The reason powerful people feel they have an abundance of time…is that their feelings of control over many aspects of their lives spill over onto their sense of time.

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there is something disturbing about consigning cultural artifacts to the dustbin of history simply because the way they represent a person, culture, or event seems (or is in fact) either inaccurate or offensive or both…. In other words, The Mikado is not being offered as an introduction to Japanese culture. Instead, it’s being offered as an example of nineteenth century English operetta with all the limitations that that entails.

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Jeff Gissing:

What two books would you take to a deserted island, other than Scripture? I’d take _The Institutes of the Christian Religion_ and _Summa Theologica_.

Originally posted on Jeff Gissing:

I was reading F. F. Bruce’s account of his life, In Retrospect. Toward the end of the book, Bruce reflects on the question that I am sure many of us have heard before: which two books, apart from the Bible, would you like to take with you to a desert island? Bruce’s response was insightful and I find myself to be in full agreement with it. He replied that he should like to take Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion and The Collected Hymns of John and Charles Wesley.

To me, the most powerful expression of the Christian faith in post-Reformation history could that movement known as calvinistic methodism. There is nothing more compelling nor more exciting to me than that mingling of the Doctrines of Grace and a heart strangely warmed by God’s grace and longing for growth in holiness.

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The compromise model that works in the political sphere, is not a model that can be incorporated into the life of the institutional church. At the end of the day, the institutional church and its teachers are tasked before God–and under God and the Word–to seek the truth in order to protect the church’s purity:

Inclusiveness is taken to mean that all viewpoints must be represented. It is thereby suggested that the Church should not decide but should walk a fine line of accommodation between right and wrong, truth and falsehood. The model of accommodation and compromise–however appropriate in the political arena–poses severe problems for a community pledged to be faithful to revealed truth as conveyed by Scripture and normatively interpreted by the Church’s confessions.


Richard John Neuhaus

Jeff Gissing:

We’re settling into our new home and realizing just how disruptive of our daily rituals it is to do them somewhere new.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on ritual, especially if you’re a writer.

Originally posted on Jeff Gissing:

I love reading biographies. It’s a virtue and a vice–one third intellectual curiosity, one third gossip, and one third comfort that there are people out there weirder than me. Anna gave me a fascinating book for Christmas, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. Written by Mason Curry, the book is an anthology of vignettes about how creatives have ordered their lives for work.


It’s a quick and enjoyable read, especially if you’re interested in how other writers and artists managed to be productive in the midst of the other things that occupied their lives–work, family, chores, and cooking. Writers and other creatives have always had a reputation for some degree of eccentricity. Mason’s book demonstrates that this stereotype is rooted in reality. Not all eccentricities are created equal. For example, Thomas Wolfe’s penchant for standing nude in front of his window while fondling his genitals (eccentric in a rather perverse…

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