The Republican agenda has long been shaped by its nostalgia for Ronald Reagan.  The Democratic agenda has long been shaped by its nostalgia for Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his New Deal.  Donald Trump has shaken up the Republicans with some new approaches.  But the Democrats are still championing 1940s-style big government programs. So says Jonah Goldberg, an anti-Trump conservative, who nevertheless gives the president credit for bring a “desperately needed new rhetoric and a new approach” to the Republican party…. Read more

The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, which passed with an overwhelming bi-partisan majority, was signed into law by President Trump and holds websites liable if they are used for sex trafficking.  How did it get through, despite Silicon Valley’s strenuous lobbying effort against it?  Because two authors of the bill, Senators Rob Portman (R- OH ) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO ) found evidence that one of the biggest sex-for-hire advertisers, classified ads site Backpage.com, knew it was trafficking children and even… Read more

U.S. forces fired over 100 cruise missiles at Syria in retaliation against President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons against rebels to his regime.  The chemical attack killed some 40 people in the city of Douma, including a number of children.  President Trump had threatened to punish “Animal Assad” and ordered the missile strikes with the support of France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and other allies. From NBC News: President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the United States military —… Read more

Trevor Sutton, my co-author of Authentic Christianity, has written a fascinating article entitled Social Media and Sin. Using Luther’s definition of our sinful condition as being “curved in upon ourselves,” Trevor shows that the very technological design of social media exploits the fallen weaknesses and the sinful proclivities of the self. Read what he says.  Then we’ll consider other applications of his point.  A sampling from Trevor’s article: Religion may offer an important explanation as to why this social media platform… Read more

Matthew Cochran, a Concordia Theological Seminary lay graduate who blogs at 96th Thesis has a provocative article in The Federalist entitled If You Want Men In Your Church, Stop Treating Them With Contempt. Responding to a New York Times column by Ross Douthat, “God and Men and Jordan Peterson,” on the churches’ gender gap, Cochrane argues that the reason men tend to be less active in church than women is that churches treat them with contempt. It isn’t just churches.  The culture… Read more

I hate promoting myself, but I have to share with you this review of my new book with Trevor Sutton, Authentic Christianity:  How Lutheran Theology Speaks to the Postmodern World. It’s by a former student of mine at Patrick Henry College, John Ehrett.  He’s utterly brilliant, a graduate of Yale Law, with a Master’s from Princeton, currently clerking for an appeals court.  At the time, I had no idea that he had been raised Lutheran–in the LCMS, no less.  He… Read more

Facebook is getting hit hard in the fallout over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which a British political firm gleaned tons of personal information about 87 million Facebook users and used it for the Trump campaign.  Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is getting raked over the coals in a congressional investigation, an interrogation so serious that the 33-year-old billionaire has ditched his T-shirt for a suit and tie. But the political information that was collected, creating such a scandal, is little… Read more

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod has sponsored two research projects on the retention of young people in the church, as they move from confirmation to adulthood.  The findings were interesting–with some surprises and facts in need of interpretation–and I suspect they are applicable to other church bodies as well. One survey was of congregations; the other was a survey of some 2000 young adults, aged 18-35, who have had a connection with the LCMS.  The information was discussed at a… Read more

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has run the numbers, finding, as expected, that the combination of a $1.5 trillion tax cuts and the $1.3 trillion spending bill will send the national debt soaring.  How bad is it going to be?  The CBO estimates that in 2028, ten years from now, the national debt will be 96% of the Gross Domestic Product. Investopedia defines the Gross Domestic Product as “the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced… Read more

Boredom has been described as one of the major spiritual problems of our time.  The hyper-stimulation that comes from our technology and our constant-entertainment mentality actually makes us more bored, since we become jaded and weary of it all, as stimulation eventually fails to stimulate.  But there is another sense in which a carefully-cultivated boredom can be an antidote to our harried minds. A travel company called Getaway  offers  “An experience designed to bring us back to our elements, immerse us… Read more

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