James R. Rogers is department head and associate professor of political science at Texas A&M University. He leads the “New Man” prison ministry at the Hamilton Unit in Bryan, Texas, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

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Know Nothings and the Republican Coalition

From First Thoughts

The nativist Know Nothing movement—officially known as the Order of the Star Spangled Banner, and as the American Party when it entered formally into electoral politics—flashed across American public life in the mid-1850s. It heralded the demise of the Whig Party, and the Second Party System . . . . Continue Reading »

The Need for Epiphanic Evangelicalism

From First Thoughts

The second challenge I see facing American churches today (I discuss the first one here) is how the Church engages postmodernism in American culture. By “postmodern” I do not simply mean the period succeeding modernity, however one wants to date that. Rather, I mean the subjectivist thrust of . . . . Continue Reading »

Saving Willy Loman

From First Thoughts

The focus on the increase in death rates for white Americans between ages 45-54 in the media obscures equally troubling results in Anne Case and Angus Deaton’s recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife . . . . Continue Reading »

Mission Trips and the “Monolithic Other”

From First Thoughts

Short-term “mission trips” are hugely popular among American Evangelicals. Usually these trips involve lay people visiting another part of the world with the aim of helping locals and introducing them to Christianity. But recently, these trips have received a lot of criticism from those on the left, who say that many trips amount to little more than religious tourism, and from those on the right, who argue that such trips induce dependency on foreign aid in communities, rather than self-sufficiency. Continue Reading »