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The Most Unexpectedly Religious Film of the Year

I went to see “A Quiet Place,” John Krasinski’s new thriller, with absolutely no anticipation of finding theological or spiritual themes. I just wanted a fun evening at the movies. How wonderful when a film surprises you!

Paul Tillich and “The Shape of Water”

The title of this year’s Best Picture winner, “The Shape of Water,” gives away the game, for the one thing that water does not have is shape. Its very essence is fluidity, formlessness, and freedom from structure. But a film that celebrates this freedom—produced by someone who, by his own admission, hates structure—is sadly emblematic, I fear, of a society that is in danger of losing its ontological balance.

A Case for Priestly Celibacy

Everything in this world—including sex, family, and worldly relationships—is good, but impermanently so. But while the non-ultimacy of worldly realities can and should be proclaimed through words, it will be believed only when people can see it. This is why, the Church is convinced, God chooses certain people to be celibate: in order to witness to a transcendent form of love.

The Jordan Peterson Phenomenon

Like many others, I have watched the Jordan Peterson phenomenon unfold with a certain fascination. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you don’t spend a lot of time on social media, for Peterson, a mild-mannered psychology professor from the University of Toronto, has emerged as one of the hottest personalities on the internet.

The Death of an Evangelical Titan

Billy Graham, arguably the greatest Christian evangelist of the past hundred years, died this week at ninety-nine, and it’s difficult to overstate his impact and importance.

“America” Magazine’s Survey of Women in the Church

Last week, America magazine published a fascinating survey regarding the attitudes of women in the Church. They were kind enough to publish a few of my reactions to the study, but I would like, in this article, to offer a fuller response to their findings.

An Evening with William Lane Craig

Ten years ago, a seminarian friend told me that Dr. William Lane Craig, an evangelical Protestant, was by far the most effective spokesman for the Christian point of view and that he had taken on the atheists with great intelligence, wit, and panache. That night, I looked up Dr. Craig on YouTube and watched, with fascination, his debates with the superstars of the atheist movement. From that evening on I was a fan. This is why, when I was invited by the good people at the Claremont Center for Reason, Religion, and Public Affairs to participate in an all-day dialogue with William Lane Craig, I jumped at the opportunity.

The Surprising Message of “Downsizing”

As I took in the opening scenes of Alexander Payne’s new film, “Downsizing,” and heard a lot of talk about protecting the environment and the dangers of overpopulation, I thought that the movie would be a propaganda piece for left-wing causes. Instead, “Downsizing” amounts to a not-so-subtle critique of that ideology and a surprising commentary on the West's population implosion.

How the “Star Wars” Franchise Lost Its Way

I fell sound asleep for about ten minutes during the most recent installment in the “Star Wars” franchise, “The Last Jedi.” This was not only because the narrative had wandered down a very tedious alleyway, but because “Star Wars” in general has lost its way. What began as a thrilling exploration of the “philosophia perennis” has devolved into a vehicle for the latest trendy ideology—and that is really a shame.

“Lady Bird” and the Breakthrough of Grace

Greta Gerwig’s new film, “Lady Bird,” has taken the critics by storm. Having seen the coming attractions, I knew it would be a quirky, offbeat comedy, but I had no idea that “Lady Bird” would be of considerable religious interest as well.