The Economy of Desire

economy

In The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer admonishes Christians who have bought into the theology of “cheap grace.” Bonhoeffer describes cheap grace as “the grace we bestow upon ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession.” In Bonhoeffer’s view, the heresy of cheap grace is founded on a false separation between faith and obedience: “...we must never forget the indissoluble unity of the … [Read more...]

On Honesty and Confession

Banquo

Does a moral, psychological “point of no return” exist? Shakespeare illustrates what this turning point might look like in Act III of Macbeth. After killing his king and one of his closest friends, Macbeth, the newly crowned king, announces to his wife, I am in bloodStepped in so far that, should I wade no more,Returning were as tedious as go o’er.Strange things I have in head, that will to hand,which must be acted ere they may be scanned. After this pronouncement, he goes onto … [Read more...]

How Should We Spend Our Goodwill?

tatra

The New York Times reports on the controversy over the presence of Christian religious symbols on Euro coins: It therefore came as a rude surprise when, late last year, the National Bank of Slovakia announced that the European Commission, the union’s executive arm, had ordered it to remove halos and crosses from special commemorative euro coins due to be minted this summer. The decision has been reversed and Slovakia is going ahead with its plan to print the coins with religious symbols. But t … [Read more...]

What We Can Learn from Young Atheists

Ephesians

Recently The Atlantic posted an article entitled, “Listening to Young Atheists, Lessons for a Stronger Christianity.” In it, Larry Alex Tauron, the article’s author, reports the results of a survey he conducted to figure how, why, and when young atheists decided to become atheists (“Tell us your journey to unbelief.”). Taunton states that he expected to find Hitchens, Dawkins, and the other New Atheists at the forefront of these young people’s minds—but instead, they rarely mentioned any specific … [Read more...]

Orthodoxy Has Won?

Eucharist

In an interesting read from Time Magazine, Mary Eberstat, author of this new book on secularism, argues that "in the war over Christianity, orthodoxy is winning." She uses a fight over an Episcopalian church in Virginia, in which a breakaway traditional group in the church lost its legal battle with the mainline sect for ownership of the church's physical property, as an example of how orthodoxy is "winning":That traditionalist breakaway congregation in Virginia is larger than the one on th … [Read more...]

The Real Case Against the Suburbs, or, How Ought Christians to Think About the Common Good?

san jose

Over at Mere O, Keith Miller has been kind enough to respond to a piece the FF editors published about Anthony Bradley's praise of ordinary Christianity. In his post, Bradley lamented that "radical" or "missional" Christianity was obscuring the need for basic, everyday Christianity. He linked this misplaced zeal of "radical Christianity" to the anti-suburbs movement. We responded by agreeing in part with Bradley, but noted that "there’s ordinary, and then there’s total capitulation to cont … [Read more...]

Should We Buy Houses?

houseboat

At the end of yesterday's post, the editors called for a renewed attempt to distinguish between ordinary Christianity and capitulation to contemporary American norms. I think this will sometimes take us in counter-intuitive directions. Yesterday's post made reference to "anti-suburban Christianity" and praised those Christians who have raised concerns about the effects of the suburbs on virtue and the life of faith. From this, it would not be a big leap to the pro-rental movement. When you think … [Read more...]


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