We all struggle. We all suffer. We all know pain. At the same time, we’re acutely aware that we don’t have access to each other’s struggles except as they are related to us. There is nothing more humanising than suffering—this is the human condition—and there is nothing more isolating. When Christians suffer, when we experience… Continue reading The Privilege of Pain
Everybody loves community, or they say they do at least. We live in a land that is parched of the life-giving water of friendship and stripped bare of many of the settings that used to make this easy for people. Robert Nisbet in his book The Quest for Community argues that what he calls a… Continue reading The Quest for Community
To the ancients, friendship was the crown of life and the school of virtue. To us, it’s both of you clicking a button on Facebook. How far we have fallen. That might seem overdramatic. It wouldn’t be the first time I’d been accused of that, but I don’t think it is. God had declared our… Continue reading True Companions
The pandemic has damaged our friendships. There was a recent Atlantic Op Ed that opined that all but the closest friendships we might have are slipping away. But things were broken before that, back in 2018 the US Surgeon General announced a “loneliness epidemic”, especially facing middle-aged men. So, while the pandemic has made thing… Continue reading What are friends?
Have you noticed that we don’t seem to be able to wait? Perhaps you’ve stood in a queue at a shop or waited at a bus stop recently. I stand on the platform waiting for the train to get to work a few days every week. If you have done the same recently, I’d forgive… Continue reading Children of Choice
Nietzsche attacked Christianity with all the strength his mind and powerful prose could summon up. His hatred for Christians was sourced in part because he considered the faith to be a religion for the weak and a religion that idolised and encouraged weakness. For Nietzsche the way of Jesus propagated what he called ‘slave morality’… Continue reading The Weakness of God
Men don’t know how to be friends anymore. Have you noticed? Ancient literature expected men to have close friends, who could bitterly betray them if they proved false and be the close loves of their hearts when they proved true. We could think of Achilles and Patroclus, Damon and Pythias, or for an example that… Continue reading Reclaiming Friendship
The renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson has, as I write, just released his new book Beyond Order. It’s causing the usual early splash you’d expect. Most media interviews are fairly negative, not least because Peterson stands in for a certain sort of conservative adjacent thinking they dislike strongly, even if that isn’t what he represents.… Continue reading Exploring Jordan B. Peterson
I’ve recently finished Tara Isabella Burton’s superb book Strange Rites. The book’s central argument is that descriptions of our age as secular are overstated, and there are three great quasi-religious movements on the rise. More on those movements another time; on her way to them Burton explores a range of subcultures that behave in religious… Continue reading Re-enchanted?
At the end of 2019 everyone had a books of the decade list. A few friends of mine shared theirs with each other, which gave me a good list of reading material, and a book group span out of that discussion. It’s more recently morphed into a group that reads old Christian works that we… Continue reading 9 books that changed me