Day 3: Is the Distracted Mind a Spiritual Liability?

Welcome to Day Three of my new blog series on “accepting the world.” If this sounds slightly scandalous (aren’t we Christians supposed to reject the world?), catch up with this intro post. In that post, I explain what Ivan Ilyin means when he says we must accept the world as God’s gift before we can begin the difficult and necessary process of transforming the world, with God’s help, through the medium of…

Day 2: To Accept the World, You Have to See It

Welcome to Day Two of my blog series about “accepting the world”, in the sense given that phrase by Ivan Ilyin. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s the post that sets it all up.) Instead of over-philosophizing like I sometimes do, I just wanted to share a story with you today. “Blank Page Syndrome” As you might have already heard, there’s a group of us (Artefact Institute) that…

Day 1: Thank God for the Italians!

Welcome to Day One of a new series I’m trying out for this blog. As I mentioned in my last post, I was inspired by the daily gratitude practice of a poet and gardener named Rudy Gay. Noting a certain (Russian… ahem) tendency to see the doom and gloom, I’ve decided to take Ivan Ilyin’s advice about accepting the world as a necessary step in creating culture. If you need a quick…

What Does it Mean to “Accept the World”?

In his wonderful book Foundations of Christian Culture, Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin begins one of his most remarkable chapters with these words: Whoever wants to create Christian culture must accept Christianity, he must breathe it into the depth of his soul and turn back to the world with a new wholeness and freedom. Expressing myself in philosophical language, I would say that such a person is called to actualize within himself the religious “act”…