Introducing Salt and Iron: Our New Blog!

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Salt and Iron: Forging Faith will discuss faith, politics, philosophy, and culture with a two-fold mission:

  • to sharpen fellow Christians in our shared faith
  • to address the world graciously with seasoned speech

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Reinventing the Christmas Wheel

2015-12-10 Traditions img01Every year my family struggles to keep up Christmas traditions. It’s not that we find our traditions onerous or time-consuming, so much as that we don’t find many traditions at all.

A friend of mine helped illustrate my family’s dearth of traditions when joining us for dinner one year. When I asked what he would like to eat, he suggested, “Make me a traditional family dish.”

This request stumped me for a while, considering that my dad’s favorite description of my mother’s cooking runs, “Enjoy it while you can—you’ll never see it again.” Casting about in my mind, I recalled a variation on a favorite Mexican dish we had cooked up. Continue reading

7 Ways to Beat the Clock

I wish I had more time. Don’t we all? After years of filling my To-Do list with a hose and emptying it with an eyedropper, I finally hit on the secret to getting more done:

2015-11-12 Clock img02

This 1996 book promises a miracle on its cover, and, believe it or not, its contents deliver. Aslett opens the book with several pages on the benefits of doing more with your time.  I’ll assume you are already persuaded, and dive right in. Continue reading

First They Came for Kim Davis

2015-11-2 Davis img01When Kim Davis served jail time for refusing to sign gay marriage licenses, it boded ill for religious liberty in America.

One of GoodTrueBeautiful’s authors analyzes the legal implications of Kim Davis’s plight in an article published by The Harvard Law Record:

As Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito correctly predicted in their dissents, the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges has not, in fact, brought closure to questions regarding marriage in the United States. That case has instead opened up a Pandora’s box of new controversies as the newly-articulated right to same-sex marriage comes into conflict with the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion.

Read more: Same-Sex Marriage, Religious Freedom & Kim Davis

Songs About Nothing: Rachel Platten and Postmodern Art

2015-10-12 Platten img01What do Rachel Platten, Marianas Trench, and avant-garde sculpture have in common?  Postmodernist tendencies to self-referential exposition.

One of GoodTrueBeautiful’s authors exposes the dangers of postmodern art and its hidden moral claims in an article published recently by The Federalist:

[“Fight Song”] is [Rachel Platten’s] “take back my life song” and “prove I’m alright song,” but the song does not do these things. It only claims it is doing them. As much as I enjoy “Fight Song,” I have to recognize it for what it is: not a song, but the idea of a song.

Read more: Like All Postmodern Artists, Rachel Platten Makes A ‘Fight Song’ About Nothing

Judging Nuns’ Faith

What happens when courts practice theology?  Last week, one of GoodTrueBeautiful’s authors highlighted the danger to religious freedom in an article published by The Baltimore Sun:

A group of appellate judges recently decided to take up theology while writing a legal opinion. As might be expected, they got into trouble.

Read more: Judging nuns’ faith – Baltimore Sun

Color Theory for Movie Fans

2015-7 Colors img09All movie-watchers indulge in their own pet obsessions. Maybe you watch for plot twists; your sister watches for gorgeous soundtracks; your dad for the quotable one-liners; your mother for her Hollywood crushes; and your college roommate watches for goof-ups he can skewer later in ironic Youtube videos. As for me, I obsess over cinematic color theory. Continue reading

Ramblings

2015-6-18 Reading img01Reading a book at night has always been a dangerous prospect. If the bedtime reader wishes to relax his mind before sinking into sleep, he must choose carefully. The wrong book could, instead of saving him from a few minutes of staring at the ceiling, cost him several hours of wide-eyed attention as he strains to conclude the final chapters by flashlight, because, after all, it is already two o’clock in the morning, and he has only three chapters to go. On the other hand, if a reader imagines his mind is most relaxed and receptive to a book just before bed, when the world has left him in peace for a few blessed minutes, and the cares and obligations of the daytime have called a temporary retreat, he may find his body has other ideas. Continue reading

Art and Faith in the Private Sphere

2015-5-22 Art & Faith img01After the Protestant Reformation shattered the Christian consensus and ended the serene confidence of the Renaissance, the dramatic Baroque style swept Europe. In the Netherlands, religious wars had ravaged the country, so art tended to avoid religious topics. As church patronage declined, however, the Netherlands’s booming economy allowed private citizens to commission art. Rembrandt’s Night Watch reflects the shift towards painting private, secular activity. Meanwhile, Spain remained resolutely Catholic. Spanish painter Velázquez painted genre scenes during the Baroque period, but his work often included subtle religious messages that supported Catholic doctrine. In Las Meninas, he is more concerned with his personal aim to establish himself as a member of the royal household rather than with conveying a religious message. Both group portrait paintings demonstrate the shift in art from religious to secular subjects. Continue reading