Arvo Pärt on the economy of wonder

Our society has grown increasingly transactional in its ways of thinking, whether about family, business, education, or politics. Everything we spend, steward, or invest — our money, time, and relationships — must somehow secure an immediate personal return or reward, lest it be cast aside as “wasteful.” As an overarching philosophy of life, such an approach fails not due only due to its narrow individualism, but also to its cramped obsession with scarcity, standing in stark contrast with the lavish abundance and gratuitous generosity of the Gospel. Continue Reading...

Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize in Literature

When Bob Dylan wrote, “The Times They Are A Changin’,” I doubt he had the Swedish Academy in mind. Nevertheless, by awarding him the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature the Academy has made a bold statement for a change in the way songwriting is viewed as literature. Continue Reading...

Joy for the World: Restoring the Joy of God to Cultural Witness

Over the last century, Christianity has declined in social influence across much of the Western world, leading many to believe it has little place or purpose in public life. In response, Christian reactions have varied, with the more typical approaches being fortification (“hide!”), domination (“fight!”), or accommodation (“blend in!”).  Continue Reading...

Nothing New ‘Underneath that Burning Sun’

Friedrich Hayek once called intellectuals “professional secondhand dealers in ideas.” And the Preacher proclaimed, “There is nothing new under the sun.” So perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising when ideas, memes, and other cultural phenomena pop up again and again. Continue Reading...

Swift vs. Spotify and the Future of the Struggling Artist

Taylor Swift recently made waves when her record label pulled her entire catalog off Spotify, a popular music streaming service. Fans and critics responded in turn, banging their chests and wailing in solidarity, meming and moaning across the Twitterverse about the plight of the Struggling Artist and the imperialism of mean old Master Spotify. Continue Reading...

Pete Seeger, 1919-2014

Pete Seeger performing the Woodie Guthrie song “This Land is Your Land” at President Obama’s “We Are One” Inaugural Concert, January 19, 2009. Environmentalist, agent provocateur, leftist activist, recovering Communist and ardent redistributionist – all apply to the folksinger who died Monday in New York at the age of 94. Continue Reading...

Liberty in Two Keys

When we think of our freedoms and how they are basic to our society yet freedoms seem to be out of control in so many ways since the 1960s, we probably need to pull back and consider those freedoms from a new perspective. Continue Reading...

Parenting under Poverty and Affluence

In Businessweek late last year, Jason Zinoman noted the Broadway revival of Glengarry Glen Ross with Al Pacino as Levine. The play, says Zinoman, “speaks as directly to the economic anxieties of today as when it opened on Broadway in 1984, at the end of Ronald Reagan’s first term. Continue Reading...

Bruce Springsteen’s Charity Bawl

While reading the Wall Street Journal not so long ago, I came across an article and two opinion pieces that, each in their way, told a story far different than one rendered in Bruce Springsteen’s forthcoming album, Wrecking Ball. Continue Reading...