The Decline of Dawkins and the Dawn of Deliberative Doubt

In March 2012, a crowd of atheists flocked to the National Mall in Washington, DC for the first “Reason Rally.” Billed as the “Woodstock for atheists and skeptics,” the rally, headlined by Richard Dawkins, seemed to signal a new resurgence of popularity and influence for the New Atheism.But while atheism is still strong, the New Atheism is rapidly becoming the Old Atheism, and Richard Dawkins is in danger of becoming irrelevant. So argues Theo Hobson in an article this week in the UK’s Specta … [Read more...]

Persuading Isn’t Just about Argumentation

This week First Things ran an excellent article entitled "Pope Francis and the Clash of Revelations." Its basic argument was that all humans look at the world through the lens of certain basic "revelations" or foundational beliefs. While it may be "technically possible" for us to step outside these beliefs, almost nobody will. The result is that theists and atheists, Thomists and Utilitarians, communitarians and classical liberals all hold certain basic beliefs that make dialogue with the other … [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...]

What I’ve Learned from Communion

Growing up, my church observed “Lord’s Supper” once a quarter. Every three months, an extra line would appear in the bulletin’s Order of Service between “Message” and “Special Music.” After spending a silent minute “examining our hearts,” trays bearing a species of super-dense oyster crackers and tiny plastic cups of grape juice would be passed along the pews, offering plate-style. In a tradition that generally deprecated ritual, this practice was clearly an anachronism, a holdover that would hav … [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...]

The New Apologetic

 The church may be on the verge of a Renaissance, a movement forward via a movement backwards. This weekend a group of college-aged Christians who work on Christian journals at their respective campuses gathered under the auspices of the Augustine Collective to discuss their publications, fellowship, and learn from Christian scholars who are investing in their movement. Many of the conversations at this gathering focused on what what we called, somewhat misleadingly, "The New A … [Read more...]