The ‘Ghost of Fiscal Future’

Matt Mitchell at Neighborhood Effects offers an interesting perspective regarding the fiscal cliff. As we hurriedly approach the edge, Mitchell’s insights ought not to be ignored, whatever the outcome of today’s last minute meeting at the White House. Continue Reading...

Life-Long Learners or Good Test-Takers? An Orthodox Christian Critique

The video below of a second grade teacher in Providence, RI reading his letter of resignation has recently gone semi-viral with over 200,000 views on YouTube. What I would like to offer here is an Orthodox Christian critique of the anthropological assumptions that separate this teacher from the “edu-crats,” as he terms them, who in his district so strongly championed standardized testing-oriented education at the exclusion of all other methods and aims. Continue Reading...

Asceticism and the Free Society

This past Friday, I had the opportunity to present a paper at the Sophia Institute annual conference at Union Theological Seminary. This year’s topic was “Marriage, Family, and Love in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition.” My paper was titled, “What Makes a Society?” and focused, in the context of marriage and the family, on developing an Orthodox Christian answer to that question. Continue Reading...

On Thrift and Generosity

Recently at Big Questions Online, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead answers the question, “Does a culture of thrift cultivate generosity?” with a solid yes, documenting the history of thrift and generosity in the United States and their subsequent and unfortunate decline in recent years: By the 1960s, however, the coalition of national organizations promoting thrift ceased their activities. Continue Reading...

Societal Development and the Kalamazoo Promise

In a recent New York Times article (here), Ted C. Fishman offers and in-depth feature on the Kalamazoo Promise: Back in November 2005, when this year’s graduates were in sixth grade, the superintendent of Kalamazoo’s public schools, Janice M. Continue Reading...

Leaves and Fruit: The Spiritual Value of Manual Labor

In his Acton Commentary today, Jordan Ballor writes, All work has a spiritual dimension because the human person who works in whatever capacity does so as an image-bearer of God. “While the classic Greek mind tended to scorn work with the hands,” write Berghoef and DeKoster, “the Bible suggests that something about it structures the soul.” If we derogate work with the hands, manual and skilled labor, in this way, we separate what God has put together and create a culture that disdains the hard and often dirty work of cultivating the world in service of others. Continue Reading...

Catholics and Orthodox Seek Reconciliation in Poland

Photo Credit: USA TodayClick for original source. On Friday, representatives from the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, including His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus and Metropolitan Josef Michalik, President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, signed a joint message committing to further work toward reconciliation between the Russian and Polish peoples and between the two churches. Continue Reading...