But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 1 Peter 3: 14-16
As a Protestant, I reject the theology of the canonization of saints. But as an admirer of certain aspects of John Henry Newman’s legacy, I am glad that his upcoming promotion may bring his work to wider attention. His canonization will no doubt be the occasion for publishing some fine books...
A recent tweet from Union Theological Seminary in New York City indicates that the institution, which once boasted luminaries of the intellectual stature of Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich, is now encouraging an innovative penitential practice: confessing sins to plants. To quote the tweet,...
The recent open letter to Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School is a model for responding graciously yet firmly to wrong-headed attempts to address Christianity and the LGBTQ issue. After the school announced in an email that its alumnae magazine would in future carry notices of same-sex...
Over thirty years ago, Leszek Kołakowski opined that Nietzsche’s expose of the bankruptcy of Enlightenment humanism had not become the explicit orthodoxy of the modern age. Despite Nietzsche’s demonstration that a world that had killed God had effected a metaphysical and moral...
Last week, Roy Richard Grinker made an impassioned plea in the New York Times for the American Psychiatric Association to remove “being trans” from its list of mental disorders. His article is worrying, though perhaps not so much for the content as for what it reveals about this...
Last year, when Rusty Reno invited me to a seminar on Christian responses to transhumanism, I responded that if we were going down fighting then, yes, he could count me in. His reply was laconic but eloquent: “I intend to fight, but I do not intend to go down.”
That spirit of positive defiance informs his latest book, Resurrecting the
The claim that “history is on our side” is one that has been debunked frequently, on this website and elsewhere. Yet it remains one of the most attractive and therefore persistent political myths of our day. And for radicals today, the idea that history is on their side has real plausibility because, to borrow a phrase from Winston
Yesterday, Chad Vegas, a good friend of mine and the Reformed Baptist pastor in Bakersfield, Ca. emailed me as follows:
As you know, CA has mandated this [school transgender policy] for the whole state. I have served on the largest high school board in CA, and the nation, for 12 years. I basically lead that board. Our board voted to adopt the new
Christians have for some time been concerned about a perceived shift in the language of Washington from “freedom of religion” to “freedom to worship.” This shift is interpreted by some to reflect a narrowing of religious liberty to what occurs within the walls of a house of worship during service times.
Well, it seems that
I spent last Thursday evening in Manhattan, where I happened to be at a dinner party at Rusty Reno’s with my old friend, Francesca Murphy. Thus, perhaps the only two English ex-pat Brexiters in the U.S.A. found themselves together on that most historic of evenings in the very belly of the metro-Left beast. The night air was a little gloomy.
Many readers of this blog will be blissfully unaware of a storm that erupted recently among conservative Protestants over the doctrine of the Trinity. For those interested in the details, Christianity Today offers a good account of the issues here. As the dust now settles, it is clear that a number of influential evangelical theologians have
I am always interested in and challenged by Greg Forster’s responses to my First Thoughts posts but this time I think he has seriously missed the mark.
Greg alludes to the Ben Op as a fad. I would concede that it is a faddish name, and as a Protestant I wish it reflected a Genevan marketing aesthetic rather than a monastic one. Of course,
On Friday I had the pleasure of being a guest at the annual conference of the Academy of Philosophy and Letters, to hear Rod Dreher speak on—yes, you guessed it—the Benedict Option. I had a number of questions about the details of the Ben Op, and many of these were answered on Friday. Indeed, having read plenty by Rod on the Ben Op and
As the breakdown in civic discourse continues apace, it is refreshing to read John Inazu’s Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving through Deep Difference—a welcome call for a more constructive public square. But sadly I fear its message will be little heeded. Too little, too late might well be the book’s epitaph—though
A correspondent recently asked (in a somewhat J’accuse! tone) why I spend all my time writing about LGBTQ matters. In fact, of course, I do not. That I do spend a fair amount of the time I devote each week to writing for First Things on this issue is undeniable. But, mirabile dictu, most of my time is not actually devoted to writing for First
The case of a Wyoming judge has not made the big news as yet but looks set to be a very important and significant case. Here is the mainstream narrative from the Associated Press:
The Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics is recommending the court remove Municipal Judge and Circuit Court Magistrate Ruth Neely of Pinedale. The commission
I have received a fair amount of response to last week’s post on the rise of the anti-culture and the role of the Unholy Trinity of the entertainment industry, big business, and the law courts in the destruction of life as we have known it. Thus, I offer here a few further thoughts by way of clarification. I cannot respond to all my
Is the culture war over? Or, to use less martial language, is Christian cultural engagement at an end? At the risk of depriving a rapidly shrinking handful of old-school Republicans and countless trendy Christian blog pundits of their reason to exist, I believe the answer is yes. It is over. For to engage a culture there must first be a culture
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