Capitalism Reconsidered

This article was originally published in the Summer ’05 issue of Revisions, The Inaugural Issue.

It is easy to sympathize with the disaffection many Christians have with modern American society. Any thoughtful observer will recognize much that is wrong with our consumer culture and with the materialistic ideology that undergirds it. The acquisitive nature shared by most Americans is at odds with the professions of Christianity. However, Christians who would place the blame for American excess on the capitalist system that makes it possible would be misdiagnosing our malady, and their attempts to treat it by resorting to socialism would be as dangerous as prescribing chemotherapy to treat influenza. Their solution would do nothing to address the root of the problem and would tend toward a different, and more injurious, excess of its own.


Sex and the Crisis of the Human Soul

This article was originally published in the Fall ’06 issue of Revisions, Sex is Good.

At a reflective moment in the middle of the 1998 war film The Thin Red Line, Private Witt asks Sergeant Welsh, “Do you ever feel lonely?” Welsh answers, “Only around people.” Witt appears to ponder this for a moment and then repeats softly, as if in benediction, “only around people.” The sentiment that Welsh expresses is the crisis of the human soul: alienation.


Social Justice Reconsidered

This article was originally published in the Spring ’08 issue of Revisions, The Pursuit of Happiness.

[W]e have confused American values with Christian values. I believe our Christian vision has been clouded by the mists of partisanship and blinded by the veil of self-​​interest. more…

The Cost of Technology

This article was originally published in the Spring ’07 issue of Revisions, Can Technology Save Us?

When I was a child, I loved visiting my grandparents at their cabin in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. The dirt road leading to their house was lined with wild blackberry bushes, and my siblings and I used to spend hours outside during the summer months picking blackberries. We would eat them straight off the bushes, or sometimes we would collect enough of them for my mother to make a cobbler. Once, when my aunt was visiting, we even shared the bushes with a black bear. Sadly, those blackberry bushes are now gone, victims of suburbanization and progress. more…

Faith beyond Sunday

This article was originally published in the Spring ’07 issue of Revisions, Can Technology Save Us?

My work is something I take pride in, but it doesn’t define me,” says Tim Tran ’06, who is working at a research lab while applying to medical school. Work often seems to crowd out faith, relegating it to a weekend leisure pursuit; how might faith instead define the parameters of one’s attitude toward work?


Welcome to the Grand Illusion

This article was originally published in the Summer ’06 issue of Revisions, Has American Culture Killed Christ?

Welcome to the Grand Illusion.” The opening lyric of the Styx song beckons us into an insatiable orgy of consumerism. Like the gullible child tricked by the unscrupulous showman, we buy our ticket and enter the tent with eyes wide and mouth agape. We are bedeviled with broken images, trite slogans, clever distortions, and abject lies. Just what I needed. Every kiss begins with Kay. Because you’re worth it. A diamond is forever. Good food, good life. Before we realize what’s happening, our pockets have been picked clean and we’re left with nothing but an empty wallet, an emptier heart, and a burning lust for more. Fortunately, we’ve still got our credit cards.


Educating Ourselves to Imbecility

This article was originally published in the Winter ’05 issue of Revisions, Is there a Place for Christ in the Classroom?

One of the most famous puzzles in metaphysics can be traced back to Plutarch, who recorded that after the ship carrying the hero Theseus returned to Athens, the Athenians preserved it for hundreds of years, gradually replacing its rotting planks with fresh ones. The puzzle goes like this: at what point (if any) did the ship cease to be the same ship? When the first plank was replaced? When the last original nail was removed? At some point in between? This quandary has stumped philosophers for years and continues to inspire debate today. In fact, a quick search reveals that the phrase “ship of Theseus” has appeared over 100 times in articles published in the last five years.