July 10, 2020

“Trust the science” has been a phrase used fairly often during the pandemic. Recent news about the University of Pennsylvania’s decision to remove the statue of the evangelist, George Whitefield, from its Philadelphia campus raises questions about the trust that historians receive and deserve. The announcement interprets Whitefield’s significance this way: The case for removing Whitefield is overwhelmingly strong. He was a well-known evangelical preacher in the mid-eighteenth century, who notably led a successful campaign to allow slavery in Georgia…. Read more

July 9, 2020

Recent protests along with some of the demands of protesters, no matter how peaceful, may make look Joe Biden look much more attractive than say those on the Left who don’t seem capable of providing order and stability. Consider Al Mohler’s willingness to defend support for President Trump in a recent New Yorker interview: Yes. President Trump is a huge embarrassment. And it’s an embarrassment to evangelical Christianity that there appear to be so many who will celebrate precisely the… Read more

June 30, 2020

This is not about Germanic tribes after the Christianization of the Roman Empire. It is instead about modern day protesters who commit acts of vandalism, chiefly (woops) against statues that memorialize prominent political and military leaders from the past. These protesters may be expressing unknowingly truths revealed in Scripture. If you think that’s a stretch, consider the case for the Harry Potter series as a vehicle of the gospel: Although many factors have contributed to making the series a worldwide… Read more

June 26, 2020

They may be your and my neighbors. One of the themes that emerged in the “conversation we had to have” about Confederate Monuments three years ago was that they were products of a particular period in the Jim-Crow, Lost-Cause South. Here’s how the American Historical Association put it: The bulk of the monument building took place not in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War but from the close of the 19th century into the second decade of the 20th…. Read more

June 24, 2020

Not there! New York City’s Natural History Museum, with the blessing of Mayor Bill DeBlasio, has agreed to remove the Teddy Roosevelt Statue outside its entrance. Officials said it hasn’t been determined when the Roosevelt statue will be removed and where it will go. “The composition of the Equestrian Statue does not reflect Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy,” Theodore Roosevelt IV, a great-grandson of the president, said in a statement to the Times. “It is time to move the statue and move… Read more

June 18, 2020

FiveThirtyEight carries a story on disease among African-Americans and includes a map of the states and counties that had the highest concentrations of slavery. Here is the map: Here’s a description of this region from the story: On major health metrics in the U.S., the shaded counties on the antebellum map still stand out today. Maps of the modern plagues of health disparities — rural hospital closings, medical provider shortages, poor education outcomes, poverty and mortality — all glow along… Read more

June 8, 2020

Back at the beginning of the various state and federal directives to stay at home in response to COVID-19, Reno, the editor at First Things, worried that public officials had lost sight of considerations other than disease and health: At the press conference on Friday announcing the New York shutdown, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “I want to be able to say to the people of New York—I did everything we could do. And if everything we do saves just one… Read more

June 5, 2020

The Amish have thick communities in which members are not autonomous but are deeply embedded within a web of familial, religious, and economic relationships. The downside is that Amish is an identity that you can’t take to the suburbs and say have a desk job downtown at the bank and then practice your faith in Bible studies, family worship, and Sunday meetings. The upside is that you have lots of built-in support from a remarkably resilient community. For instance: When… Read more

June 3, 2020

The rise of a gay rights movement coincided with the emergence of the religious right in the Republican Party — both started in the 1970s and made sizable dents on electoral politics in the 1980s and beyond. Someone might well argue that they fed off each other as positions on opposite sides of the culture wars that allowed Republicans and Democrats — who moved the needle little in different directions over the economy, military, and foreign policy — to campaign… Read more

May 28, 2020

French and Goldberg used to write for National Review but recently moved to an outlet more anti-Trumpian, the Dispatch. In both publications, a generic conservatism provided a tent big enough for each writer. Where Goldberg can go deep into the weeds of conservative ideas and theorists, French usually relies on his training as an attorney, experience in the military, and his very basic understanding of Christianity — which is to say evangelical. When French writes about law or the workings… Read more

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