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

First Things - Carl Trueman - Apologetic Report
Tuesday, 30 October 2018 20:00

The Reformation We Need Featured

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Numerous times over the last few years I have heard both Roman Catholics and Protestants express a desire for a new Reformation. For traditional Catholics, Francis's papacy has brought a chilly realism to bear upon the legacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Moreover, the ongoing and...

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Wednesday, 26 September 2018 20:00

The New Gulags Featured

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As a new teacher at Grove City College, I thought it appropriate to start my upper-level humanities course by informing the students of my broad educational philosophy:

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Authors: First Things RSS Feed - Carl R. Trueman...

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Sunday, 26 August 2018 20:00

Unconvincing Triumphalism Featured

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The fiftieth anniversary of Humanae Vitae has occasioned a certain amount of Roman Catholic triumphalism, at least among the intellectual class, of the “We told you so!” variety.  And there is no doubt that, in its prediction of the moral and social chaos the sexual revolution...

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Thursday, 09 August 2018 20:00

Boris and the Burqa Featured

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Boris Johnson, the wily faux-buffoon of British politics, has done it again, causing the twittering classes to reach for their blood pressure medicine. This time he has compared the appearance of women who wear burqas to that of letterboxes, thus committing the sin of Islamophobia. At least, that...

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Postcolonial theory—the intellectual rationale for the imperialist imposition of our cultural orthodoxies on all people everywhere—claimed another victim last week, as Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If—” was removed from a mural at Manchester University and replaced...

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As Western society continues its relentless purge of the pre-political, the body count keeps mounting. Yesterday's harmless activity—say, boys-only scouting—is tomorrow’s act of cisgendered heteronormative patriarchal oppression of the Other. Like some dreaded mutating bacillus,...

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Thursday, 21 June 2018 03:20

The Truth Is Not Enough Featured

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Some years ago, Rusty Reno invited me to a seminar on the subject of transhumanism and its political and cultural implications. My response was, “Well, if you’re going down fighting, count me in!” To which he replied, “Oh, I intend to fight. But I do not intend to go...

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Thursday, 31 May 2018 14:00

Learning From Luther Featured

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The Making of Martin Lutherby richard rexprinceton, 296 pages, $27.95

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Sunday, 20 May 2018 20:00

If Only Francis Were Luther! Featured

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With the advent of Wim Wenders’s Pope Francis documentary in theaters, the policies of the current pontiff will no doubt be the subject of considerable and heated discussion in the media. Thanks to the turbulent history of the Roman Catholic Church, historical analogies will surely...

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My father—who could swear with the best of them—always told me that use of the f-word was reprehensible, not only because it was obscene but because it showed that the speaker had “an extremely limited vocabulary.” I was reminded of this when reading Amia Srinivasan’s...

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Tuesday, 27 February 2018 07:29

My Protestant Oscar Predictions Featured

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I make a point of never watching the Oscars. If I want to waste four hours of my life being alternately patronized and reminded what an abject failure I am according to the criteria contemporary society holds dear, I can always read TheNew Yorker . But I am sufficiently aware of what goes on at...

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Monday, 26 February 2018 19:00

My Protestant Oscar Predictions Featured

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I make a point of never watching the Oscars. If I want to waste four hours of my life being alternately patronized and reminded what an abject failure I am according to the criteria contemporary society holds dear, I can always read TheNew Yorker . But I am sufficiently aware of what goes on at...

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Wednesday, 14 February 2018 19:00

When Is a Lutheran Not a Lutheran? Featured

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Last Sunday, a New Jersey Lutheran church celebrated the transition of its pastor from womanhood to manhood. The Rev. Rose Beeson became the Rev. Peter Beeson.

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Sunday, 14 January 2018 19:00

Preparing for Winter Featured

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of lecturing at the American Enterprise Institute’s Values and Capitalism Faculty Retreat on the challenges facing Christians in higher education. One point I made concerned the need for Christian institutions to wean themselves off of government money as soon...

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One of the sad things about writing my annual contribution to the First Things end-of-year appeal is that there is always some news headline that indicates why the print magazine and its online content are important. And this year is no exception, with the news that a Roman Catholic priest in...

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Tuesday, 21 November 2017 19:00

Scam Artists and Sex Education Featured

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One of the oddest aspects of the sexual revolution is its tendency to present the problem as the solution. For instance, during the 1980s, the least acceptable response to the AIDS crisis was the promotion of abstinence. Promiscuity was held to be normative, opponents of it were decried as idiotic...

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Tuesday, 26 July 2016 09:00

A Mountain or a Marathon?

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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

Monday, 18 July 2016 15:36

Playing with Fire

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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

Thursday, 07 July 2016 13:55

Trouble in Bakersfield

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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
Thursday, 07 July 2016 09:00

Iowa's Law-Gospel Dialectic Featured

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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.

Friday, 24 June 2016 10:00

The Ecumenical Consequences of the Peace Featured

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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

Wednesday, 08 June 2016 08:35

Politics of Resentment?

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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,

Wednesday, 01 June 2016 05:00

Eating Locusts Will Be (Benedict) Optional Featured

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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

Friday, 27 May 2016 08:20

Confident Pluralism Indeed Featured

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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

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