An Abandoned White Middle Class

Is First Things promoting its own form of identity politics? A friend wrote recently, wondering exactly that. In my writing about our populist moment, I’ve emphasized the role of middle class whites. The relative success of Trump and Sanders shows that they’re rebelling against both left-leaning . . . . Continue Reading »

Mary at Baptism?

On an escarpment high above the Euphrates River in eastern Syria sit the ruins of Dura-Europos, one of the most important archeological finds of the twentieth century. Founded in 303 BC by the Seleucid successors of Alexander the Great, this ancient caravan city of some 8,000 to 10,000 people was . . . . Continue Reading »

The God of the Womb and the World

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” Psalm 24:1 is a popular verse in Christian conservation (or creation care) circles—one I have heard often enough that it almost rings cliché. But these words struck me anew when used in a closing benediction before thousands of fellow . . . . Continue Reading »

Mainstreaming “Animal Personhood”

Complacency is cultural subversion’s best friend. You know what I mean: When a radical proposal is voiced, people chuckle and roll their eyes, believing that it can’t happen here, saying, “What will they think of next?” Thus, when the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued Sea . . . . Continue Reading »

The Quotable Jung

It is a fair question to ask why the modern reader should be concerned with any of the writings from the early days of psychology. Knowledge of the biological conditions of mental illness and the psychological aspects of personality disorders has advanced, and the science has moved on. Why rehash theories of psychology promulgated by the early thinkers, many of which are just plain wrong? Continue Reading »

The Stuntmen and the Lost Voters

The last two presidential elections have seen joke candidacies and the joke is on us. In 2012, Herman Cain jumped into the lead for the Republican nomination on the basis of being able to serenely intone 9-9-9 (shorthand for a tax plan that even he did not always seem to understand). In our current . . . . Continue Reading »

Anger and Citizenship

The Iowa caucuses are in the rear-view mirror, the New Hampshire primary looms on the horizon, and by most media accounts, the leitmotif of Campaign 2016 is “anger.” As in: a lot-of-Americans-are-angry-and-that-explains-the attraction-of-certain-candidates, whether that be the . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Great Council of the Orthodox Church

Already there is much talk about the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church. Between now and June 19, 2016, when the council officially opens on the island of Crete, there will be many rumors and much spin. Some will be justified; like other patriarchal institutions, Orthodox Churches are not . . . . Continue Reading »

The Third Temptation

In the mid-1970s, the famous Mennonite theologian and ethicist John Howard Yoder visited Calvin College to give a lecture explaining the Anabaptist perspective on political authority. His opening comments offended many in his audience (including me). Referring to the Gospel account of the third . . . . Continue Reading »

David Bowie's Search for God

One doesn’t often find people of faith, especially conservatives, rallying around an entertainer who became famous for dressing up as an androgynous rock-star named Ziggy Stardust, singing, “Rebel, Rebel,” and pushing musical expression to its outer limits. And yet, when David Bowie died last . . . . Continue Reading »