Posts tagged "Ross Douthat"
The Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, and Cultural Christianity in the Deep South

The Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, and Cultural Christianity in the Deep South

This one comes to us from Oscar Price:

The Alabama State House of Representatives recently passed a bill which, if approved by the Senate and signed by the governor, would create a ballot measure to permit the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools.  That the sponsor of the bill did not actually know the Ten Commandments did little to deter his colleagues, who passed the bill by an overwhelming majority.

This is precisely the cultural climate of which Ross Douthat writes in Sunday’s New York Times – a culture in which Christianity, or some form of it, is so mainstream, and “traditional” values so…

Read More »

Another Week Ends: Secret Auden, Eagleton Deicide, Remembering Wes, Method Acting, True Detective, and Russian Tourist Tips

Another Week Ends: Secret Auden, Eagleton Deicide, Remembering Wes, Method Acting, True Detective, and Russian Tourist Tips

1. Holy smokes! Have you read Edward Mendelson’s “The Secret Auden” in the NY Review of Books?! If not, run don’t walk. It’s a jaw-dropping, incredibly inspiring catalog of the clandestine episodes of grace initiated by our all-time favorite Wystan–about as honest a Matthew 6:5 vibe as I’ve come across in ages. Lest these remarkable stories be dismissed as mere hagiography, Mendelson (author of the indispensable Later Auden) doesn’t lionize the great poet, instead tracing the ‘good works’ back to their root–which is not a sense of earning or credit (clearly) but of genuine humility brought on by piercing self-knowledge….

Read More »

Another Week Ends: One Way Love, Lutheran Sounding Anglicans, Hard Working Protestants, Prosperity Soporifics, Game of Thrones, Scientism, Camus Texts, and The Blerch

Another Week Ends: One Way Love, Lutheran Sounding Anglicans, Hard Working Protestants, Prosperity Soporifics, Game of Thrones, Scientism, Camus Texts, and The Blerch

1. Very much still reeling from this morning’s news about our hero Robert Farrar Capon, may he rest in peace. In tribute, Justin Holcomb compiled a wonderful list of quotes over on his superb new site. Of course, if anyone should be counted among Father Capon’s spiritual progeny, it is our dear friend Tullian Tchividjian, who posted some of his favorite Caponisms as well. I have it on good authority that Tullian’s forthcoming One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World features Capon’s voice quite prominently–almost as prominently, in fact, as that other Episcopal grace guru of whom we are…

Read More »

“And Death’s Dark Shadow Put to Flight…” A Post for Newtown, Connecticut

“And Death’s Dark Shadow Put to Flight…” A Post for Newtown, Connecticut

It goes without saying that our prayers and hearts have been with Sandy Hook Elementary and the Newtown community since last week. On this side of our Sunday services, “Lord have mercy” is pretty much all I have left to say in my spiritually and emotionally exhausted state, and I don’t think I’m alone when I say that.

For those of us who are still struggling to maintain composure in light of tragedy, or for those exhausted from the 24 hour media coverage, or for those wrestling with the relationship between a good God and an evil…

Read More »

Another Week Ends: Scary Nihilists, Repentant Starlets, Priestly Astronauts, Bad Vestments, Passive Aggressive Notes, Recovering Olympicists, Spiritual Conductors, Dylan’s Blood and Rooted

Another Week Ends: Scary Nihilists, Repentant Starlets, Priestly Astronauts, Bad Vestments, Passive Aggressive Notes, Recovering Olympicists, Spiritual Conductors, Dylan’s Blood and Rooted

1. The media has been saturated this past week with stories about the Aurora tragedy, and rightfully so. Ross Douthat’s “The Way We Fear Now” was one particulary striking (and slightly scary!) example:

[Holmes'] crime has probably also solidified the Batman movies’ status as a cultural touchstone for our era of anxiety… our contemporary iconography of evil is increasingly dominated by figures who seem to have stepped out of Nolan’s take on the DC Comics universe: world-burners, meticulous madmen, terrorists without a cause.

Older enemies — Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Mao’s China — represented a different form of evil: institutional rather than…

Read More »

The All-Seeing, Never-Seeing Google Goggles

The All-Seeing, Never-Seeing Google Goggles

And little by little, Google crafts a creature-comfort Terminator. Here’s a look into the anticipated Google Project Glass:

It’s not that these probably won’t be the norm in five years–it’s that I always wanted to be the Terminator, and yet this Terminator is so lame. This Terminator is still kind of a control-freak, a hollow-bodied, short-attentioned ukelele-lover. He’s not an explosive-toter, a renegade Savior–he’s a Manhattan dweller who still doesn’t know where the Strand is, much less can he remember when a show is, or how long ago his friend said he’d meet him for “Mud Truck”. Bah! That sounds just…

Read More »

Writhing and Sur-Thriving: A Tough Season for Believers

Writhing and Sur-Thriving: A Tough Season for Believers

Interesting editorial from Ross Douthat of the NY Times, “Tough Season for Believers”, using the season as an opportunity to look at two books, American Grace and To Change the World, which take the pulse of Christianity in America. In the conclusion, he gets at some of our (probably naive but hey, it’s Christmas) hopes for Mockingbird.

Christmas is hard for everyone. But it’s particularly hard for people who actually believe in it. In a sense, of course, there’s no better time to be a Christian than the first 25 days of December. But this is also the season when…

Read More »

Marriage Gaps and Culture Wars

Marriage Gaps and Culture Wars

Ross Douthat of the NY Times attempts to update the parameters of the Culture Wars and comes up with some provocative, if debatable/premature, conclusions: basically, that social class no longer seems to be a defining factor in the conflict. I for one feel more Swiss than ever:

We’ve known for a while that America has a marriage gap: college graduates divorce infrequently and bear few children out of wedlock, while in the rest of the country unwed parenthood and family breakdown are becoming a new normal. This gap has been one of the paradoxes of the culture war: highly educated Americans…

Read More »

Fundamentalists and the Atheists Who Love Them

Fundamentalists and the Atheists Who Love Them

Before I catch my plane down to sunny FLA, a fantastic blog entry over at the NY Times – catch it while it’s hot (i.e. before they charge you) – from Ross Douthat, discussing Richard Dawkins’ recent defense of Pat Robertson’s sadistic comments about Haiti. The first time I’ve seen the Westminster Confession quoted in the Times. The conclusion reads (ht RF):

[Dawkins' defense of Robertson reveals] the symbiosis between the new atheism and fundamentalism — how deeply the new atheists are invested in the idea that a mad literalism is the truest form of any faith, and how completely they…

Read More »

Would you buy a hot dog from an ex-con?

I want to go now. Read the full story here.