Youth: Problem or Solution for New Jobs?

The front page of a recent issue of the Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano read like an Italian “Help Wanted” listing: “Lavori per Giovani Cercasi” (cf. Aug. 13 2010). Unfortunately, this eye-catching headline was not a classified ad targeting young professionals for job openings at the Holy See’s many curial and administrative offices – the prized “stable” positions that would have Roman youth queuing in lines much longer those to enter Sunday Mass at St. Continue Reading...

Salary and Significance

During a recent conversation, a Chinese friend of mine commented on the lack of political involvement that she has observed in her peers, especially in comparison to American college students. She attributes this lack of involvement to the fact that the Chinese do not believe that political action can change the policies or even the identities of their leaders. Continue Reading...

DeKoster on Work and Food

I mentioned Lester DeKoster’s little classic, Work: The Meaning of Your Life—A Christian Perspective, in the context of the Lutheran World Federation’s General Assembly and the theme, “Give us today our daily bread.” Continue Reading...

The Context of Lutheran Ecumenical Social Activism

In the background of this month’s 11th General Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation, it’s important to recall the recent history of global Lutheranism. The basic context is that Lutheranism has been self-understood as historically associated with social quietism, particularly as expressed in the church’s impotency in the face of the Nazi menace. Continue Reading...

The Audacity of the Savior State

The current issue of Touchstone magazine features an impressive cover essay by Douglas Farrow, Professor of Christian Thought at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. In “The Audacity of the State,” Farrow uses the biblical Ichabod motif to examine the crumbling pillars of the family and church, which when properly respected form critical foundations for a flourishing society. Continue Reading...

Stewardship, Soulcraft, Work, and Eternity

In what deserves to be considered a modern classic, Lester DeKoster writes on the relationship between work and stewardship. These reflections from God’s Yardstick ought to be remembered this Labor Day: The basic form of stewardship is daily work. Continue Reading...

Movie Review: Gran Torino Works

Clint Eastwood’s 2008 project Gran Torino has recently been released on DVD, and what a delight it is. Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a Korean War vet and retired auto worker whose wife has just passed away. Continue Reading...

The Call of Workplace Chaplaincy

Richard Baxter, the seventeenth-century Puritan identified by Max Weber as embodying the Protestant ethic of “worldly asceticism,” once called for chaplains to be sent into places of work for the conversion of sinners. Continue Reading...

Klinghoffer on the Decalogue on the Sabbath

I’ve lately completed David Klinghoffer’s book on the Ten Commandments, Shattered Tablets. In large part it is a conventional conservative critique of American culture, but along the way the author makes some interesting theological connections, especially when he draws on the long tradition of Jewish biblical commentary. Continue Reading...