Review: Whittaker Chambers

Whittaker Chambers began Witness, the classic account of his time in the American Communist underground, with the declaration: “In 1937, I began, like Lazarus, the impossible return.” The line was most of all a deep recognition of the power of God to redeem what was once dead. Continue Reading...

Questions on Work and Intellectual Development

Carl Trueman has a lengthy reflection and asks some pertinent and pressing questions on the nature of work and human intellectual development. Recalling his job at a factory as a young man in the 1980s, Trueman writes concerning those who were still at their positions on the line when he had moved on: Their work possessed no intrinsic dignity: it was unskilled, repetitive, poorly paid, and provided no sense of achievement. Continue Reading...

Work as if It Mattered

The conversations over the last few weeks here on work have raised a couple of questions. In the context of criticisms on the perspectives on work articulated by Lester DeKoster and defended by me, commenter John E. Continue Reading...

Leisure and Work, Art and Culture

There have been some engaging challenges to the view presented of work and its relationship to culture and civilization over the past few weeks (here, here, and here). I hope to post a more substantive response to some of the comments in the next few days. Continue Reading...

Chrysostom on the Poor

From On Living Simply, Sermon XLIII. (HT: American Orthodox Institute Observer, et al.): Should we look to kings and princes to put right the inequalities between rich and poor? Should we require soldiers to come and seize the rich person’s gold and distribute it among his destitute neighbors? Continue Reading...

Labor and the Limits of Work

There has been some good discussion over the past week and Labor Day holiday about the nature of work and its role in our lives (particularly here). The first thing I’d like to point out about Lester DeKoster’s claims regarding work is that he has in mind, at least partially, the classical Greek philosophical distinction between the active and contemplative life, particularly its disdain of manual labor. Continue Reading...

Toward Sustainable Wealth and Profit

Today’s NYT has an op-ed by David Brooks that’s been getting good cyber-circulation, “The Gospel of Wealth.” Brooks highlights in particular Southern Baptist pastor David Platt, who is touted as the youngest mega-church leader in the country. Continue Reading...

Work and Western Civilization

Leading up to next week’s Labor Day holiday we’ve been reflecting on the nature of work the last few days. Today I’d like to conclude this little series with a note on the relationship between work and civilization, with specific reference to work in the context of Western civilization. Continue Reading...

Work and the Two Great Love Commandments

One of this week’s contributions to Acton Commentary, in honor of the upcoming American Labor Day holiday is titled, “Work and the Two Great Love Commandments.” In this piece I focus on how we can view work as a means to express our love for our neighbor and for God. Continue Reading...