January 4, 2022

But perhaps white evangelical misogyny and masculinism is really a symptom of being American, not something peculiar to born-again Protestants: Another long- standing exceptionalist theme has been the virtue of reinvigorated masculinity in imperial discourse. These enduring preoccupations in American foreign affairs stem at least in part from educated men’s desire to vindicate their manhood in a society suspicious of thought, from Theodore Roosevelt’s Strenuous Life to John Kennedy’s New Frontier to George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished.” In each case... Read more

October 28, 2021

Carl Trueman’s piece about the failure of evangelical elites likely misconstrued the work of George Marsden and Mark Noll (and others) by confusing the appeal of the evangelical mind with its actual accomplishment. He argues that they were trying to gain a hearing in a secular academy comprised of people skeptical or hostile to Christianity: Noll and Marsden are careful to sustain full-blooded affirmations of orthodox Christian faith. And unlike ­Schleiermacher’s, I find their arguments convincing. There is nothing about... Read more

August 17, 2021

Hard to know whom to believe about conditions in Afghanistan for women. Reporters in the West may suffer from a kind of orientalism that looks at non-Western society from western perspectives. In which case, such coverage may hold places like Afghanistan and its government up to political norms that are foreign to Islamic convictions or Afghani expectations. Even so, the stories that do mention the conditions that Afghani women may face with the Taliban’s rule also provide perspective on the... Read more

June 29, 2021

Recent reports about sightings of UFOs does not trouble Mr. French. (Nothing actually seems to worry him apart from fundamentalists.) The mystery, the wonder, the humility that come with an awareness that humans are not the only rational creatures in the universe is exciting for the Dispatch columnist: belief in a creator God implies something else. There are exactly as many or as few advanced civilizations as God wills. He directs the creation of new life. In fact, it may... Read more

June 15, 2021

Death is the great leveler, not only in status but also personal animus. The death of someone despised requires putting some of that despite on hold, and possibly even overhauling past evaluations of the perceived antagonist. This observation may even apply to Donald Trump if he dies before Christ returns. Writers of obituaries are the people who do actually write the first draft of history and their judgments need to transcend what journalists and op-ed writers may have written about... Read more

June 7, 2021

Remember the kid in high school who snitched on the other kids smoking in the bathroom? It was an awkward moment if you were friends with the snitch, and probably did not enhance warm relations (unless you were also a snitch). But was there ever any kid who praised the kid who snitched, who went out of his way to get on the side of the informant’s moral indignation, and who praised the principal for suspending the offending smokers? Well,... Read more

May 28, 2021

Here’s the news about Russell Moore leaving the Southern Baptists Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission to join Christianity Today’s Public Theology Project: Christianity Today was founded by Billy Graham in 1956. In the 65 years since that time, it has served as a flagship publication for the American evangelical movement, serving the church with news, commentary, and resources. It has published the luminaries of each generation, including the theological voices that have shaped evangelical public life and witness. Today it... Read more

May 21, 2021

David French writes a weekly column at The Dispatch. Since he is an outspokenly evangelical Protestant, the kind for whom wearing your earnest faith on your sleeve is a virtue (but what do you do about t-shirts?), he regularly writes about matters of faith. About a week ago, Mr. French decided to worry about the effects of power and established institutions on Christianity — specifically, evangelical Protestantism: As I’ve written before, America doesn’t have a state-established church, but it certainly... Read more

April 28, 2021

In the category of timelines, notice what the conversation about race used to sound like. During the 2008 Democratic primaries, then Senator Barack Obama needed to explain his relationship to his Chicago pastor, Jeremiah Wright, whose remarks from sermons had gone viral. Wright had said and been recorded saying “God damn America” several times. That prompted Obama to give a speech about race that many still praise for its statesmanship, candor, and insight. One outstanding aspect of the speech is... Read more

March 5, 2021

The previous post included the observation that tracing the United States’ roots to a Christian source other than English Protestants (read Puritans) is not merely limited to Trump’s evangelical supporters. It is a notion that appeals even to Roman Catholics. What is more, Christians in fellowship with the Bishop of Rome had two chances at a Roman Catholic founding of America thanks to the colonial enterprises of both France and Spain. While the former worked and settled in lands identified... Read more

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