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Lincoln’s Almost Chosen People

In his wonderful book Land of Lincoln, Andrew Ferguson recalls meeting an immigrant family from Thailand who ran a restaurant in Chicago just a few blocks from the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood where I grew up. This couple, Oscar Esche and his wife, had developed a passionate devotion to . . . . Continue Reading »

God as a Gentleman

Everybody knows the Decalogue and, in particular, the commandment “You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain” (Exod. 20:7). In spite of this warning, we too easily call God “Lord”—nay, we invoke him as “the Lord”—as if such a word were devoid of ambiguity and not badly . . . . Continue Reading »

Evangelizing the Nones

By far the fastest-growing “religious” group in the United States is the “nones,” that is, those who claim no religious affiliation. In the latest Pew Research Center survey, fully 25 percent of the country—80 million people—say that they have no formal religion, and the growth . . . . Continue Reading »

Biblical Interpretation in Crisis

In Wladimir Solowjew’s History of the Antichrist, the eschatological enemy of the Redeemer recommended himself to believers, among other things, by the fact that he had earned his doctorate in theology at Tübingen and had written an exegetical work which was recognized as pioneering in the field. . . . . Continue Reading »

Law and Moral Purpose

The obligations and purposes of law and government are to protect public health, safety, and morals, and to advance the general welfare—including, preeminently, protecting people’s fundamental rights and basic liberties. At first blush, this classic formulation (or combination of classic . . . . Continue Reading »

Literature and Moral Purposes

It is tedious when a speaker begins by protesting modestly that he is inadequate to the task before him, or that he is the last person who should have been asked to discuss the theme of his address. We are apt to dismiss such wincing disclaimers as belonging to what Goldsmith called “the decorums . . . . Continue Reading »

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