Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

In the Beginning

From the March 2000 Print Edition

Anniversaries are occasions for nostalgic celebration, for recalling to oneself and others how it is that this good thing came to be. As one who was present at the creation of this journal, I am pleased to mark its tenth birthday”though vaguely distressed to note how rapidly a decade can pass. (A . . . . Continue Reading »

Saving Chicago

From the February 2000 Print Edition

When I heard that the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) planned to send 100,000 volunteers to Chicago next summer to evangelize the city, my first reaction was, Good luck. (Perhaps I have been living in New York too long.) Evangelism, of course, is essential to Christianity. The Great Commission . . . . Continue Reading »

American Dreaming

From the January 2000 Print Edition

Americans have always thought of their country as other and better than anyplace else. The most obvious measure of comparative superiority was with Europe, the place where, through most of the nation’s history, most people came from and against which they assessed their achievements. The protean . . . . Continue Reading »

The Bus Stops Here

From the November 1999 Print Edition

It’s a sad but unavoidable question: Where did the civil rights movement go wrong? A cause that, at its modern origins in the 1950s, no decent person could oppose has over the years taken turns that even many of its most committed advocates find morally problematic. It’s been a long downhill . . . . Continue Reading »

Culture War No More?

From the October 1999 Print Edition

Most American conservatives think they’re engaged in a culture war, and many of them think they’re losing it. Now along comes Jeremy Rabkin, a thoughtful conservative commentator and professor of government at Cornell University, who tells them they’re wrong on both counts (“The Culture War . . . . Continue Reading »

London Diary

From the August/September 1999 Print Edition

A week in London at the end of May, and a number of things are not quite as expected. Beginning with the weather. Five of the eight days are sunny and pleasantly warm, and only on the last day is there rain and heavy fog. My daughter, who has been living in the city since last fall and who acts as . . . . Continue Reading »

The Myth of Declension

From the May 1999 Print Edition

Conservatives are still a long way from recovering from their post-impeachment funk. The most dispirited among them talk as if the American people, in their failure to recognize the necessity for President Clinton’s removal from office, should themselves be put in the dock. In this view, the . . . . Continue Reading »