Just In Time for Thanksgiving

Americans recover their inner-Puritan. H. L. Mencken summarized the Puritan outlook wittily when he said “Puritanism is the haunting idea that someone, somewhere may be happy.” But in his Book of Prefaces he made an arresting observation about American character and our debt to Puritanism: This is the essential fact of the new Puritanism; its recognition of the moral expert, the professional sinhound, the virtuoso of virtue. Under the original Puritan theocracy, as in Scotland, for example, the chase and… Read more

Hypocrites All

It’s a fallen world out there. Someone has to govern. Read more

What Calvinism Solves

Does liberalism contain the seeds of its own destruction? Read more

Wait, Now We Want Religion in the Pulpit?

I continue to be amazed by the positions to which anti-Trumpism leads. Now it seems we want pastors and priests to instruct the laity about politics. At least Lydia Bean does: But it was surprising that Trump did even better with white evangelicals than George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney — three candidates who were better aligned with evangelical moral beliefs. In past elections, conservative evangelical leaders praised these people as “godly men” whose moral character was superior… Read more

Whatever Happened to Doing All for the Glory of God — even Watching Movies?

I have been reading a surprising number of recent posts that raise questions about whether Christians should be as approving of popular culture as we are. Since I grew up in a fundamentalist home, I have having a case of deja vu. For instance, John Piper advises on advice-seeker to trust his instincts and worry about watching movies and television: One of the things that I want to say is that I know there are people who would counsel Craig… Read more

Part of Me

Why do evangelicals specifically and Americans more generally think that religion or politics or some kind of moral conviction needs to define all parts of personal identity? Read more

The Reformation Was about Ending Prosperity Gospel

The Reformation started because Luther objected to a sales pitch. Read more

If Not Evangelical, What?

The idea of abandoning evangelicalism is not new. Low Tide How is it that a religious movement, begun in the decade after World War II, that appears to be running out of gas, caught on at exactly the same time with people who would normally rank as some of the most skeptical and irreligious? One obvious answer is politics. Evangelicalism came to national attention when believers claiming that identity entered the drama (stage right, of course)of electoral politics. That occurrence… Read more

With Obama Christmas was Merry?

Jamie Smith has a mildly clever take on President Trump’s comments about Christmas greetings. To Trump’s remark that we will be saying Merry Christmas again without embarrassment, Smith reminds the POTUS that the holiday is political in ways not intended: The biblical account of the birth of Jesus Christ is drenched in political significance. His genealogy in the Gospel of Matthew makes Him royalty, the heir of King David. The titles Savior and Messiah, which we imagine are merely religious,… Read more

What Fundamentalists Got Right

Funny how fundamentalists were worried precisely about a vacuous, moralistic faith a century ago. But did anyone take them seriously? Read more

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