine two tourists standing in front of Chartres Cathedral in France. The first simply gapes in awe as everything clicks slowly into place: God, the Universe, his own life -- microcosm and macrocosm. Transported by its resplendent beauty, his experience transcends human reason. The second tourist mills about anxiously before pausing to take a selfie. … Continue reading Beauty as a Gateway to Faith in Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited

Jesus, Socrates, and the Problem of Human Blindness

Our whole business in this Life is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen. - St. Augustine SOCRATES: Imagine this: People live under the earth in a cavelike dwelling. Stretching a long way up toward the daylight is its entrance, toward which the entire cave is gathered. The … Continue reading Jesus, Socrates, and the Problem of Human Blindness

An Eager Hostess, Awaiting Spring

In Virginia, spring can feel like a fickle friend, whose arrival is always being delayed for reasons you suspect are not as urgent or inexorable as her letters make them seem. You forgive the aggravation, thinking ahead, surely, to the good times close at hand; in your mind, she approaches — finally! in a whirl … Continue reading An Eager Hostess, Awaiting Spring

The Case against Capitalism (and Socialism)

When teaching my tenth-grade world history students about capitalism, socialism, and communism, I start by giving them a ten-question survey of their views. This includes questions like: Free trade between countries is: a. Good, because it leads to lower prices for consumers, b. Bad, because it leads to lower wages/ less jobs for workers in … Continue reading The Case against Capitalism (and Socialism)

What Our Objections to God Say about Us

Most objections to Christianity, or to religion more broadly, are hardly unique. So, encountering this fairly typical description of six “paths to atheism” seems as good an opportunity as any to address them. I’ve come to realize that our objections to God’s existence tell us more about ourselves than about Him. Most can be boiled … Continue reading What Our Objections to God Say about Us