Lessons on Christian vocation from ‘A Christmas Carol’

“Is Christmas too materialistic? Well, it’s not as materialistic as God becoming flesh, redeeming our sinful flesh, and sending us back into the material world to live out our faith in love and service to our physical neighbors.” –Gene Veith We are routinely told that Charles Dickens’ beloved story, A Christmas Carol, was instrumental in giving us Christmas as we know it — marking the holiday not just as a moment of reflection on Christ’s birth, but as a secular celebration of common virtues and sentiments. Continue Reading...

Is it immoral to waste food?

“Eat your broccoli,” our mothers would say. “Think of the starving children in Africa!” It’s a moral claim we’re all familiar with. If some of our food goes to waste, someone, somewhere, will face imminent harm and the environment will go to the dogs. Continue Reading...

Reimagining work in the coalfields

The American coal industry is facing serious challenges. In states like West Virginia, the effects have been particularly painful, causing many communities to struggle under a projected 23% decline in related jobs and leading vast numbers of residents to leave the state altogether. Continue Reading...

Christian freedom isn’t about choice

As supporters of economic freedom, we frequently find ourselves in vigorous defense of personal choice, whether in business, trade, consumer goods, education, or otherwise. But while the elevation of economic choice is based on plenty of principle, not to mention historical and empirical analysis, we ought to be careful that our views about freedom aren’t confused or conflated in the process. Continue Reading...

The persistent advantage of private virtue

Several years ago, in a discussion on Charles Murray’s book Coming Apart, Ross Douthat included a brilliant observation about what he dubs the “persistent advantage of private virtue“: Finally, Murray makes a very convincing case . Continue Reading...

Against canned food drives: When gift-giving is wasteful

During a season such as Christmas, when hyper-consumerism and hyper-generosity often converge in strange and mysterious ways, how much of our gift-giving is inefficient or wasteful? It’s a question that economists continue to ponder, but to which many a gift-giver is prone to shrug. Continue Reading...

How gratitude empowers the free society

Despite being surrounded by unprecedented levels of opportunity and prosperity, we live in a profoundly anxious age, fearful of economic disruption even as we resist the pull to idolize status, wealth, and comfortability. Continue Reading...

‘Work Songs’: A new collection of hymns on work and vocation

In June of 2017, a group of 60 Christian creatives gathered in New York City to discuss and reflect on the intersection of worship and vocation. Known as the The Porter’s Gate Worship Project, the group is comprised of musicians, pastors, writers, and scholars, aiming to “reimagine and recreate worship that welcomes, reflects and impacts both community and the Church.” Their first album, Work Songs, is a collection of 13 modern hymns, each crafted to connect the meaning and dignity of daily work with the heartbeat of God and the Gospel. Continue Reading...

Millennials, marriage, and the ‘success sequence’

“What if large causes of poverty are not matters of material distribution but are behavioral — bad choices and the cultures that produce them? If so, policymakers must rethink their confidence in social salvation through economic abundance.” –George Will According to a recent report from the U.S. Continue Reading...