One of the features of Charles Taylor’s argument in his great (in every sense!) work A Secular Age is that we are a people who are disenchanted. We no longer readily believe in magic, or that hobs sour the milk. We find supernatural claims extraordinary, and all of us—even believers—find that our ‘social imaginary’ means… Continue reading The Myth of Disenchantment
Last week I wrote a rambling exposition of some of the features of Genesis chapter one, but to keep to a reasonable length I didn’t attempt any application. I thought I’d take some time to tease out these ideas in a little more depth what that means for our lives. I’ve written previously that rest… Continue reading Living in Time
We live in an age of expressive individualism. This is a bad thing. While any sort of individualism is a product of Christianity, the form of individualism we currently have that places my desires squarely at the top of the hierarchy of goods is deeply destructive to society, to individuals, and to the church. Once… Continue reading 5 Antidotes to individualism
We live in an age of individuals. Which doesn’t sound like it’s saying very much because we can’t imagine anything else. For all the philosophers and critics say we are 'expressive individualists', we might not believe it fully. You’re not so self-centred that you only act for yourself, after all? But we’re so inculcated by… Continue reading Individualism goes deep
Last year I bought a new roof. Once they were finished the roofer told me, “that’ll still be good when we’re all dead,” which floored me. I don’t think I’d ever knowingly bought a new thing that would outlast me. Our home is the second house we’ve bought, so I imagine its true for both… Continue reading Evangelical (anti)Culture
This is one of those questions that no one other than me was asking. But here's my apophatic answer. Rest is not relaxation. Repeat: Rest is not relaxation. It has become trendy in the evangelical circles I move in to speak of the Sabbath frequently and to use it as a verb, “we Sabbathed yesterday”… Continue reading What is rest?
We live in nihilistic days. We live in quotidian days. Or, in more familiar English: we live in days that are both humdrum and meaningless. The days blur into each other. We go to our workplace; we do the tasks that our employer has assigned to us; we return to our homes to relax and… Continue reading In defence of wonder
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?
Our world is made of atoms, of spinning particles of energy careering around one another in a fabulously chaotic and surprisingly ordered way. Or so the story goes. I don’t mean to suggest that I doubt the scientists whose work informs our understanding of physics and matter; I have no reason to do so. What… Continue reading We are made of stories