How a Decadent Culture Makes Me Think Like Sorokin

From Web Exclusives

The more I am hit by the decadence and vulgarity of American culture, the more I return to the thought of Pitirim A. Sorokin (1889-1968). Now out of favor in spite of his enduring scholarship and his central role in the development of academic sociology, Sorokin was already beginning to fade when I entered graduate school in the late-1950s. His stout anti-communism, critique of loosening sexual mores, and cultural conservatism ran squarely against the academic trends of the time. And it didn’t help that his life story gave him far more credibility than his colleagues to discuss the great ideological debates of the Cold War. Continue Reading »

Love Appropriate to Form

From Web Exclusives

“Pray for us,” asked a classmate from our long-ago college days who is awaiting a signal from his gay son that his artificially inseminated twins are born in Thailand. Even though I knew Dan and his wife, Jan, were strong supporters of their gay son’s wishes, I was shocked by how far they would go to pursue them. Other acquaintances of the couple were as stunned as I was. . . . Continue Reading »

Lutherans in Search of a Church

From Web Exclusives

In its August 2009 Churchwide Assembly, the Evangelical Lutheran Church decided formally to leave the Great Tradition of orthodox Christianity for a declining and desiccated liberal Protestantism. The decisions it made”accepting a weak and confused social statement on sexuality, allowing blessings of gay unions … Continue Reading »

Lutherans Undefined

From the November 2005 Print Edition

This August, at its 2005 Churchwide Assembly in Orlando, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) sidestepped the decisions it needs to make on sexuality”and several pastors of large Lutheran congregations, together with at least one bishop, voiced their relief that they were not . . . . Continue Reading »

Reinventing Sexual Ethics

From the March 2002 Print Edition

I am reliably informed that there is a Neuhaus’ Law to the effect that, where orthodoxy is optional, it will sooner or later be proscribed. There are, of course, exceptions to all such rules, but this one seems to be confirmed by what is happening in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America . . . . Continue Reading »