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

A Catholic archbishop, a Presbyterian professor, and his wife walk into a bar.” While this might sound like the opening line of a bad religious joke, precisely such a scenario marked the beginning of my friendship with Archbishop Charles Chaput. He had invited me and my wife to join him for...

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Monday, 06 January 2020 19:00

A Strange Split in the UMC Featured

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The United Methodist Church has decided to divide over the issue of same-sex marriage. This is not surprising, given the longstanding disagreements on this matter that have afflicted the denomination. The UMC has arranged the separation in a remarkably civil way: The proposed solution, formulated...

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Friday, 20 December 2019 03:20

Evangelical Elites Are Out of Touch Featured

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Some years ago I wrote a short book in which I argued that, while political thinking was complicated, voting was not. One could agree with some parts of a politician’s manifesto while disagreeing with others. But in the voting booth, the X had to be placed bluntly and brutally next to the...

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Wednesday, 18 December 2019 19:00

Arguing for Truth in the Anti-Culture Featured

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With the recent Tory triumph in the British parliamentary elections, it is clear that the old, predictable dynamics of politics and public life are gone, at least for the immediate future. As we approach the U.S. presidential election in 2020, it seems likely that, whoever wins, it will not be...

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Saturday, 30 November 2019 19:00

Turning Inward Featured

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The Meaning of Protestant Theologyby phillip cary baker, 384 pages, $32.99

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

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Monday, 25 November 2019 19:00

Title IX Trouble for Fuller Seminary Featured

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Fuller Theological Seminary is facing a Title IX lawsuit from a former student, whom Fuller had expelled for entering into a civil same-sex marriage. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex at any institution of higher education receiving federal funding. As I have noted before at F...

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Tuesday, 29 October 2019 20:00

Why I Am a Protestant Featured

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The week of October 31, the traditional time to remember the Reformation, is also the annual moment when I like to reflect on why I am a Protestant. 

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

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Tuesday, 08 October 2019 23:45

Humble John Henry Newman Featured

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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...

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Wednesday, 18 September 2019 23:35

Flower Power? Featured

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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,...

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Monday, 29 July 2019 20:00

Kissing Christianity Goodbye Featured

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Joshua Harris has abandoned his Christian faith, news that marks another blow to American conservative evangelicalism. 

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

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Wednesday, 24 July 2019 20:00

Boris Johnson's Challenge Featured

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The advent of Boris Johnson as British prime minister has a feeling of inevitability about it.

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Friday, 14 June 2019 03:55

Blessing When Cursed Featured

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Thursday, 06 June 2019 20:00

Brexit Did not Cause Brexit Featured

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As a British expat happily living abroad, I considered it inappropriate to cast a vote in the Brexit referendum but have watched the process with hope, exasperation, confusion, and, latterly, irritation.

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Wednesday, 29 May 2019 20:00

Love Is Not a Feeling Featured

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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...

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Monday, 22 April 2019 23:45

Israel Folau, Unlikely Martyr Featured

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Americans, being somewhat exceptional in their sports (as in much else), may be unaware of the controversy currently raging around the Australian rugby player, Israel Folau.

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

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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

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 12:40

The Language of Love Featured

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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

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