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

Old Life - Apologetic Report

image

In the ballpark of always affirming, always sunny religious journalism comes Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra’s puff piece on Tim Keller’s retirement at Redeemer NYC. I am not sure that this is the kind of analysis of context that Joe Carter had in mind for the Gospel Coalition’s...

Read more

Friday, 19 May 2017 02:17

Married Presbyterian Pastors

Written by

image

Protestants do not receive nearly the credit they should for seeing 500 years ago what George Weigel recently observed (and it took Hillary Clinton — a Methodist).

First, marriage can be a good thing:

The Church’s unique, Christ-given structure invests great authority in bishops. And...

Read more

Thursday, 18 May 2017 02:20

TKNY Even in UK

Written by

image

Even while in Ireland, I could not evade Tim Keller. One morning while reading the magazine Standpoint, I read a column which contained this:

As well as being one of the great delaying mechanisms of modern times, YouTube is one of the great gifts of our age. It not only allows us to watch videos...

Read more

Wednesday, 17 May 2017 06:49

Taking History Whole (feathers and all)

Written by

imageJohn Fea, who has (near as I can tell) coined the phrase “Court evangelical” to designate President Trump’s born-again defenders, thinks astute an observation that defenders of Confederate monuments “in Trump’s America” have a flawed understanding of the past.

It...

Read more

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 07:04

Jamie Smith’s Bait and Switch

Written by

image

I was afraid that neo-Calvinism’s refusal to distinguish the sacred and secular would go here — that is, to a defense of civil religion. Jamie Smith’s latest editorial does just that.

Mind you, he is aware of the defective versions of civil religion, especially the one that has...

Read more

Monday, 15 May 2017 04:56

Black Lives Matter and Evangelicals Together

Written by

image

H. L. Mencken explains the wonder-working power of morality:

Moralists, I respectfully submit, are not shrinking violets. They do not go “quietly about their business.” They are not avoiders of controversy. On the contrary, their eager seeking of controversy is one of their salient...

Read more

imageOld Life took a wee vacation last week thanks to (all about) my trip to Belfast which included delightful discussions with a historian who must remain anonymous for the sake of his good name and sightseeing with an old (not as old as mmmmeeeeeeEEE) friend who also deserves protection from tawdry...

Read more

imageJerry Falwell, Jr. may have and still does support Donald Trump, but I doubt he’d let happen what Paul Griffiths, a very smart Roman Catholic scholar, is now experiencing for not submitting to sensitivity training (thanks to Rod). Griffiths’ description of the consequences of the...

Read more

Friday, 05 May 2017 01:05

The United States of Fear

Written by

imageI think I have the way to form a more perfect union in this place we call the USA. It is to recognize that all Americans share a sense of fear. Anxiety is what unites us in the U.S. Consider the following.

Andrew Sullivan writes respectfully about reactionary conservatism and even grants its...

Read more

Thursday, 04 May 2017 07:22

Dueling Bubbles

Written by

imageJim Wallis goes out on a limb by dumping on white evangelicals:

The issue here is not Christians voting differently from each other. That is normal and likely healthy given the independence that people of faith should show over partisan loyalties. This is about the moral hypocrisy of white American...

Read more

imageAs progressive as the founding pastor of New City Fellowship in Chattanooga is, Andrew Exum thinks this mixed race, multicultural church still fails to pass the Democratic/mainline Protestant litmus test:

Last weekend, I happened to be back in Jackson’s Tennessee, and my wife and I used the...

Read more

Tuesday, 02 May 2017 05:37

The Good Thing about New Calvinism

Written by

imageThey don’t attract people like this:

The FBI closely monitors online communities that discuss ISIS, at times running so many undercover accounts that agents end up investigating one another: An FBI policy guide, obtained and published by The Intercept, notes that online investigations have...

Read more

imageThe piece on Rod Dreher and the Benedict Option in the New Yorker was remarkable on several levels. It was generally positive, respectful, and long. This was the case despite Dreher’s tendency to sound a tad hysterical about sexual irregularities and deviance. This quote by Andrew...

Read more

Saturday, 29 April 2017 04:23

Protest

Written by

imageWhen you see gross deficiency in the church, you don’t shrug. You object as Phil Lawler does over news of a new Roman Catholic church in Boston:

in the past 50 years, the Archdiocese of Boston has opened zero new parish churches. Over the same span, roughly 125 parishes have been shut down or...

Read more

Friday, 28 April 2017 07:05

Every Member Ministry

Written by

imageRemember how the Second Vatican Council affirmed the priesthood of believers?

The baptized, by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are consecrated as a spiritual house and a holy priesthood, in order that through all those works which are those of the Christian man they may offer...

Read more

Thursday, 27 April 2017 07:52

Both Cannot Be True

Written by

imageOn the one hand, preaching the Bible is haahht:

According to a new study by Gallup, the hottest thing at church today is not the worship and not the pastor. It’s not the smoke and lights and it’s not the hip and relevant youth programs. It’s not even the organic, fair trade coffee...

Read more

Thursday, 27 April 2017 07:42

Be Careful for What You Pine

Written by

image

If you want the world to be sacramental:

Living a sacramental worldview means, quite simply, viewing the world as sacrament. A redundant definition it might be, but often times the simplest explanations are the best. If we do truly believe that the Sacraments are moments in time where the invisible...

Read more

imagePeter Berger notices a sector of American religiosity where true inclusion and diversity reigns — the military chaplaincy:

One particularly interesting development is that the military chaplaincy, in its Protestant group, is increasingly filled with Evangelicals, who feel more at home in the...

Read more

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 05:53

When Did Sex Become Orthodoxy?

Written by

imageThis is how you know when the Church of England goes over the cliff:

I left the Church of England when, in 2008, it became clear what the inexorable trajectory had become. Wherever it leads, it doesn’t lead to orthodoxy and will always be shipwrecked on the rocks of secular liberalism and...

Read more

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 05:50

Curmudgeonly Evangelicals?

Written by

imageOld Life is not the only place where the dissatisfied express their dissatisfaction. Evangelical scholars are weighing in on Francis Fitzgerald’s new book, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America. If Barry Hankins thinks Fitzgerald neglects evangelicalism’s religious...

Read more

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 01:53

Why the Personal is not Political

Written by

imagePresident Obama explained why policy is such a poor instrument for addressing something as personal as race relations:

But this is always one of the challenges of politics: It can never capture all the complexity and contradictions in life. So you end up having to try to be true in a way that can be...

Read more

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 01:41

Good and Bad Israel Complexes

Written by

imageDavid P. Goldman (aka Spengler) tries to explain appropriate and inappropriate appropriations of Israel:

There is a fine but definite line, to be sure, between the Gentiles’ identification with Israel and their idolatrous desire for election in place of Israel. It is one thing for the Puritans...

Read more

Monday, 24 April 2017 07:23

Who Paved the Way for Trump?

Written by

imageIt was not Jerry Falwell (or his son).

It was the gatekeepers who decided gates were simply mental constructions and who celebrated those who ran with the new freedom.

Want to know where fake news came from? Looks like it was Harvard not Liberty University (thanks to one of our many southern...

Read more

Monday, 24 April 2017 00:41

But (not all about) Me No Buts

Written by

imageIn honor of the Bard’s birth which occurred sometime before his baptism recorded on April 26, 1564 — puts the Elizabeth in Elizabethan English.

Authors: D. G. Hart...

Read more

Friday, 21 April 2017 06:38

Founding Fineprint

Written by

imageLots of apologists insist that the Church of Rome is the one that Jesus Christ founded. That strikes me as a real slight to the Eastern churches and especially to the Church of Jerusalem where Jesus ministered. After all, Tertullian didn’t ask, “What Hath Rome to do with...

Read more

Page 1 of 12