CulturePoliticsTheology

Evangelicals, Politics, and Church History

Have you ever wondered why our intense conversations within evangelicalism about politics, character, and voting almost never end up citing major figures in church history? These are pretty important debates, after all. Navigating the moral failures of elected officials and choosing some sinners rather than others to wield authority over the public square seems like…

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CultureLifePop culture

Children and the Peril of Internet Fame

Stop me if you've heard this before. A parent records their child doing/saying something moving/saddening/remarkable. The parent then posts the video of their child to social media. Social media reacts strongly to the video, and before you know it, the video—and the child—are "viral" digital sensations. They start trending on Buzzfeed, being re-shared by celebrities…

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BooksCultureLifeMusing

Something Better Than Friendship

Rereading my way through C.S. Lewis's The Four Loves, I was struck by Lewis's blunt words about "wanting friends" and the essence of genuine friendship: That is why those pathetic people who simply "want friends" can never make any. The very condition of having Friends is that we should want something else besides Friends. Where…

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CulturePoliticsTheology

Why Men Wound Women

The really startling thing about the tidal wave of sexual abuse and harassment floating to the top of our public consciousness is how much of it flies in the face of our common wisdom about morality. Harvey Weinstein and Charlie Rose are feminists; their rhetoric, their careers, and their campaign donations say so. Roy Moore…

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CultureMusingRandom

7 Thoughts From the News Cycle

I will probably elaborate on some of these points in future posts. For now, I offer 7 stray observations on the last few weeks of American culture: 1) American manhood is in crisis. Men in our society lack religious affiliation, communal bonds, and healthy role models. As far as I can tell, sports, mass media,…

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BooksCultureLife

Eluding E-Books

Mark Bauerlein's observations about the decline of e-reading and the "Persistence of Print" ring very true to my own experience. I have now tried on two separate occasions, and with two separate e-readers, to invest in digital books. Both times I just couldn't do it. My Kindle Paperwhite is a fine device, elegantly crafted and…

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CultureTheology

Harvey Weinstein vs Billy Graham

In Ross Douthat's weekend op-ed on the lecherous Harvey Weinstein, he makes, in passing, what I think is a very important point: If liberals want to restrain the ogres in their midst, a few conservative ideas might be helpful. First: Some modest limits on how men and women interact professionally are useful checks on predation.…

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CultureLifePolitics

Does Morality Matter on the Right Anymore?

The main reason I wrote my reply to Ben Domenech about Hugh Hefner, and the main reason I'm thankful to First Things for running it, is that I sensed—correctly, as it turned out—that Domenech's sentiment was more widely shared on the Right than conservative evangelicals might want to believe. "Cultural conservatives," those who argue not…

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CultureTheology

Hugh Hefner’s Legacy is a Locked Room

C.S. Lewis wrote that "a man with an addiction is a man with very little sales-resistance." The fortune and fame of Hugh Hefner (1926-2017) is evidence that Lewis was right. To be fair, Hefner did not invent pornography, and what his media empire did promulgate is probably considered mild compared to what the internet now…

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MusingTheology

Could Jeff Hood Be Your Elder?

This is one of the most bizarre interviews you'll read this year. It took me a couple readings to determine whether it was satire. The Amazon book attributed to the interviewee is real enough, so there goes that theory. Now, one thing I'd like to gently rebuke my fellow evangelicals for is the tendency we…

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