St. Ephrem, the Syrian Refugee: A Church Father on War and Lament

One of the greatest writers of the Early Church, Ephrem the Syrian was a refugee whose laments offer a helpful model to this day [Read more…]

Permanent Jihad, Continued

I dearly wish I had not been right. Back in early September, I did a post at this blog about potential terrorism in France and other European countries, under the title of The Age of Permanent Jihad. I wrote that The point is not just that many younger French Muslims are increasingly radicalized, but that [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…]

The Roots of Evangelical Opposition to Syrian Intervention

Last week I wrote about “Paleo Evangelicals and Syria,” explaining why many traditional evangelicals will not support intervention in Syria’s civil war. Evangelicals are hardly the only Christians opposing intervention; indeed, the Syria question has become one of the most remarkably unifying issues for progressive, Catholic, Orthodox, and evangelical Christians that I can ever recall. [Read More…]

Paleo Evangelicals and Syria

I have written on a number of occasions about paleo evangelicals, those who are theologically and culturally conservative, and who feel out of step with the Republican Party at critical junctures. One such juncture is escalating American involvement with Syria. I find myself in disagreement with most of President Obama’s domestic policies, but I am [Read More…]


I have been giving a lot of thought to a recent news story that, to me, epitomizes the difficulties of Christian political activism – anywhere, any time. Here’s the background. Syria is in the middle of a brutal civil war, as revolutionaries attempt to overthrow the Ba’thist regime of President Asad. Although corrupt and repressive, [Read More…]


Back in April 2011, at the height of the so-called Arab Spring, I published an essay on realclearreligion that made me few friends. Under the title “Death Warrant of Ancient Christianity,” I pointed out that while it was proper to criticize despotic regimes in the Middle East, we should be very careful indeed about trying [Read More…]