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The Need for Epiphanic Evangelicalism

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 »

Founding Believers

What were the religious beliefs of the founding fathers? That question is at the heart of many of the most contentious debates about the role of religion in the American public square. Countless arguments are centered on claims that the founders were either God-fearing Christians or Deistically-inclined secularists. But while historical documents are often mined for justifying quotes, few people bother to muster historical evidence to shore up their claims with the necessary academic rigor… . Continue Reading »

The “American” Religion

The great contest is over the culture, the guiding ideas and habits of mind and heart that inform the way we understand the world and our place in it. Christians who, knowingly or unknowingly, embrace the model of “Christ without culture”—meaning Christianity in indifference to culture—are . . . . Continue Reading »

The Bishops in Council

Twenty-five years ago this month, Pope John Paul II made his first pastoral visit to the United States, meeting the American bishops in Chicago. In his address to them, the former university professor used a style that was both innovative and pedagogically effective: he quoted from an array of . . . . Continue Reading »

Publick Religion: Adams v. Jefferson

The civic catechisms of our day still celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s experiment in religious liberty. To end a millennium of repressive religious establishments, we are taught, Jefferson sought liberty in the twin formulas of privatizing religion and secularizing politics. Religion must be “a . . . . Continue Reading »

The Lutheran Difference

To the extent that Lutherans are noticed at all by non-Lutherans in America, impressions can be wildly contradictory. From one perspective, they can look like mildly exotic ethnics—sort of like the Mennonites, only more numerous. Thus it is possible for interested outsiders to smile . . . . Continue Reading »

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