Here are a few of my favorite essays that I’ve published over the years, about books and ideas and historical personages that interested me. For a more complete list, have a look here.
Since 2008 I have been writing and editing for the website Culture-Making.com. Originally created to promote my friend Andy Crouch’s book Culture Making: Rediscovering Our Creative Calling, over several years and hundreds of blog posts, the site has grown into a repository of quotation and commentary about the true, the beautiful, and the interesting.
How Not to Do Your Physics Homework In 1995 I strung up a 200-foot pendulum in the central well of the Bunker Hill Monument. What could possibly go wrong?
Subtleties A brief meditation on the history and philosophy of foreign film subtitles: what they look like, how they get written, what they mean.
You Had Me at ‘Hello’ What do you say when you answer the phone? How a bargeman’s call became the international standard for disembodied greetings.
From 2000 to 2003 I was editor of re:generation quarterly, a magazine about culture, community, and faith.
A Star in the East: The Enduring Myth of Prester John About the centuries-long search for a mythic Christian king of the Orient.
The Heart of the Pathetic A review of V.S. Naipaul’s Among the Believers and A Turn in the South, with notes on library book vandalism.
Fast and Right through Me A review of Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
And finally, one essay exclusive to this blog …
A Graphical Analysis of National Anthem Lyrics … with attention to length, word frequency, and general bloodthirstyness.