David French summarizes a tension I often feel between my faith and my politics: "I’ve always been conservative. In the left versus right context, I’ve always considered myself a man of the right—the Reagan right. But when the extremes grow more extreme, and the classical liberal structure of the American republic is under intellectual and … Continue reading The Involuntary Moderate
A Rare Example of Responsible Rhetoric
In college and graduate school I studied the art and theory of rhetoric. I am something of a nerd (shocker, if you read anything on this blog), and so as a fresh young student I was surprised and delighted to discover that the subject occupied the minds of great thinkers stretching back to Plato, Aristotle, … Continue reading A Rare Example of Responsible Rhetoric
Spheres and Lanes
In her introduction to the April issue of Comment magazine, Anne Snyder begins with a troubling description of how citizens in the US are overwhelmed by current events and the brokenness of the world, and exhausted by incessant demands to take part in the culture wars. We no longer trust institutions such as "the church, … Continue reading Spheres and Lanes
Mercy in the Public Square
In his column this week for The Atlantic, David French relates an incredible story of grace in the face of suffering and opposition. His wife Nancy, who is a victim of sexual abuse, was giving a talk at a local college about loving one's enemies. When the floor was open to discussion, someone in the … Continue reading Mercy in the Public Square
To Kill Debate
The toxic rage over the abortion debate, where opponents are merely shouting their criticisms and assuming evil intentions without actually listening to each other, reveals a deeper social problem: A contempt for debate itself. And a contempt for debate is ultimately a recipe for the erosion of democracy. Debate is the price of our form of government. If you're not willing to pay it, then don't be surprised when you lose it.
MLK, Social Media, and Forgiveness in 2021
To forgive is to cancel a debt, and to cease feeling anger towards a wrongdoer---whether or not they have repented. Wouldn't this go a long way in breaking the hate cycle that infects our divided culture, both in person and online? The question is fraught with complexity, and yet perhaps no one in history was better equipped to answer it than Martin Luther King, Jr. It's worth reflecting on his insights as we honor his legacy and look ahead at 2021.
Book Review: ‘The Color of Compromise’ by Jemar Tisby
Jemar Tisby has done the church a great service in documenting its pattern of racism during key epochs in American history and showing a way towards repentance and institutional reform. This isn't just a historical survey of the distant past but of events as recent as Black Lives Matter and the election of Trump. At the very least, Tisby's analysis ought to prompt Christians to critically examine how racism manifests in their midst in subtle ways today, and determine how to fight it.
The Heartbeat of Anti-Racism
"The heartbeat of anti-racism is confession, is admission, is acknowledgement, is the willingness to be vulnerable," says Ibram Kendi in a recent podcast with Brene Brown. He is not making a religious argument, and yet his argument is drenched in religious rhetoric.
The Case for Less Politics, More Art
Well, whaddya know? Turns out there are advantages to retreating from the frenzy of politics and pursuing beauty as an end in itself.