The last time we noticed evangelical spokesmen engaging in nostalgia for a winsome and appealing expression of evangelicalism, Tim Keller was massaging the circumstances of his identification with the movement for the New Yorker magazine. Now Greg Thornbury takes a stroll down a similarly nostalgic path. Both Keller and Thornbury romanticize the 1970s. Keller actually lived through them and should know better. Thornbury was still teething and learning to walk during the decade. Keller left out Jim Bakker and PTL…. Read more

Mark Hemingway has a positive piece on Russell Moore at The Weekly Standard, the gist of which is that the head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is one of the few evangelical straight shooters in a climate dominated by THE EIGHTY-ONE PERCENT!!! Hemingway writes: If you’ve been paying attention to national politics for the last few years, the idea that evangelical leaders are themselves in a position to offer such moral leadership might be in… Read more

Alasdair MacIntyre complained about the modern nation-state almost 25 years ago in ways that foreshadowed some of today’s antagonism to nationalism. He wrote: The modern nation-state, in whatever guise, is a dangerous and unmanageable institution, presenting itself on the one hand as a bureaucratic supplier of goods and services, which is always about to, but never actually does, give its clients value for money, and on the other as a repository of sacred values, which from time to time invites… Read more

Some call it confirmation bias, others wishful thinking. Confirmation bias (link is external)occurs from the direct influence of desire on beliefs. When people would like a certain idea/concept to be true, they end up believing it to be true. They are motivated by wishful thinking. This error leads the individual to stop gathering information when the evidence gathered so far confirms the views (prejudices) one would like to be true. Once we have formed a view, we embrace information that… Read more

Massimo Faggioli is a theologian who teaches at Villanova. With a name like that (trigger warning for profiling), you might expect him to be on the Roman Catholic team of western Christianity. Since he writes regularly at Commonweal and is a defender of the Second Vatican Council, he is also a nemesis for some traditionalist or conservative Roman Catholics (yes, for the uninformed, Roman Catholic is not synonymous with conservative or tradition). Yet for all of the differences between him… Read more

This is not a question that many have seemed to consider since the praise for Billy Graham from Roman Catholics has been substantial. For instance, National Catholic Register reported: In a statement on the archdiocesan website, Cardinal Dolan wrote that while his family was Catholic, there was a level of respect for Graham’s work in bringing people to Christ: “There was no question that the Dolans were a Catholic family, firm in our faith, but in our household there was… Read more

Remember the good old days when historicism taught us that fundamentalists were sort of silly and backward to think truth was objective, or that the details of the Bible were actually correct and true? The results of biblical criticism and modern understandings of history showed that treating the Bible as God’s word was wrong. It was, more accurately, the reflections of really pious people who set down their religious ideals in stories and teachings that were fine in their own… Read more

The daily barrage of outrage over evangelical support for Trump continues. Last week at Time Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove noted the hypocrisy: To many within and beyond the faith community, these preachers’ claims raise eyebrows. How do Christian ministers reconcile the Jesus who said “Love your enemy” with a President whose policy is to strike back at all critics? Why would people who claim to stand for family values so uncritically support a thrice-married man who according to Ronan Farrow’s reporting for… Read more

Many Protestants until around 1975 thought so. Lyman Beecher, the father of Harriet Beecher Stowe who wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, for instance wrote in 1834 about the problem of assimilating Roman Catholics to America’s republican (and Protestant) ethos: If they could read the Bible, and might and did, their darkened intellect would brighten, and their bowed down mind would rise. If they dared to think for themselves, the contrast of protestant independence with their thralldom, would awaken the desire of… Read more

Lots of Roman Catholic authors are writing about the conflict between Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day. This hasn’t happened for seventy years and it brings into conflict that desire for pleasures often times satisfied by chocolate and a commitment to fast from certain physical delights during the forty days of Lent. Here is how one Lutheran tries to resolve the tension: Valentine’s Day is about the imperfect and faltering love human beings have for each other—a love primarily erotic or… Read more

Follow Us!

Browse Our Archives