Essay / Literature

Classic Texts on the Atonement

Every now and then someone asks me for a list of my favorite books on the doctrine of the atonement. This is my list of favorite classics, to be followed by a list of contemporary works. Athanasius, On the Incarnation: for my money, this is

Essay / Blog

Time

We are all past, present, and future. While our lives may be bound in the present, what constitutes our “who” has come before, and will be. I am myself, my mother’s child, my child’s mother. The intricacy and interdependency of human lives and human relationships

Essay / Literature

Razumikhin Haddock

The character Razumikhin in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment is one of the most personable figures in the book. Intelligent, loyal, resourceful, and generally pleasant, he’s one of the few people you can imagine looking forward to spending a few days with in St. Petersburg. But

Essay / Education

Hebrews: The Mind-blowing Finale

The book of Hebrews is the grand finale of the first semester in the Torrey Honors Institute. After the freshman fall, the curriculums for Torrey’s two houses take their separate ways: the Morgan House following a roughly chronological path to bring them up to the

Essay / Education

Only the Lonely

I happened to be re-reading Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment the same weekend that we hosted a recruiting event for the Torrey Honors Institute. As I spent time reflecting on my membership in this learning community, I noticed the stark contrast of the radical isolation that

Essay / Culture

Progress for the Sake of…

As I was driving around LA the other day listening to NPR, two stories run back-to-back caught my attention. The first was a story about the recent Nobel-prize winners John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka, who have uncovered a means for turning any cell into

Essay / Culture

Some Poetry with Your Haircut, Sir?

I like vintage barber shops. Ever since I was a boy, they have been part of my life (of course, in those days, they were simply known as regular, run-of-the-mill barber shops). My father would take me to a Cuban barber who had a faint

Essay / Literature

Bayard: How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read

Pierre Bayard’s 2007 book How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read is a real page turner. The best I can tell, it’s an elaborate joke in which the authorial voice is a kind of fictional character. This character –I’ll call him Bayard while remaining

Essay / Literature

O Tell Us, Poet, What You Do

A favorite Rilke poem: O tell us, poet, what you do. –I praise. Yes, but the deadly and the monstrous phase, how do you take it, how resist? –I praise. But the anonymous, the nameless maze, how summon it, how call it, poet? –I praise.

Essay / Literature

Unhelpful Advice from Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson is one of the acknowledged masters of English prose, a fixed star of style. As you might expect from the author of a dictionary, Johnson was master of a vast vocabulary, concatenating his words into characteristically long sentences. Those sentences! They are complex periodic

Essay / Education

A Noble Risk: The Making of a Wheatstone Conference Theme

Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.  1 Peter 4:19 No sensible man would insist that these things are as I have described them, but

Essay / Literature

When Did Aslan Banish Winter?

I’ve pondered before how odd it is that there is no Narnian nativity, no incarnation of Aslan in the fantasy world of C.S. Lewis. Lewis has his Christ-figure die and rise again, create heaven and earth, and return in judgement, but he carefully avoids depicting