July 24, 2022

What are we talking about when we talk about “winsomeness?” There’s been a lot of Discourse around the term in evangelical spaces. But is it even a thing, or are objections to it purely performative in-group signaling? And to the extent that it is a thing, might it be a legitimate thing that arose in response to a legitimate rhetorical need? These are some of the questions raised in a recent Twitter thread by Matthew Lee Anderson. He writes: If... Read more

July 9, 2022

Today I’m doing something different and featuring a guest piece by my friend Grayson Quay. Grayson is a Spectator columnist, weekend editor at The Week, and pro-life trouble-maker. Grayson wrote this piece in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision, but it didn’t find a home, so I’m giving it one. It complements Carl Trueman’s recent First Things article on the awkward radio silence of evangelical voices like Russell Moore. As Grayson rounds up below, other voices haven’t been radio silent, but their reactions were so... Read more

June 25, 2022

I’m writing this piece on June 24, heading into a weekend when it is all but guaranteed to get lost in the crush of takes on SCOTUS’s historic overturn of Roe vs. Wade. For those who would like my take on that momentous occasion, head on over to my Substack. And consider subscribing, if newsletters are your thing! My Patheos writing has dropped off in large part because I have shifted much of my commentary to the much cleaner, more... Read more

June 6, 2022

Today I continue my notes on Trevin Wax’s Gospel Coalition series about the “three-world model” of American church history. Yesterday, I discussed the suggestion that we entered a “negative world” earlier than Aaron Renn has proposed, depending on your perspective. If you were an adult convert, your perspective might look a little different from the perspective of a child in a deeply conservative family. Trevin recalls coming of age in the Clinton era. I came to full political awareness in... Read more

June 5, 2022

I will be in Chicago this week. If you are in the area, feel free to come along on Wednesday evening for a recorded conversation with Pastor Paul VanderKlay on the rise/fall/failure/future of Christian apologetics (Meetup link here). You can also drop in on Tuesday afternoon, when Paul and I will be guesting on the Aaron Renn show with a live audience. This will be a bit of a crossover event. Paul has been developing a YouTube evangelism project in... Read more

May 4, 2022

Let me be the first to say it loudly and proudly: I was wrong. For years, I was Puddleglum. I was a pessimist. I just assumed this would never actually happen. Yet here we are. Like many of you, I was on Twitter when the news leaked that SCOTUS may be poised to overturn Roe. And like many of you, it took me a while to go to bed thereafter. The buzz was like nothing I’ve seen in all my... Read more

May 2, 2022

[Note: What follows is satire. Let the reader understand.] Church, we have a problem. A unity problem. I mean, just look around you. We can’t seem to agree on anything, and it’s tearing us apart. This is not helpful or winsome. The world is watching, remember? Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to gospel issues, a little division might be a good thing. Take the diagnosis and treatment of systemic racism. I mean, if you can’t even agree with... Read more

March 17, 2022

Yesterday, popular anti-woke talk-show host Dave Rubin tweeted out that he and his gay partner were welcoming two babies later this year. A picture told the whole story, with each of them holding an ultrasound of a child in utero: “Baby #1” and “Baby #2.” Almost immediately, some wag took the announcement and produced this meme: (Great meme.) In response to the news, Jake Meador posted this lament, apropos of the fact that rising anti-CRT activist Chris Rufo had left... Read more

February 22, 2022

Lately, I see some variation on this tweet all the time: “I just don’t understand. Explain to me how it is that [list of criticized evangelical names] can be bad, while [list of secular pundits/public intellectuals] is good. When did Christians start turning to secular voices instead of listening to their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ?” This is a low-resolution version of an idea I’ve seen developed in longer-form, more sophisticated contexts, but the gist of the argument is... Read more

February 5, 2022

It’s hard for me to believe, but I’ve been following the whole “homosexuality and the church” debate for about ten years now—even farther back than the court decision which effectively made gay marriage the law of the land. My thinking on the issue had in fact been taking shape long before that, as I watched how different Christian subcultures mapped out their respective territories around it. In particular, these were the early years of a blog called Spiritual Friendship. For... Read more

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