The Wild of God in Waterloo Township, Michigan

I found it to be profound and moving, the work of an author who is not lost in flights of fancy but who is deeply receptive to the world and its God. | Continue reading | 15 hours ago

It Takes a Lot of Tape to Raise Kids

Behind this type of play, though, is a genuine longing for beauty—a desire not only to appreciate the beautiful things one has seen or read or heard, but also to attempt to replicate them somehow. | Continue reading | 1 day ago

Grief in Eternity

Yet at times, if only for a moment, I feel the shadow over my days is transformed into pure spirit. Such thoughts give me a surprising sense of quiet joy. | Continue reading | 2 days ago

The Census Taker in a Church Pew, part 6

This rural mountain church continues to be good because it continues to do what is necessary. | Continue reading | 3 days ago

The Final Prayer of Jim Barry  

—it took 40 years for me to begin to realize these words Jim silently put into my hands on that last day of class were a prayer. | Continue reading | 4 days ago

Remembering Family History: A Mess, a Murderer, and a Matriarch

Knowing your family’s past fugitives and pretty boys is the kind of localism anyone can aspire toward and practice. | Continue reading | 7 days ago

Great Balls of Fire

With a clear sky above us, no one restricting our movements, we learned—sometimes flailingly, like chickens with our heads cut off—how to marvel. | Continue reading | 8 days ago

A SNOOT’s Dream Deferred: A Review of Dictionary of Fine Distinctions

I suppose when it comes to discussions of the English language, I prefer sterner stuff. | Continue reading | 9 days ago

A Garden of Children

If you understand that a child’s growth comes from a spark within, just as does the growth of a flower, a crystal, or a mighty oak, you might take a more trusting view of a child’s growth. | Continue reading | 10 days ago

Medicine Wheel for the Planet: A Review

There ought not be unnecessary opposition between Indigenous and Christian perspectives. The creative work of caring for our ecology is hard enough; let us not also misunderstand one another. | Continue reading | 11 days ago

Motherhood, Rural Decline, and Phoenix

I’ll be logging off the internet for a few weeks and thus pausing these Water Dippers. I aim to resume them in early August. “What Pope Francis and Ivan Illich Prioritize in Common: Anti-clericialism, the Global South and the Cry of the Poor.” Elias Crim surveys the growing inter … | Continue reading | 13 days ago

The AI Mousetrap

AI promises free cheese, but there is no such thing as a free lunch. Although we often boast about AI’s ability to create, we should instead focus the conversation on the kind of society AI produces. | Continue reading | 14 days ago

Fatty Bolger, a Local Hero

Perhaps Pippin is right, but none of the friends call Fredegar Fatty anymore, and those chaps know something about heroics. | Continue reading | 16 days ago

Beyond the Scoreboard

Here, on a little patch of field in a North Texas suburb, I found life being played out in simple but significant ways. | Continue reading | 17 days ago

Emerson’s Grief

Wallie is gone; no visible scar remains. Mourning provides no lesson, no answers, no closure. The poet is not decrying grief for its lack of utility. | Continue reading | 18 days ago

Maurin, Partisanship, and Myth

“Ideas and Historical Consequences.” Mars Hill Audio released the full version of an old interview with John Lucaks. FPR readers can up for a free FPR affiliate membership at Mars Hill Audio. “Dreamers and Plagiarists.” Jacob Howland draws on Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz and Fyodo … | Continue reading | 20 days ago

Sore Mouth Pond

In this way, “idleness as such is by no means a root of evil; quite the contrary, it is a truly divine way of life so long as one is not bored.” | Continue reading | 21 days ago

The Census Taker In a Church Pew, Part 5

Her heart is for those little ones, that they might come to know The One who became a child for our salvation and for the glory of God. | Continue reading | 22 days ago

Against the Florida-fication of the World

And this progression from the raw, unabated natural Florida to the ever-more artificial Florida, has grave consequences for both the geographical locale and the people who inhabit it. | Continue reading | 23 days ago

Don’t Bite the Hand That Taketh Away

God is perverted in our minds from a giver into an imminent enemy. He becomes the all-knowing one who alone reads our hearts’ desires and who alone, in His power, can prevent their satisfaction. | Continue reading | 24 days ago

Speaking Responsibly about Religion and Politics: A Review of Who’s Afraid of Christian Nationalism?

This driving principle of love and human flourishing, rooted in the Christian understanding of humanity being made in the image of God, has spurred the great social and political reform movements in American history like abolitionism and civil rights. | Continue reading | 25 days ago

Math, Antitrust, and Work

“Computers Can’t Do Math.” David Schaengold has a clear and provocative essay on the differences between computer “thinking” and human thinking: “we can be sure there are world states beyond the comprehension of any AI. And I suspect those world states will not necessarily be one … | Continue reading | 27 days ago

A Son’s Journey to His Father

Men often reflect on their relationship with their fathers during these coincidences of milestones; a similar thing often happens when a son reaches the age his father was when the son was born. | Continue reading | 28 days ago


The healthy sorrow of our most melancholy president | Continue reading | 29 days ago

The False Promise of 3D Printers

As is clear to see, Business Insider's portrayal of 3D printing as a panacea for America's housing crisis falls short upon closer examination. | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Scenes From a Stolen Childhood: A Review of Kinderszenen

Only in Israel, I think in retrospect, would twelve-year-olds be this intimately familiar with the history of the Holocaust, the violence and suffering of oppression in the Warsaw Ghetto, and the horrifying events of the uprising and the final destruction of the ghetto. | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Working the Soil in American Literature: A Review of Ethan Mannon’s Georgic Mode

Do we love the soil and the creatures put in our stead, or do we prefer the images our devices project at us? While the choice is not always so cut and dry, Mannon’s book can help us begin to retool our imaginations and ennoble common labor again. | Continue reading | 1 month ago


“The Cultural Roots of Our Demographic Ennui.” Patrick Brown argues that affluence—what regular FPR contributor John de Graaf labeled “affluenza”—lies behind many of our cultural ills: “A world of creature comforts is not one that demands sacrifice. And with greater wealth comes … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

One Hundred Years of Obscurity

Eloquent and nuanced, never pompous, The Rector’s Daughter sets before us the inexhaustible mystery of persons and the ways they manage to live together. | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Pentecost and AI: Being Human in a World of Disabling Algorithms

Rather than empowering us to live in humble confidence in relationship with others and our maker, AI offers us a choice similar to that which confronted Esau. | Continue reading | 1 month ago

“An Indissoluble Union Between Virtue and Happiness”: A Review of The Pursuit of Happiness

Rosen contends that we have lost touch with a classical understanding of happiness, in part because of a shift of cultural emphasis from “being good to feeling good.” Fortunately, social and behavioral psycho | Continue reading | 1 month ago

98.6 Percent of Us Sense of Dead

We’re not crazy — and we’re not alone | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Lobsters, Resilience, and Scouting

“DIY.” Bud Smith details the joys of fixing anything that’s broken with the help of the Internet: “YouTube has all the right answers and all the wrong answers. All you have to do is scroll down and look for the worst one. The one with the worst sound and video quality has the bes … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Every Day Do Something that Won’t Compute

How has your intellectual practice prepared you not just for success but also for failure? | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Localism and Justice: A Review of The Story of Clyde Kennard

Kennard himself, though worrying about his legacy during his last illness, seemed remarkably free of bitterness. Concerning a prison guard who had abused him, he thought that the abuse had harmed the guard more than himself. | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Stability as Spiritual Formation

“They see us as deeply lonely people,” Barry told Fred, “and one of the reasons we’re lonely is that we’ve cut ourselves off from the nonhuman world and have called this ‘progress.’” Maturity in Christ is not escape but presence. | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Winter Rabbits

And so the shotgun sits in our home like a quiet benediction. It dreams—as I do—of long walks in the valleys of my youth and whispers of future pastures that are untrod and unspoiled. | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Patriotism, Realtors, and Men

“The Big AI Risk Not Enough People Are Seeing.” Tyler Austin Harper draws on Ivan Illich to distinguish between technologies that empower us and those that erode our human nature: “we need to adopt a more sophisticated approach to artificial intelligence, one that allows us to di … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Review of Holston

That’s the great cultural task now: to relearn this old language, to keep it from dying out, to nurture it and refine and expand it, to develop new idioms and accents. Holston’s book is part of that project. | Continue reading | 1 month ago

My Failed Wild Garden and Inner Utopian

Rational ideas create hell on earth. Just ask a kulak. Or just ask the lettuce plants in my garden. | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Hand-Cranked Ice Cream Against Despair

Whether the experience goes beautifully or our best-laid plans go awry, hand cranking ice cream with a few dozen kids is a whole lot more powerful than dithering in paralyzing despair. As always, and as we so often forget, the light wins out. | Continue reading | 1 month ago

No Good without Evil: G.W. Leibniz’s Reconciliation of Animal Suffering with God

A robin or chicken that seems to die in a totally senseless way is viewed by humans only in its individuality, without seeing the universal order underlying this suffering. | Continue reading | 1 month ago


But there is something more going on. We also face a new “transcendent reality,” as Klass puts it, in which we see the spiritual world with new eyes. This may include changed views of the sacred, nature, and time itself. | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Reading, Undset, and Tariffs

“Hope for the Organization Kid.” Joshua Hochschild revisits David Brooks’ classic 2004 essay on college students and considers what’s changed in the two decades since: “I doubt that the keenest college students will embrace AI as another shortcut to thinking. Twenty-three years a … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Andrew Petiprin On Popcorn With the Pope

Andrew Petiprin is co-author of a new book from Word on Fire called Popcorn With the Pope, which examines all the movies on the 1995 Vatican movie list. Did you know there was a 1995 Vatican movie list? Me, either! Andrew is a former fellow at Word on Fire, a co-founder of the Sp … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Toward a Politics of Beauty

This talk was delivered earlier this year at a conference on wellbeing held at the Sorbonne. | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Rendering Me into We: A Review of The Crisis of Narration

Disagreements aside, however, Byung-Chul's argument remains a valuable one: the cultures of consumption that rule the modern world are death to the cultures of community that give life meaning. | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Enchanting Axioms: The Snake Oil in the Water We Drink

As-Long-As-Your’re-Happy . . . Follow-Your-Heart . . . Be-True-To-Yourself . . . Believe-In-Yourself . . . Live-Your-Truth . . . Be-Your-Best-Self . . . Do-What-You-Love — the aphorisms of our day are elegant. They sound like beautiful advice. They’re certainly enticing. Who woul … | Continue reading | 1 month ago