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

To stream or not to stream? That is the question facing empty churches across the country. At least, that is, how to stream and what to stream—few appear to have considered the possibility of not streaming at all. But why stream in the first place? And what occurs in the process?

The...

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Upon falling into the hands of Giant Despair, Christian and his friend Hopeful were imprisoned without any provisions for days on end and while enduring beatings. In John Bunyan’s 17th-century allegory Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian eventually laments, “Brother, what shall we do?...

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Wednesday, 01 April 2020 05:43

Common Good Constitutionalism Considered

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Right. I read it. And by “It” I mean, of course, Adrian Vermeule’s Atlantic piece.

Here’s the thing: Vermeule’s “Common good constitutionalism” is not actually that different from, for example, Hadley Arkes’ natural law constitutionalism. That...

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Wednesday, 01 April 2020 04:10

The God Who Hears Our Laments

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Pastoral theology is tested in a time of crisis. War, famine, natural disasters, and plagues are winds that sift chaff from wheat, or purifying fires revealing so much dross mixed with the precious gold of the gospel.

What do you do when you can’t meet? When you can’t take the...

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Of the making of many books there is no end. Of the making of books on divine predestination there is also no end.

Travis James Campbell’s recent book The Wonderful Decree focuses its attention on divine election and God’s desire for the salvation of all. Campbell attempts to explain and...

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My grandmother is eighty-five years old. She will die someday. I want her to die well and, in the meantime, to live well.

She lives with my aunt about ten minutes from where I live with my wife and four young children, and about five minutes from where I grew up. My sister and I had weekly...

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What hath St. Thomas to do with predestination? Dr. Taylor Patrick O’Neill joins Matt and Derek to discuss his recent book, Grace, Predestination, and the Permission of Sin: A Thomistic Analysis, to examine the Thomist understanding of predestination and how it compares to other protestant...

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‘For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him?’ In every important way we are such secrets from each other, and I do believe that there is a separate language in each of us, also a separate aesthetics and a separate jurisprudence. Every...

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The rapidly expanding number of Covid-19 cases in the United States poses an extraordinary test of our nation’s institutions and their leaders. In recent days, a discussion has broken out about how we should integrate our interest in preserving and protecting human life with the concern to...

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Two weeks ago we awoke from our dogmatic slumber of American exceptionalism to realize that the coronavirus was not merely some “Chinese virus,” or the bane of aging Italians. America, and her public officials in particular, have been playing catch up ever since. Lacking adequate...

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Wednesday, 25 March 2020 17:00

Omnium Gatherum Pt. 2: Q A

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The whole cast and crew of Matt, Derek, Alastair, and Andrew, are here to answer questions from listeners of Mere Fidelity. Listen in as the guys tackle the following: Where does one start reading the early church fathers, does the incarnation mean that God changes, how should one go about picking...

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Tuesday, 24 March 2020 22:27

On Being ‘Pro-Life’ in a Pandemic

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What does it mean to be ‘pro-life’ when we’re in the midst of coronavirus and our economy is crashing as we try to contain it? The question has received some attention in recent days, in part because of our President’s obvious eagerness to see the stock-market return to the...

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In 1889, an Indianapolis pastor named Oscar McCulloch gave a speech that empowered the development of eugenics in America. McCulloch had studied the Ishmaelites, a poor, white, extended family, and named his speech, “The Tribe of Ishmael: A Study in Social Degradation.” Surrounded by...

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Sunday, 22 March 2020 20:00

Augustine Amongst the Strong Gods

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This is a time of ferment on the American right; that much has become abundantly clear. The post-Reagan consensus built around social conservatism and economic libertarianism is failing, trampled down by an economy that has left middle America behind and betrayed by the fact that Republican donors...

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Wednesday, 18 March 2020 20:00

Learning in Quarantine

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For my students

On 9/11, I was a senior in college. It was my birthday, in fact. After sleeping in (as I said, it was my birthday), I came downstairs in my off-campus apartment. I couldn’t find anyone. It was a ghost town.

As it turned out, my roommates were in the next apartment, watching...

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It has been over ten years since the publication of philosopher James K. A. Smith’s paradigm-shifting, Desiring the Kingdom—Smith’s first title in what would become his three book Cultural Liturgies series. When it was first released, Kingdom received well deserved praise and tied...

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Tuesday, 17 March 2020 17:00

The Coronavirus Discussion

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Matt, Derek, and Alastair sit down to discuss COVID-19 and how the church can respond to the current global pandemic. How should the church gather, is this some kind of act of judgment, and what practical habits are helpful to implement into our lives at the moment? All of this and more.

Resources...

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Monday, 16 March 2020 20:05

Crises in Evangelicalism with Dr. Molly Worthen

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Dr. Molly Worthen joins Matt and Derek to talk all things evangelicalism, not the least of which is her book, Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism. As someone outside of the camp of evangelicalism, Dr. Worthen helps bring a new look at the many paradoxes in the...

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Earlier this month, members of the Presbyterian Church in America learned that one of their congregations had allowed a theatre production titled “Transluminate: A Celebration of Transgender, Agender, Non-Binary, Genderqueer and Genderfluid Artists” to be held at one of its onsite...

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For three whole days late last month the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center in Fort Washington, Maryland became the pulsating core of the Conservative Political Action Conferrence’s annual Republlican extravaganza. Its soaring, glass paneled interior serving as the blighted ovum destined to...

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And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your...

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Monday, 09 March 2020 19:00

Integralism with Pater Edmund

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Nearly every Christian tradition has its own view on Christ & Culture; that is, how the Christian church relates to secular culture and political powers. In this episode, Pater Edmund joins Matt and Derek to discuss the classic Roman Catholic political theology of Integralism.

Timestamps:

Intro +...

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“My kingdom is not of this world.” As he approaches the crux of his earthly life, our Savior simultaneously qualifies Pilate’s authority while submitting himself to it. It is an astonishing moment of political quietism, which is possible only because Christ’s kingdom has its...

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Early in his book The Fate of Africa Martin Meredith describes the… we’ll call it “unconventional” method by which sub-Saharan Africa was divided in the late 19th century at the Conference of Berlin.

Nigeria, for example, contained as many as 250 ethno-linguistic...

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In countless churches across America’s denominational landscape, contemporary worship practices have won the day in the name of cultural relevance and stylistic preference. But inherent in contemporary worship is a dangerous dichotomy of style and substance that if not remedied, can...

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