05 May 2017

Stay Human, My Friends

In recent years and months it has become undeniable that the foremost social issues pervading our culture involve personhood and identity. The transgender debate is the most obvious manifestation of this. But the broader, or perhaps underlying, debate of how personhood is to be defined is rapidly expanding beyond gender neutral bathrooms at Target. Indeed, even rivers are being declared ‘persons’. And it is becoming evident that technology will be interwoven into these questions, or

Timon Cline 2
02 Feb 2017

The Lost Art of Evangelical Weeping, Part 2

As discussed in part 1, proper expressions of suffering and grief (spiritual and physical) seem to be largely discouraged in modern evangelical churches. Unfortunately, this trend may be less of a recent phenomenon than we think. Pastor Tim Keller has bemoaned that early Reformed and Lutheran churches may bear some responsibility, despite Martin Luther’s efforts to correct the medieval church’s promotion of stoic-like endurance in the face of suffering.1 Luther argued that Christians need not earn

Timon Cline 0
27 Jan 2017

The Inevitable Flagellation of Russell Moore

Though not a Southern Baptist (or Calvinist) myself, I’ve long admired the work done by Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). Moore’s ministry has coupled rigorous theology (and an unwillingness to yield to ideological pressures) with willingness to advance a holistic Christian message across traditional partisan lines. Under his leadership, the ERLC has weighed in on criminal justice reform, racial reconciliation, immigration, and respect for Muslims’ religious

John Ehrett 0
23 Jan 2017

Can the Religious Right be Left? Christian Political Organizing in the Age of President Trump

Donald Trump has officially been sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. For many this is a victory of a forgotten people against an elitist establishment. For the majority of Americans, however, the election of President Trump represents something far different. While fractures along racial and denominational lines within the American church are not new, the 2016 election cycle, and disagreement on President Trump himself, have uncovered new fault lines

Creighton Coleman 0
07 Nov 2016

The Lost Art of Evangelical Weeping, Part 1

There is a mood and practice of forced buoyancy in American evangelical churches. In near Orwellian fashion, this frenzied gaiety tries to sanitize the church of any perceived negativity, sorrow, or grief. I have been in church services where the worship leader mounts the stage, “kicking off” the service with, “How’s everybody feeling this morning?” (implying the expectation of a positive reaction), followed by, “Oh, you can do better than that!” when the enthusiasm of

Timon Cline 4
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
30 Jun 2016

Boycotting Boycotts

In April, the American Family Association (AFA) instituted a boycott of Target, in response to the retail giant’s policy to allow transgender persons access to opposite-sex bathrooms and fitting rooms, in accordance with the gender identity of “team members and guests.” Target stated that, “Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.” AFA has cited objections to this practice, calling it “misguided and reckless” and as “pos[ing] a threat to women and children” via those “predators

Timon Cline 1
15 Mar 2016

Review: Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel

The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be, Ain’t what she used to be, ain’t what she used to be, The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be, Many long years ago. If one were to nominate a campaign song for the Republican party this year, I would submit “The Old Gray Mare” as my candidate. It’s American, old-timey, and perfectly enunciates the fears of many voters: our country

Chris Casberg 0
03 Mar 2016

No Longer Scandalized?

Revisiting Mark Noll in 2016 Though it’s had an outsize impact on evangelical intellectual culture, I’d never actually sat down with Mark Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind until this past week. Centrally, Noll (himself a Reformed evangelical) argues that the rise of fundamentalism drove a lasting wedge between mainstream academic inquiry and American Protestant communities. In Noll’s telling, this cleavage led to previously fringe theological positions (six-day creationism, flood geology, strict biblical literalism)

John Ehrett 7