This Thai Is Not Like the Others

My research on the antitrafficking movement in Thailand primarily tracked American Christian networks. As I suspected, the many missionaries and humanitarians I interviewed represented remarkable diversity. Some, horrified by sex trafficking, emoted like the passionate evangelicals they were. Others articulated the structural causes of trafficking with considerable sophistication. Some prescribed spiritual conversion. Others recommended more [Read More…]

A Farang Scholar in Thailand

It’s good to be back at the Anxious Bench after a spring semester hiatus. As guests published a series of terrific posts in my place, I read them from Thailand, where my family and I spent over two months. We drove on the other side of the road, bathed elephants in mud pits, watched minor-league [Read More…]

Because Christian Women Should Fight Against Misogyny too….

Imagine a world rife with misogyny and governed by patriarchy.  A world where women are identified primarily by their sexual status (virgins, wives, widows, prostitutes)….where rapists mostly go free….where women go to church more frequently than men, yet are mostly banned from leadership roles….where women earn less pay than men for the same work in [Read More…]

The Problem with Protecting our Wives and Daughters

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad many evangelicals are lining up to condemn Trump’s vulgar behavior, revealed most recently (and incontrovertibly) in the appalling video tape released by the Washington Post last Friday. Jerry Falwell Jr., a staunch Trump supporter, had this to say about the video: “…it was reprehensible. We’re all sinners, every one [Read More…]

Unexpected Sites of Christian Pacifism: South Korea

South Korea is an embattled nation. Birthed out of brutal Japanese rule from 1910 to 1945 and then invaded by a Marxist army in 1950, it since has been threatened by North Korea, its totalitarian, atheistic, saber-rattling neighbor to the north. The understandable result has been a militarized nation that requires mandatory service for all [Read More…]

The American Exceptionalisms of Foner and the Cheneys

I’m pleased to present a guest post by John Wilsey, an assistant professor of history and Christian apologetics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of the forthcoming American Exceptionalism and Civil Religion: Reassessing the History of an Idea, which will be published by InterVarsity Press Academic. I had the privilege of reading [Read More…]

Five Reasons Carter Wasn’t So Bad

Carter has been maligned for being a weak, ineffective, micromanaging president. Randall Balmer begs to differ. To be sure, Carter had his weaknesses (and in his biography Redeemer, Balmer acknowledges them, including a sordid account of race-baiting during his gubernatorial campaign of 1970). But he points out that Carter’s presidency was sabotaged by events quite [Read More…]

From “I, Pencil” to “I, Smartphone”: The Moral Limits of the Market

I’m pleased to feature a guest post by my friend and colleague Kevin Brown, an assistant professor of business and economics at Asbury University. This column is based in part on an article, “Capitalism and the Common Good,” that appears in the September 2014 issue of Christianity Today. *** In the late 1950s, the economist [Read More…]

The Issue of our Day

This week I read a news article that broke my heart and called me to repentance. In the midst of the fight over the budget and debt ceiling, in the midst of the ongoing saga of the “Bling-Bling Bishop” in Germany, and in the midst of football season, most of us (myself included) have been [Read More…]

Religious Liberty and Evangelical Identity Politics

Last Thursday Baptist ethicist Russell Moore made a case for religious liberty in a way that perhaps startled critics who see conservative evangelicals as theocrats. He advocated on behalf of non-Christians. At a Washington, D.C., symposium entitled “Faith, Culture & Religious Freedom in the 21st Century,” Moore said that evangelicals have done a poor job [Read More…]