Truth and beauty in the Bible and theology, truth and beauty in literature, truth and beauty in history and culture (and movies are a crucial part of our culture) these will be the themes to which this blog will return time and again.  My plan is to write posts and even series of posts on the Psalms, spirituality, interpretation of biblical passages and favorite authors such as Athanasius, Anselm of Canterbury, C. S. Lewis, Chesterton, Charles Williams, and Russell Kirk, theological perspectives on contemporary culture, and help for skeptics (Doubting Thomas is my favorite apostle).  I invite you to join with me.

No one has said, or at least should have said, that aging is easy. Read the rest of this entry »

Let Him Go (2020), starring Diane Lane and Kevin Costner, is aptly described as a neo-western, but not chiefly because it is set in the early 1960’s instead of in the Old West of the 1880’s. Rather, while not negating the archetypical male hero of the West and having a rip-roaring shootout, the film brings to the fore two archetypical female characters and their roles in shaping men and society.  In some ways, Let Him Go should also be understood as a fascinating, almost mythical, feminist take on the Western (This review contains some plot points.) Read the rest of this entry »

I was glad to see that Simone Biles was able to compete again in the Olympics and win a bronze medal on the balance beam.  She is an outstanding gymnast who has advanced the sport/art with new moves and a high level of execution.  Unfortunately, because of her very public withdrawal from some of the events for reasons of “mental health,” she has been subjected to some extremely harsh criticism.

The reactions both of her critics and defenders have been mostly superficial. What happened to Simone Biles is the result of the confluence of four currents in modern American society: the role of sports, the financial impact of sponsors, the ubiquitous presence of social media and its baleful influence on the self, which was already trapped in the hopelessly contradictory reality of mass society and the exaltation of its individual expression. Read the rest of this entry »

“… and those only that feel the keener wound are known as Lovers”[1]

I have lived a life of quite undeserved happiness and health.  However, a few weeks ago I was struck with a severe pain running down the entire length of my left leg from some pinched nerve.  At approximately the same time I was teaching from Julian of Norwich’s Showings and was struck by her desire for “three gifts of God” and how they relate to the mysterious role of suffering and a life of love. Read the rest of this entry »

Your choice of the thesis statement for your essay on the good life from the famous answer in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever,” is excellent.  However, reflecting on our conversation yesterday, I realized that I was presenting you with a difficult challenge to describe what it means to enjoy God.  Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander; so, I thought that I should give it a go.  Let me know what you think.  I hope that it is helpful. Read the rest of this entry »