The Christmas Tree as a Source of Wonder

Related to some recent discussions about the market for Christmas trees, an irreducibly commercial aspect of the holiday, I ran across this delightful post about a little-known poem by T.S. Eliot, “The Cultivation of Christmas Trees.” In this piece, Eliot introduces the Christmas tree as a source of wonder for children, a source which can be cultivated into maturity so that at the end of times the fullness of the Christmas message might be harvested. Continue Reading...

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PowerLinks 12.30.13

Americans turning to ancient music, practices to experience their faith Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post “It’s the recognition that Christianity didn’t start when someone got an electric guitar,” said Ed Stetzer who runs Lifeway Research Conservatives and Poverty Peter Wehner, Commentary According to Myers, while those in ancient Rome did participate in alms giving, in Roman and Greek culture there wasn’t the compassion for the poor that was present in Jewish and Christian understanding because “there was nothing like Yahweh’s love for the oppressed in their moral imagination.” What Francis can do on anti-Christian persecution John L. Continue Reading...

Keep Calm and Christmas On

In this week’s commentary, I examine the link between delayed gratification and civilization. I use the image of children waking up on Christmas morning to a cornucopia of presents under the tree. Continue Reading...

The Prince and the Pirate

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the publication of William Goldman’s The Princess Bride, and over at The University Bookman I have written up some thoughts on the modern classic, “As You Wish: True (Self-)Love and The Princess Bride.” Those familiar with the story know that the tale develops around the conflict between Prince Humperdinck and Westley (aka The Dread Pirate Roberts) over Buttercup, the most beautiful woman in Florin. Continue Reading...

Fr. Sirico on PovertyCure

Forbes contributor Jerry Bower recently interviewed Fr. Robert Sirico about the documentary film series PovertyCure: Jerry: “Let’s talk a little bit about PovertyCure. Where did this idea come from? What was the original conception of PovertyCure?” Fr. Continue Reading...

PowerLinks 12.27.13

Sci-Fi Is Socialist, Like Most Art Todd Seavey, The Federalist Maybe there is room for more visionary science fiction? The Aid Debate Is Over William Easterly, Reason The failure of Jeffrey Sachs’ Millennium Villages. Continue Reading...

What Does The Bible Say About Income Inequality?

Is unequal distribution of income inherently un-Christians or unjust? That was a question The Christian Post recently posed to several Christian scholars, including Acton research fellow Jordan Ballor. Ballor points out that income inequality is not inherently unbiblical: “The challenge is distinguishing natural inequalities, which arise out of the variety of human gifts and talents, from unrighteous and unjust inequality,” Ballor explained. Continue Reading...

Utopia is a Relative Concept

Shannon Love reminds us that what great-great-grandparents would consider utopia is what we consider modern life: Star Trek is often used as a starting point for musing about this or that utopia because everything in Star Trek seems so wonderful. Continue Reading...