10 Apr 2019

The Theology of Jordan Peele’s Us

Jordan Peele’s latest movie, Us, is an intense horror film that confronts issues of duality, identity, sameness, otherness, sin, and judgment, just to name a few. Part of what makes Us so rich is not just its carefully crafted storytelling, but its strategy of navigating weighty topics from different approaches: philosophical, social, psychological, and theological. This makes Us an excellent resource for theological reflection, with theological claims that are as bold as they are relevant.

Jacob Quick 0
08 Mar 2019

Methodists, Global Christianity, and Human Sexuality

Over the course of four days at the end of February, delegates from the United Methodist Church (UMC) met in St. Louis for a special session of the General Conference to debate issues related to same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBTQ clergy. These topics had been debated before in the UMC at prior global church meetings, but the denomination had always voted to retain the traditional language of the Book of Disciple on matters

Jarrett Dickey 2
15 Aug 2018

(Spoiler-Free) Book Review: The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad is a beautiful and devastating novel that centers on Cora, a slave in mid-nineteenth-century Georgia, as she tries to escape to freedom. This book has been the recipient of plenty of awards, including the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. While I’m no literary scholar, this book seems to deserve the praise it’s received. The Underground Railroad doesn’t pull any punches. The first chapter begins with a harrowing depiction of the

Jacob Quick 0
16 Aug 2017

I Want a Solution

I Want a Solution    for Charlottesville, VA I want a solution but my mind offers platitudes maybe they’re enough to seal the gap the whistling cold the difference between yesterday and today in Charlottesville where others carry thoughts like a sickness that kills them first swinging their fever in censers anointing their steps with ash walking by them I try to keep quiet and pass unseen my easy answers held out of sight like

Daniel Hyland 0
26 Oct 2016

A Random Musing on an Inapplicable Moment in History

To the relief of readers and editors, today’s article is not about the election bid of businessman Donald J. Trump. There’s no longer any reason to discuss that, given that its current state of acrid evanescence is more analogous to a cloud of rapidly dispersing canine flatulence than a real presidential campaign. I would instead like to revisit an episode of early church history: the 3rd century persecution under the Roman emperor Decius and the

Chris Casberg 11
06 Sep 2016

Dear White Christians, It’s Time for Us to Listen

Saying that the last few months in America have been horrific and tragic is an understatement. America is, once again, confronted with the needless deaths of innocent people. The racial tensions in America have been laid bare for all to see again, whether we acknowledge them or not. But where do we go from here? I want to say what so many have already said before, and are still saying today, but is all too

Jacob Quick 11
02 Aug 2016

Why Baptists should be the first to defend religious freedom for Muslims

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has formed a diverse religious coalition to back the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, N.J., in its federal lawsuit against a planning board that denied its permit application to build a mosque last December.1 The denial followed four years of hearings and numerous modifications to the mosque design in a good faith attempt to reassure neighbors and to conform to local architectural styles. The New York Times reported in

Timon Cline 4
01 Jul 2016

Taking Trump’s Theology Seriously

Perhaps Donald Trump’s professed Christian faith has gotten a bad rap. Back in January, the Pew Research Center found that among American presidential candidates, Republican or Democrat, Trump was seen as the least religious.1 A recent GQ article argues that Trump “sure is bad at pretending he loves Jesus.”2 Erick Erickson in a tweet quips, “The more Trump talks Christianity, the more he sounds like he took a Rosetta Stone class on speaking Christian.”3 On

George Aldhizer 9
08 Jun 2016

The One About Donald Trump

The world lost its mind while I was on vacation. I don’t believe this is my fault. However, I fully acknowledge this is not a very good excuse. If push comes to shove, I will take the blame—if for no other reason than to avoid the inevitable avalanche of tiresome op-eds about who is to blame for the world’s mind and the losing thereof. This will save time and, presumably, money for the publications who

Chris Casberg 6
13 Apr 2016

Christianity is Nonsense

I have sometimes been accused of holding onto my faith for no other reason than rank stubbornness or some vague sense of tribalist loyalty. This assumes on the behalf of the accuser that Christianity is something like a philosophy to which one has proudly ascended and is now too entrenched in to give it up when something more certain in its veracity comes along, lest the believer become red-faced with embarrassment in front of his

Chris Casberg 3
31 Dec 2015

The Problem of Persuasion in Politically Polarized America

In today’s internet and social media culture, opinions are flared behind the impersonal protection of the computer screen, creating the appearance of debate and dialogue where no such reality exists. America’s increasing political polarization exploits and exacerbates this problem, resulting in an environment in which we often cling to our ideological enclaves, though sometimes peering out to have heated exchanges with those with whom we disagree. These sparring matches often serve simply to justify the

George Aldhizer 0
20 Nov 2015

Citizenship in Heaven

“[Christians] live in their respective countries, but only as resident aliens; they participate in all things as citizens, and they endure all things as foreigners…They live on earth but participate in the life of heaven” ~Epistle to Diognetus 6.5, 9. As a former resident of Paris and its suburbs, I have shared the grief and pain of the attacks on that beautiful city.  I have always loved Ernest Hemingway’s, now almost cliché quote, “If you

Chad Kim 2
28 Sep 2015

Pope Francis Speaks to Congress

Last week the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Francis, delivered a speech to the U.S. Congress. For my friends who are too busy to read the whole speech but who might be interested to know the gist of it, I have prepared this summary. None of this should be considered a quotation – just the gist of what was said. Thanks for letting me speak here. It’s good to be in the Western Hemisphere

Guest Author 0
01 Sep 2015

Saints Spitting Fire

In my previous post, I attempted to describe writer Rod Dreher’s “Benedict Option,” a nebulous ideology Dreher himself unhelpfully described as “an inchoate phenomenon in which Christians adopt a more consciously countercultural stance towards our post-Christian mainstream culture”1—a definition one could be forgiven for dismissing as a curmudgeonly grumble. Still, I believe Dreher’s nascent philosophy is one worth pursuing, despite its half-formed state and its numerous critics. Before we go further, I’d like to add

Chris Casberg 2
18 Aug 2015

What is “The Benedict Option”?

Over the past couple years, there’s been an increasing discussion in the Christian blogosphere over the “The Benedict Option,” an idea proposed by The American Conservative editor Rod Dreher as a response to the perceived end of Christianity as a Western cultural force. What is the Benedict Option, and why do we need it?  In today’s post, I’ll explore answers to these questions. While I have my own opinion on the matter, my aim here

Chris Casberg 9
23 Jun 2015

Secular Jeb

The fire of love kindling in my soul for the GOP presidential hopeful has finally been quenched. In March, a Weekly Standard profile of Jeb Bush sparked an inward light, and learning more about this “other Bush” fanned the flame of my affection. A pragmatic conservative with a track record of results? A cautious thinker with a heart for immigrants? Who is this man, and how do I give him money? Alas, it was not

Chris Casberg 4
03 Feb 2015

The Future of Christianity in America, Part III

In case you missed them, here are the first and second parts of this series. In this third and final installment, I explore what we Christians in America are to make of our current situation. What is this situation? It’s a comfortable one, I think. As we saw in the first article, most of America considers itself Christian, even if the majority might not understand, or even care, exactly what that entails. In any case,

Chris Casberg 0
20 Jan 2015

The Future of Christianity in America, Part II

In the first part of this series, I briefly examined the demographic reality of Christianity in America. I concluded that the majority of America is at least nominally Christian, though perhaps only a minority have a committed relationship to the divine Jesus Christ. In any case, both Christianity and Judaism are viewed warmly by the majority of the country, while atheism and Islam do not share such favor. I called America a “Christian-friendly nation,” and

Chris Casberg 5
13 Jan 2015

A (Free) College Education for Everyone?

Is “free” community college education for everyone? Jacob Prahlow reflects on the cost, need, and implications for such a proposal.

Jacob Prahlow 2
09 Jul 2014

Conflict Management

Seven years ago, some of my friends got into a bit of a dispute with the powers-that-be at my college. (I have been told I have a gift for understatement). The nature of the dispute was incredibly personal, of the sort that is impossible to bring to anyone’s attention without making oneself intensely vulnerable. Talking to the dean of student life meant opening up to her judgment and allowing her to see things that were

Pepper Darlington 3