April 26, 2015

In the April 1886 issue of The Atlantic Monthly Julian Hawthorne, son of Nathaniel, reviewed his father’s The Scarlett Letter. Towards the conclusion of his stunning, 9,000+ word essay, the younger Hawthorne reflected on the moral irony of  Hester Prynne’s world: (more…) Read more

April 23, 2015

Christians have debated amongst themselves for thousands of years how to approach entertainment and secular media. In the second century, church father Tertullian expressed his dismay at Christian use of Greek philosophy by asking, “What hath Athens to do with Jerusalem?” The discussion hasn’t abated since then. From rock and roll to Harry Potter, the church has consistently challenged itself to define which portions of culture were acceptable for Christian consumption. Enter Game of Thrones, HBO’s megahit series based on the medieval fantasy novels… Read more

April 14, 2015

The following is an edited version of the transcript of conversation between abortion talking points Safe, Legal, and Rare.  Legal: Good evening, friends. Thanks for joining this conversation Safe and Rare: [together] Thank you as well. Glad to be here. Legal: I hope both of you are OK with my emceeing this thing. It’s mainly for the sake of convenience. Besides, it’s kinda logical, right? Legal is kind of what brings us together in this. Safe: Absolutely. No worries here. Rare: I agree… Read more

April 9, 2015

Consider this a brief, concluding postscript to my 4-article (!) conversation about religious freedom and the RFRA. I want to give a final (Lord willing) admonition to my fellow Christians, specifically those who may be swayed by arguments such as “Bake For Them Two.” According to this line of thought, Jesus commands Christians to accommodate even their enemies out of sacrificial love. “So then,” the argument concludes, “even if you believe a same-sex marriage is sinful in the eyes of Jesus, He… Read more

April 7, 2015

In the sincere hope, dear reader, that soon we may speak of other things, let me linger just a while longer on religious freedom, liberalism, and public conscience. I’m compelled to do so now by Conor Friedersdorf, who writes with insight and clarity about the differences of perceptions in two cultural communities: The LGBT community and the religious traditionalists. Friedersdorf perceives that in each camp there are particular fears and motivations that stem from two different historical contexts. The LGBT community,… Read more

April 4, 2015

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni doesn’t believe that Christians who are opposed to same-sex marriage are genuine. That’s the obvious upshot of his new piece “Bigotry, the Bible, and the Lessons of Indiana.” Rather than building a positive case against religious liberty laws like the ones that exist in 21 states (including Arkansas as of Thursday), Bruni turns his attention towards the moral deficiencies of RFRA’s advocates in general and evangelicals in particular. He begins his piece by extolling denominations… Read more

March 31, 2015

If there’s anything in store for American political discourse more absurd or uninformed than the arms race over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, I  cannot fathom what that might be. The entire kerfuffle is pathetic, from the blatant misinformation being peddled in mainstream news to the astonishing cluelessness of the history of RFRA. Consider this sad episode further evidence that American culture is being divided beyond the Left vs Right and into those willing to tell the whole truth vs. those… Read more

March 25, 2015

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) will be hosting a two-day summit on “The Gospel and Racial Reconciliation.” You can live-stream the sessions all day Thursday and Friday from the ERLC main site here (free). Why watch? What’s special about this particular conference on this particular topic? Here’s the conference description: Recent events in Ferguson and with Eric Garner have reignited a national conversation about race in America. Are you and your church prepared to engage this important discussion… Read more

March 23, 2015

Is it even possible that my generation, which sends 6 billion text messages per day and 6,000 thousand Tweets per second, is fatally lonely? Not only is that possible, it’s increasingly the consensus of social and behavioral scientists. Carolyn Gregoire at Huffington Post has highlighted a report from the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science that discusses the serious effects that chronic loneliness can have on health. One study concludes that the connection between loneliness and decreased physical well-being (including lifespan)… Read more

March 19, 2015

Fare Forward has published this outstanding piece by Jake Meador on how the current state of journalism–particularly the digital opinion kind–is rewarding the abandonment of careful, critical thinking. The current writing economy is built on technology that makes publishing and distribution simpler than at any other point in history. Therefore it has (unsurprisingly) become a fiercely competitive (and often combative) place where good writing and clear thinking will seldom be enough to stand out and be noticed. You need an edge,… Read more

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