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

Inklingations - Apologetic Report
Wednesday, 14 February 2018 04:05

A Valentine Poem

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Roses are red

Violets are blue

Schmaltzy, Hallmark sentimentality has its problems

But ironic detachment will kill you.

Authors: Samuel James...

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Tuesday, 13 February 2018 06:24

Big Little Lies

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David Frum stays very concerned about the Trump administration’s habit of lying. We know this, because he regularly tweets and writes about it. Frum’s not joking around, here. Presidents and their partisans shouldn’t lie, and when they do lie, as Frum frequently notes, the public...

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Sunday, 11 February 2018 22:57

Why There Will Be More Harvey Weinsteins

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The problem with @DouthatNYT's piece has nothing to do with whether porn should be legal and everything to do with the right's inability to accept women as able to self determine anything about their own sexuality.

— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) February 11, 2018

"I'm a libertarian,...

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Wednesday, 07 February 2018 23:38

Undone In a Minute

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If you still don’t think adultery can utterly destroy a man’s life work, you would do well to contemplate the recent resignation and confession of Larry Taunton. I’ve never met him, but I greatly admired his 2016 book The Faith of Christopher Hitchens. Since that book was...

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Friday, 02 February 2018 05:36

Fundies and the Super Bowl

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This is a hard read. It’s harder not just because of the tragedy of a husband and father’s brain disease, but because this story, and many others like it, will be in the back of my mind as I watch the Super Bowl. I love football, and, as my 16 month old son begs to watch highlights and...

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Monday, 29 January 2018 04:29

Profane Public Squares

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The Amazon Top 20 nonfiction lists includes two bestsellers, both from HarperOne, that include the f-word in their title and on their covers. A single asterisk keeps both titles from their honest spellings. My memory will not win any awards, but I simply do not recall ever seeing a trade book in...

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Monday, 29 January 2018 00:40

Millennials, Free Speech, and Analog Learning

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I think it’s past time to admit that the hostility we see from college students toward speech and ideas they dislike is a generational issue. I know this sounds like I’m encouraging stereotypes of millennials, and reasonable people are not supposed to talk about any group in that kind...

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Thursday, 25 January 2018 01:29

Poverty, Dreher, and Story

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Rod Dreher, a writer for whom I have a lot of admiration and respect, nevertheless has a tendency to overstate things, especially when those things pertain to his lived experience. Likewise, he has an unfortunate tendency to assume the worst intentions of people who push back against the...

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Friday, 19 January 2018 02:26

Gender Equality and Gender War

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I have a piece up at First Things today on the sexual revolution, #MeToo, and why women are always the biggest losers in a sexually autonomous society. Here’s an excerpt:

The two most consequential gains of the sexual revolution in my lifetime have been birth control and pornography, both of...

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Tuesday, 16 January 2018 06:47

A Brief Word to Book Reviewers

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-Sneering dismissal of an author is acceptable to the degree that his book likewise is sneering and dismissive. What works marvelously well in a review of Richard Dawkins doesn’t in a review of Mitch Albom. You might have the same opinion of both writers, and that’s fine! But responding...

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Thursday, 11 January 2018 04:43

On “The Godfather Part II”

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Netflix has recently added both The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II to its streaming library. Below is something I wrote in 2014 on what makes Part II so great.

“That’s my family, Kay. It’s not me.” Michael Corleone is not lying when he says these words in The...

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Monday, 08 January 2018 02:23

Defining Pro-Life Down

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I have only a brief thought on Matt Loftus’s recent essay (and follow-up blog post) on whether we should use the term “pro-life” to refer to issues other than the traditional referents.

It seems to me that you can’t make the term “pro-life” do more by making it mea...

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Tuesday, 02 January 2018 04:54

In Defense (Somewhat) of Self-Help

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When I was in Bible college, few things received scorn as unanimously and frequently as the self-help genre. The corner of your local bookstore dominated by big, bright covers and names like Oprah and Tony Robbins was, almost all of us young, restless, Reformed pre-seminarians agreed, poison. We...

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Monday, 18 December 2017 04:09

Hatmakers and Hot Takers

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One thing that concerns me about conservative evangelicalism right now is the inability we often demonstrate to let those who exist and teach outside the boundaries of historic Christianity…just stay there. I often feel like there’s a compulsion in evangelical culture to always be...

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Saturday, 16 December 2017 00:04

My Year in Books

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Let’s get this out of the way: Year-end reading lists are usually more helpful for making us feel guilty about what we didn’t read than making us thankful for what we did.

My own year of reading was certainly no exception; the pile of books that I read this year seems so small compared...

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017 23:24

Should We Blame the Pro-Life Movement?

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There is a strain of thinking among some evangelicals that I cannot get my head around. Here it is: The Republican Party’s collapse of virtue and embrace of sub-moral strongmen can be attributed, at least in part, to the well-intentioned but naive single-mindedness of the pro-life...

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017 10:38

Evangelicals, Politics, and Church History

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Have you ever wondered why our intense conversations within evangelicalism about politics, character, and voting almost never end up citing major figures in church history? These are pretty important debates, after all. Navigating the moral failures of elected officials and choosing some sinners...

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Monday, 11 December 2017 02:27

Children and the Peril of Internet Fame

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Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

A parent records their child doing/saying something moving/saddening/remarkable. The parent then posts the video of their child to social media. Social media reacts strongly to the video, and before you know it, the video—and the child—are...

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Monday, 04 December 2017 03:49

Something Better Than Friendship

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Rereading my way through C.S. Lewis’s The Four Loves, I was struck by Lewis’s blunt words about “wanting friends” and the essence of genuine friendship:

That is why those pathetic people who simply “want friends” can never make any. The very condition of having...

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Monday, 27 November 2017 05:16

Why Men Wound Women

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The really startling thing about the tidal wave of sexual abuse and harassment floating to the top of our public consciousness is how much of it flies in the face of our common wisdom about morality. Harvey Weinstein and Charlie Rose are feminists; their rhetoric, their careers, and their campaign...

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Sunday, 19 November 2017 10:14

7 Thoughts From the News Cycle

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I will probably elaborate on some of these points in future posts. For now, I offer 7 stray observations on the last few weeks of American culture:

1) American manhood is in crisis. Men in our society lack religious affiliation, communal bonds, and healthy role models. As far as I can tell, sports,...

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Tuesday, 24 October 2017 01:57

Eluding E-Books

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Mark Bauerlein’s observations about the decline of e-reading and the “Persistence of Print” ring very true to my own experience. I have now tried on two separate occasions, and with two separate e-readers, to invest in digital books. Both times I just couldn’t do it. My...

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Monday, 09 October 2017 01:13

Harvey Weinstein vs Billy Graham

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In Ross Douthat’s weekend op-edon the lecherous Harvey Weinstein, he makes, in passing, what I think is a very important point:

If liberals want to restrain the ogres in their midst, a few conservative ideas might be helpful.

First: Some modest limits on how men and women interact...

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Monday, 02 October 2017 06:18

Does Morality Matter on the Right Anymore?

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The main reason I wrote my reply to Ben Domenech about Hugh Hefner, and the main reason I’m thankful to First Things for running it, is that I sensed—correctly, as it turned out—that Domenech’s sentiment was more widely shared on the Right than conservative evangelicals...

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Wednesday, 27 September 2017 23:31

Hugh Hefner’s Legacy is a Locked Room

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C.S. Lewis wrote that “a man with an addiction is a man with very little sales-resistance.” The fortune and fame of Hugh Hefner (1926-2017) is evidence that Lewis was right. To be fair, Hefner did not invent pornography, and what his media empire did promulgate is probably considered...

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