On The Moral Qualities of Privilege

In light of Sarah Ngu's recent post on privilege, I'd like to offer some rough thoughts on problems we face in defining privilege and distinguishing between the moral qualities of different sorts of privilege. I'm still working through the issue, so comments on the view I'm presenting would be appreciated.1.  In Sarah's post, she cites Andy Crouch's definition of privilege as the enjoyment of benefits on the basis of someone else's past creative power.2.  By this definition, privilege i … [Read more...]

Jesus and Privilege

The word “privilege” is tossed around a lot, often as a cudgel to casually dismiss someone’s opinion (e.g. “You’re only saying that because of your privilege”) or to ratchet up pity-points for one’s victimhood. This is why it tends to be viewed with a measure of wariness by many people. Despite its misuse, however, there can hardly be any denying the inequalities in power that the discourse of privilege illuminates. How might a Christian think creatively about “privilege” in a way that takes it s … [Read more...]

The Elite and the Elect

College decisions season has arrived, and this year, one student took a very public approach to her bad news. She wrote a letter to the colleges that turned her down and submitted it for publication to the Wall Street Journal. Suzy Lee Weiss’ editorial letter satirically lambasts the college application process. She critiques its preference for applicants who are diverse, do-gooders, or who have helicopter parents that ensure their children submit perfectly well-rounded applications. It is easy t … [Read more...]

Just as I Have Loved You, You Also Are to Love One Another

 “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper... he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my fee … [Read more...]

Introducing the Sacrallennials

 Over at Juicy Ecumenism, guest poster Thomas Holgrave (of the worth-checking-out blog The Hipster Conservative) tries his hand at some religious taxonomy, attempting a description of “Two Kinds of Christian Conservatives.” Holgrave observes that the old liberal/conservative distinction in Christianity is breaking down somewhat as millennial evangelicals and Catholics have emerged as less politically conservative than their parents without necessarily embracing the theological lib … [Read more...]

“There’s Nothing Wrong with America that Another Depression Couldn’t Fix”

 Before yesterday, I would have thought my chances of encountering a popular rap song that rejects materialism were slim. But as I was working, I turned on my Spotify, went to the top hits playlist, and clicked on the most popular song. It was Thrift Shop feat. Wanz by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. It’s a song that, at least on the surface, celebrates buying clothes from thrift stores and rejecting the American obsession with expensive brands. I’m apparently way behind the times finding thi … [Read more...]

Speaking Justice to a Postmodern Era

 I was sitting in a Starbucks with a friend, an agnostic, talking about faith and truth and I told him I could recommend some books on Christianity. “What would you like? An apologetics book on rational reasons for Christianity?”“Nah, I’m not so interested in that,” he said.In “worldview-terms,” my friend’s a “postmodernist,” someone who is suspicious of all grand meta-narratives about the world. Even though the two are conceptually distinct, on the popular level, postmodernism c … [Read more...]