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

Mere Orthodoxy - Apologetic Report
Wednesday, 27 July 2016 05:33

Mere Fidelity: Examining Populism

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This week, Matt returns to the show and foists his questions about our current populist movements upon his reluctant dialogue partners Andrew and Alastair. Hilarity ensues.

If you enjoyed the show, leave us a review at iTunes.  If you didn’t enjoy the show, let us know and we’ll work to make it better.  Or we’ll ignore...

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Note from Jake: This series was first published four years ago by Matthew Lee Anderson in the months leading up to the 2012 election. I had tentative plans to do a similar series this year, particularly after Michelle Obama’s opening-night speech at the DNC highlighted the enormous gap between the Democrats’ ability to give a positive...

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I am reading John J. O’Keefe and R. R. Reno’s Sanctified Vision for the independent study on hermeneutics and theological method I am doing this summer. I have found the book fairly helpful overall, and think the authors are right to commend the church Fathers as models for Biblical interpretation in many ways. The authors do good...

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In his novel Silence Japanese writer Shusaku Endo tells the story of two Portuguese missionaries in 17th century Japan. After initial pioneering work by Francis Xavier in the 16th century, a small native Japanese church had begun to flourish in the mid-to-late 16th century, possibly growing as large as 100,000 people. Then the government took...

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Today I’m pleased to run this helpful guest post from my friend Andrew Fulford. Given the confusion that has surrounded the recent trinitarian debate, I thought it would be useful to find someone who could write a relatively straight forward post explaining the different terms being tossed around in this debate so far. So this post is going...

Wednesday, 20 July 2016 06:00

Hamilton, Meritocracy, and Patriotism

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I held out for as long as I could. My resistance was sustained chiefly by a stubborn contrarianism that resists as many trends as possible, particularly those that can be credibly connected to New York City, Washington, San Francisco, or Los Angeles.

But in the end I succumbed: I’m now a Hamilton fan.

The record-setting musical...

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This week, Derek, Alastair and Andrew consider Helen Andrews’s essay on our meritocracy. Andrews is one of the liveliest and most compelling young writers of our day, and her essay is a fascinating analysis of how our aristocracy has shifted. You can see the excerpt Andrew posted from it here. 

If you enjoyed the show, leave us...

Friday, 15 July 2016 06:00

Gender, Home Economies, and the Church, Ctd.

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There are three separate strands I want to pick up from yesterday’s post.

Being Fair to the Complementarians

First, I asked in the post that people would correct me if I was misrepresenting CBMW. Shane Anderson on Twitter obliged by pointing me toward this post from 2015 that is addressing the “what about wives who make more than their...

Thursday, 14 July 2016 08:00

The Evangelical Gender Crack-Up

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Though it (rightly) hasn’t been discussed as much as the actual trinitarian issues themselves, the current trinitarian debate does suggest some interesting things about how evangelicals are beginning to approach questions of gender. The consensus that has existed amongst most conservative evangelicals for some time is beginning to...

Wednesday, 13 July 2016 08:00

Why Christians Can Support Tighter Immigration Restrictions Featured

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Today we have another long-form piece, this one coming from Stephen Wolfe. I’m pleased to run this piece chiefly because Stephen does a good job of trying to focus the debate around the specific principles that undergird our thinking about an issue like immigration. Even if you disagree with his conclusions, I think you’ll find...

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We are now in the 12th hour of the conservatism’s life in this election cycle, which means it is as good a time as any to revisit the question of how I plan to proceed through American political life over the next four months.

For those who don’t want to read further, it is hard to find a more succinct or accurate distillation of the...

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Here’s a brief statement from Joseph and Jonathan to wrap up our ecclesiology series here. Previous posts:

Affirmation 1: We agree that the individual Christian can just as accurately articulate Christ’s word to a person,...

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After publishing nearly 13,000 words on ecclesiology this month (plus some spirited debate in the comments on Dr. Leeman’s response), I wanted to draw together what seem to me to be the three main strands of the debate between Minich and Dr. Leeman.

Other posts in the series:

Thursday, 07 July 2016 06:00

On Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

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I’m breaking a personal rule I try to follow with stories like this one: Don’t say anything publicly for a week. But the point I want to make is relatively simple so hopefully the lack of time to think won’t cause me to say something stupid.

When I first sat down to write this post, the title was “On Alton Sterling.”...

Tuesday, 05 July 2016 06:00

Brexit and the Moral Vision of Nationhood

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Note from Jake: This is an Alastair piece so it’s both extremely long and extremely rewarding to those who will read the whole thing. That said, today may be a good day to avail yourself of that green “print-friendly version” on the left-hand side of the post.

On the morning of June 24, Britain awoke to the devastation of a vast...

Friday, 01 July 2016 06:00

The Worldly Poetry of the Puritans

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I’m pleased to have Stephen Wolfe back with us again today for this piece on Puritan poetry.

The common understanding of the Puritans, in both popular and academic circles, is that they were hostile to all art, despisers of human desire, and saw nothing redeemable or good in creation. According to this view, their religious fervor was more...

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 08:14

The Trinity Debate and “Big Eva”

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I had hoped that the big Trinitarian brouhaha was starting to calm down to more of a restrained, tightly defined level. Then Dr. Al Mohler waded into the debate yesterday, calling attacks on his friends Drs. Bruce Ware and Wayne Grudem “nonsense” without ever bothering to actually engage with the substance of Carl Trueman, Liam...

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A few weeks ago we ran a two-part review of Jonathan Leeman’s new book Political Church. (Part 1, Part 2) We are now giving Dr. Leeman a chance to respond to Minich’s review. I (Jake) will be posting a recap of the discussion, pulling out key questions for further discussion. Here is Dr. Leeman’s response:

Thanks to Joseph...

Friday, 24 June 2016 06:00

The Predictable Rhetoric of Evangelicalism

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It’s now been 12 days since the horrific shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that saw 50 people killed and over 50 more injured. We did not publish anything on this event last week out of respect for the victims and because in the aftermath of such horror, silence is often the wisest response initially. That said, we’re now...

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Recently, there has been a major clash in the Reformed and evangelical blogosphere on the doctrine of the Trinity. While others have covered the ins and outs of the controversy with some depth, I am more interested in why this clash is happening, and why it is happening now. Michael Bird has said that this is about to be a “miniature civil...

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 06:00

A Christian Case for Gun Control

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Note from Jake: It’s been 10 days since the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Out of respect for the victims and their family, we haven’t posted anything about the shooting until now. But given the significance of this event in the life of our nation, we need to speak about it, but I hope that our continued discussion of it...

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Today, over 1,000 members of the Religious Right met with Donald Trump. It was pitched as a ‘conversation’; it was very clearly a campaign rally for the Republican nominee. Over 1,000 members were invited: I was not among them.

One participant observed that Jesus was not mentioned at the event. But, we do know that attendees were asked...

Tuesday, 21 June 2016 04:00

Mere Fidelity: The Pursuing God

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This week, Derek and Alastair welcome Joshua Ryan Butler to the show. They talk about his new book, The Pursuing God, which you can purchase here.

If you enjoyed the show (AND ONLY IF), leave us a review at iTunes.  If you didn’t enjoy the show, let us know and we’ll work to make it better.  Or we’ll ignore you....

Monday, 20 June 2016 11:06

The Worst Way to View Our Politics

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I’m pleased to welcome a new guest writer, Donald Norman, to Mere O today.

By now most Christians have thought about the “lesser of two evils” voting strategy:

“I can’t vote for Trump. He’s too [fill in the blank]. But, I can’t vote for Clinton either. She’s pro-choice. Lacks integrity. ‘I...

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“It’s going to be an issue.”

You may recall those five words that were spoken by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli in the oral arguments phase of Obergefell v Hodges. Specifically, that sentence was Verrilli’s response to a question from Justice Alito about the tax-exempt status of private religious schools that continued to...

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