College Without Truth

From the May 2016 Print Edition

Not long ago, I was an assistant professor of history at the most racially and ethnically diverse university in the country. There, diversity, equality, and inclusion took priority over all other goods. And it showed. My classrooms were full of students of different ­races, ethnicities, . . . . Continue Reading »

Public Scripture

From the April 2016 Print Edition

In the Beginning Was the Word: The Bible in American Public Life, 1492–1783by mark a. nolloxford, 448 pages, $29.95 B iblical images, idioms, and verses are everywhere in early American historical sources, so much so that historians have often treated the Bible, in Mark Noll’s words, as . . . . Continue Reading »

Trump and the Lukewarm

From Web Exclusives

Despite the pleas of conservative Christian leaders, large numbers of self-identified evangelicals continue to vote for Trump. This is baffling for any number of reasons, the most damning of which is Trump’s admission that he never seeks God’s forgiveness. Recent data from the Wall Street . . . . Continue Reading »

We've Been Warned

From Web Exclusives

After a papal visit that provided a welcome rest from the cynicism of our hyper-political culture, coverage of the Pope has devolved into the familiar stories of spin and political speculation. It’s a let-down, all this anxious squabbling over whom the Pope truly represents, but it probably gives . . . . Continue Reading »

In Loco Politicus

From Web Exclusives

There is much talk lately of an over-parenting crisis. In her book How to Raise an Adult, Julie Lythcott-Haims, a dean at Stanford University, tells horror stories about parents who speak for, plan for, and advocate for their college-aged children, afraid to let go lest their precious charges . . . . Continue Reading »

The Difference a Name Makes

From Web Exclusives

It’s amazing the difference a name makes. On one day this past week, nearly a hundred endangered elephants were killed and around 3,000 abortions were performed in the United States alone, and we were unfazed, but the killing of Cecil the lion broke our hearts. He wasn’t just any random lion. He was Cecil. Mere lions (along with chickens, cows, lambs, and pigs) are killed, but Cecil was murdered. We love the lion that was named Cecil. We feel as if we knew him. Continue Reading »

Agape Wins

From Web Exclusives

There’s been much talk lately about the moral purposes of history, especially from those celebrating the recent Supreme Court decision regarding gay marriage. History, we hear, is on the side of ever-expanding personal freedom, and those who counter this expansion are history’s losers. This . . . . Continue Reading »

From “Meh” to “Amen”

From Web Exclusives

According to the recent study from the Pew Research Center, 22.8 percent of U.S. adults and 35 percent of millennials are religiously unaffiliated. The nones are by all indications a diverse group. Among the nones are all the familiar categories of unbelief or quasi-belief: committed atheists, agnostics, the “spiritual but not religious,” and active seekers. Continue Reading »

Hillary's Purposes and God's

From Web Exclusives

When I heard Hillary Clinton’s statement at the recent 2015 Women in the World Summit that “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” for the sake of giving women access to “reproductive health care and safe childbirth,” at first I was confused. She has spoken often about being a Christian and having a rich prayer life, and I have no reason to doubt that she has real religious commitments. I wondered how someone who attends church regularly, prays, and therefore presumably knows something about the value and the sanctity of religious belief could say something so hostile toward religion.Then I thought of Harvey Cox’s The Secular City. Something about her statement rang that bell. I have no idea if Secretary Clinton read Cox’s influential and popular 1965 book, or assuming she did, if the book influenced her thinking. Tracing the particular influences behind anyone’s conceptions is rarely a simple matter. What struck me, though, was the possibility that I have been missing something big: it is likely that many of those who denigrate religious beliefs aren’t drawing just on secular, anti-Christian ideologies, but on liberal Christian ideas about God. What I assume to be anti-religious animus might in some cases actually issue from a particular form of religiosity. Continue Reading »

Radical Rupture

From the May 2015 Print Edition

The Evangelical Origins of the Living Constitution
 by john w. compton
 harvard, 272 pages, $45 The Constitution has become something different than what it once was. It used to be an actual document, something written on paper, solid and unchanging. Now, according to American constitutional . . . . Continue Reading »