We know that Snopes, the internet’s official fact checker, has occasionally been wrong and occasionally let its political bias slip. No one’s perfect, especially in the fact-checking department. Justin Taylor took a look at a well-known fact-checker, Professor Buzzkill, and how he “fact checked” an article about John Newton and “Amazing Grace.” The moral of the story is that fact-checking is difficult in this internet age of instant news, social media, and online experts, and the fact-checkers themselves need fact-checking.
At Christianity Today, Christine Purifoy reviewed poet Christian Wiman’s new book, He Held Radical Light, and discovers how poetry can quiet the “pandemonium of blab.” And over at The Imaginative Conservative, Mitchell Kalpakgian looked at how Gerald Manley Hopkins did something similar in the Victorian era.
Once the news media develops a narrative, no matter how wrong, it simply won’t let go. The scandals involving the Catholic Church and Pope Francis is just one more example. The media need to seed this as a conservative vs. progression theology fight (the news media generally likes Francis), when it is much larger and more familiar – the lengths an institution will go to protect itself and its leadership. Canadian David Warren has two articles, one about the crisis itself and one on what it means to be men, not destroyers. Jonathan Last at The Weekly Standard explains why he sees the Catholic Church breaking up. This story is much bigger than most of us Protestants and the news media realize.
Paul Krause at Front Porch Republic reviews Yoram Hazony’s The Virtue of Nationalism, and he finds some things to praise about what nationalism can provide (and you don’t have to be a supporter of President Trump or pro-Brexit to see the benefits). Thomas Kidd at the Gospel Coalition considers how some of the most devout religious Americans live out their faith in secular ways (and this isn’t a swipe at evangelicals supporting Trump; he notes this happens on both sides of the political aisle).
My gentle, kind friend Charity Singleton Craig is giving up on social media and explains why in a blog post. Molly Page at Thin Difference discovered how she was allowing social media to stoke her outrage, and then took steps to deal with it.
More Good Reads
An Intolerable Sound– Joe Spring.
Life and Culture
The Cymbal Master Crafting the Perfect Sound
Illustration: Man Reading (Portrait of Gustav Dahlstrom), etching on paper by Frances Foy (1932); Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.