A Brief Word to Book Reviewers

-Sneering dismissal of an author is acceptable to the degree that his book likewise is sneering and dismissive. What works marvelously well in a review of Richard Dawkins doesn't in a review of Mitch Albom. You might have the same opinion of both writers, and that's fine! But responding to Mitch Albom as if he's [...]

Hatmakers and Hot Takers

One thing that concerns me about conservative evangelicalism right now is the inability we often demonstrate to let those who exist and teach outside the boundaries of historic Christianity...just stay there. I often feel like there's a compulsion in evangelical culture to always be writing and tweeting against "false teachers," and here I include air-quotes [...]

My Year in Books

Let's get this out of the way: Year-end reading lists are usually more helpful for making us feel guilty about what we didn't read than making us thankful for what we did. My own year of reading was certainly no exception; the pile of books that I read this year seems so small compared to [...]

Something Better Than Friendship

Rereading my way through C.S. Lewis's The Four Loves, I was struck by Lewis's blunt words about "wanting friends" and the essence of genuine friendship: That is why those pathetic people who simply "want friends" can never make any. The very condition of having Friends is that we should want something else besides Friends. Where [...]

Eluding E-Books

Mark Bauerlein's observations about the decline of e-reading and the "Persistence of Print" ring very true to my own experience. I have now tried on two separate occasions, and with two separate e-readers, to invest in digital books. Both times I just couldn't do it. My Kindle Paperwhite is a fine device, elegantly crafted and [...]

A Literary Reading List for Theology Students

One of my regrets from my college years is that I didn't receive a more literary education. By God's design I attended a Bible college that at the time had only theological or ministerial degrees (now, they offer a Humanities degree, a Philosophy-Politics-Economics honors program, and more options). So I spent the vast majority of [...]

How to Think

My review of Alan Jacobs's forthcoming book How to Think: A Survival Guide For a World at Odds, is up at the Mere Orthodoxy main page. Here's a snippet: Happily, How To Think is not a Trump-directed polemic or a guidebook for navigating Twitter. Readers familiar with both topics will probably get the maximum satisfaction from Jacobs’s [...]

God Is & God Does

I've been reading Joe Rigney's The Things of Earth: Treasuring God By Enjoying His Gifts, and cannot recommend it too highly. For me Joe's contemplations have been like cold spring water on a thick August afternoon. For years I have felt like something was missing in my understanding of how to love the things God [...]

What Hogwarts Can Teach Us About Friendship

What Hogwarts Can Teach Us About Friendship

Why were the Harry Potter stories so wildly successful? What was it about them, as opposed to hundreds of other "young adult" novels, that embossed onto the consciousness of a generation? Why are we celebrating the 20th anniversary of their US publication with the same kind of enthusiasm as if the books were published last [...]

Some Advice for Writers

Recently a few friends of mine have asked me about writing, and for some perspective and/or advice on how to get started doing it seriously. I've given the same advice enough times that I figured it might be helpful to put what I most frequently say here as a kind of reference. As always, none [...]