Merciless megalomaniacs are animals. To be truly human is to care for the vulnerable.

Apologies for the lack of links in this piece. I wrote it on a flight from Tokyo to Jakarta with a very spotty internet connection. If you need to find some of the relevant news pieces, it's not hard. During an immigration roundtable at the White House this week, President Donald Trump described some immigrants to …

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My summer reading plans

Last week, I posted my response to students who ask me how they should continue to read after graduation. I'm following that up with another post about reading. I've mentioned before that every summer I read at least one book on writing/publishing, at least one book on teaching, and at least one book on higher …

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My advice to the class of 2018 about reading even after commencement

This is commencement weekend at Wheaton College. After a week of final exams, our graduating seniors will finally walk across the stage shake the president's hand and receive a diploma showing that they've earned their college degree. Afterward, they'll take photos outside, tassel turned to the correct side and folio held open to show off …

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Replacing absences and extensions with sick days and personal days

There's one week left before the end of the semester. That makes it crunch-time for students. (Then it's crunch-time for faculty who have to grade. Some of my students calculated that I'd have over 600 pages of work to grade just from one class.) With crunch-time comes the inevitable barrage of requests for excused absences …

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How rest can save the conversation on vocation from itself

If your college is anything like mine, conversations on "vocation" or "calling" have become integral to campus life. Many of us have become more intentional about helping students prepare for a life of discernment when it comes to making meaning or finding significance, making an impact, and making a living. I've invested quite a bit …

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“The Macondoization of the World” and “rules written with human blood”

Today’s New York Times includes a story on President Trump’s rollback of offshore drilling rules developed after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe and “written with human blood:” These regulations were written with human blood,” said Lillian Espinoza-Gala, a former offshore worker who now serves as an industry safety consultant and opposes easing protections. “The only way we can …

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Getting Daniel Right: What it Should Mean for the President’s Evangelical Advisory Council to Be “a Voice of God in the Ear of the King”

Today brings more news about President Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Council. Apparently, some members have been wrestling afresh with the role of the Council. (Some of my thoughts on this Council can be found here.) Other than A.R. Bernard, who publicly stepped down after Charlottesville, implying that the Council members might be at risk of “political idolatry” (a …

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Global Cities, Religion, and Security

Kristin Ljungkvist and I co-authored a piece on Global Cities, Religion, and Security for this Cardus Social Cities report on “Religion and the Good of the City” (pages 18-28). From the introduction by Milton Friesen: “Noah Toly and Kristin Ljungkvist remind us that religious life in global cities is dynamic, persistent, and significantly involved in issues …

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The New Urban Agenda and the Limits of Cities

In the autumn of 2016, close to 40,000 people, including official delegates from almost every nation, converged upon Quito, Ecuador, for Habitat III, the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. The second-highest capital city in the world, Quito rises 9,350 feet above sea level and boasts a historic urban center crowned …

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