Here's how the notorious British explorer Richard Francis Burton addressed a bitter enemy who was working behind his back to sully his reputation: "Sir,—I have been indebted to the kindness and consideration of my friend Dr. Shaw, for a sight of your letter addressed to him the 10th of October last from Zanzibar. I shall … Continue reading How to Rebuke a Character Assassin
English professor Scott Newstok has feelings about the value of the Renaissance education model. In an interview with Brett McKay, he argues that education in general should focus less on passing tests and more on sharpening students' ability to think and write. McKay asks him why the Renaissance model of education is so effective in … Continue reading Why Renaissance Educators Were “Incredibly Invested” in the Verbal Arts
"If the story confirms everything you want to believe about your enemies, pause before clicking that share or retweet button. It might be too bad to be true." This short quote from Collin Hansen of the Gospel Coalition encapsulates how Instagram news stories can prevent us from being sober enough the grim prospects of the war in Ukraine.
To forgive is to cancel a debt, and to cease feeling anger towards a wrongdoer---whether or not they have repented. Wouldn't this go a long way in breaking the hate cycle that infects our divided culture, both in person and online? The question is fraught with complexity, and yet perhaps no one in history was better equipped to answer it than Martin Luther King, Jr. It's worth reflecting on his insights as we honor his legacy and look ahead at 2021.
Jemar Tisby has done the church a great service in documenting its pattern of racism during key epochs in American history and showing a way towards repentance and institutional reform. This isn't just a historical survey of the distant past but of events as recent as Black Lives Matter and the election of Trump. At the very least, Tisby's analysis ought to prompt Christians to critically examine how racism manifests in their midst in subtle ways today, and determine how to fight it.
"The heartbeat of anti-racism is confession, is admission, is acknowledgement, is the willingness to be vulnerable," says Ibram Kendi in a recent podcast with Brene Brown. He is not making a religious argument, and yet his argument is drenched in religious rhetoric.
James K.A. Smith's argument for the power of historic liturgy seems difficult to accept if you meet in a house church.
Connie Willis' award-winning sci-fi novel 'Doomsday Book' is one of the few time travel stories where a female perspective forms the core of the drama. Is it worth the read?
Why is 'Frankenstein' considered the mother of the genre? How did we go from seeing so many utopian stories to dystopian ones? Where did the word "robot" come from? Will SF ever be recognized as "true" literature?
Recently I was reading about medieval privacy in Barbara Tuchman's 'A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century' when I began to see a series of privacy-related stories pop up in the news. Around the same time, I was starting a writing project at work related to the European Union General Data Protection Regulation, a new privacy law with wide-ranging implications for businesses and consumers. I started to wonder: how does medieval privacy compare to privacy today? Does the contrast between the two teach us anything interesting or valuable about modern privacy? Is what we have today really "better"?