Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'Get Your Hands Dirty'

Social Ethics in a Season of Suffering

In a review by Micah Watson of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) earlier this year at The Gospel Coalition, Watson described the book as “akin to a social event with heavy hors d’oevres served throughout the evening.” There were, however, some offerings in this tapestry of tapas, so to speak, that Watson thought deserved an entree presentation. Continue Reading...

Get Your Hands Dirty: ‘Engaging Heavy Reading’

Today at Ethika Politika, John Medendorp, former editor of Calvin Seminary’s Stromata, reviews Jordan Ballor’s Get Your Hands Dirty for my channel Via Vitae. He writes, Although Ballor’s book is very accessible, the reading is by no means “light.” I would call it “engaging heavy reading.” While the concepts are clear and the analogies riveting, Ballor has a way of putting so much into a sentence that it can take some time to work through his ideas. Continue Reading...

Callings and the Childfree Life

Photo Credit: akatrya via Compfight cc I share Fr. Robert Barron’s concern about many of the attitudes on display in this Time magazine cover story on “the childfree life.” As Barron writes, much of the problem stems from the basic American attitude toward a life of “having it all.” Thus, Barron observes, “Whereas in one phase of the feminist movement, ‘having it all’ meant that a woman should be able to both pursue a career and raise a family, now it apparently means a relationship and a career without the crushing encumbrance of annoying, expensive, and demanding children.” Continue Reading...

The Camel’s Hump: Rudyard Kipling on Idleness and Hard Work

The other night, I sat down with my kids to read one of my favorite Rudyard Kipling poems, “The Camel’s Hump,” a remarkable 19th-century takedown of 21st-century couch-potato culture. With typical color and wit, Kipling takes aim at idleness, decrying “the hump we get from having too little to do” — “the hump that is black and blue.” Kipling proceeds to elevate labor, noting that hard work refreshes the soul and reinvigorates the spirit: “The cure for this ill is not to sit still / Or frowst with a book by the fire / But to take a large hoe and a shovel also / And dig till you gently perspire.” The illustrations in my 1949 version of the poem offer additional flair to Kipling’s contrast, aptly showing what can happen, physically and spiritually, if we do or don’t get our hands dirty. Continue Reading...

Bonanza’s Adam Cartwright, a Cowboy in Black

In this week’s Acton Commentary, I adapt a section from my latest book focusing on an instance of “cowboy compassion” we find in an episode of Bonanza. I focus on the example of Adam Cartwright, who helps out an economically-depressed family faced with the tyranny of a greedy scrooge, Jedediah Milbank. Continue Reading...

A Splendidly Tricky Book: A Review of ‘Get Your Hands Dirty’

Over at Capital Commentary, Byron Borger has a review of Jordan Ballor’s new book, Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action): Although his book is not simple, he is a fine popularizer, writing serious material in sometimes playful ways, with the occasional nod to pop culture, drawing on themes from Deadwood or Lost or a contemporary novel. Continue Reading...

Detroit, Urban Development, and D.G. Hart

Darryl Hart has a bit of a go at “the hyperventilation that goes on in some neo-Calvinist circles when folks talk about the power of the gospel to redeem all of life,” using the woes of the city of Detroit as a trump card. Continue Reading...