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The Teddy Roosevelt Option: Ben Sasse’s Plan to Save the Country
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Let’s get this out of the way right off: The Vanishing American Adult is not a political book. So says author Ben Sasse. Sure, the author happens to be a first term Republican Senator who gained notoriety last cycle by maintaining an unflinching #NeverTrump posture. Indeed, it may be true that St. Martin’s Press may have handed Senator Sasse a book deal thinking that...

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Evangelicals Don’t Love Trump
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“Why Evangelicals Worship Trump”; “Trump-ward, Christian Soldiers?”; “Why Do Evangelicals Support Trump?”; “Evangelicals Love Donald Trump: How a thrice-married New York braggart won them over — and why it’s so scary.” These are real headlines running in major newspapers and well-trafficked blogs. They are representative of inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom. This media meme is 100 percent spot-on except for one minor thing: Evangelicals don’t really...

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Young, Restless, and Reformed Homeboys on Lenten Fasting
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Last spring, I wrote about my skepticism about the newfound trendiness of lenten fasting among Evangelicals of my generation. The trend continues apace. Here’s Glenn Packiam, pastor of New Life Downtown in Colorado Springs (it’s a “parish” of the more famous New Life) explaining why his charismatic and low-church congregation is holding an Ash Wednesday service today: So, no, you don’t have to observe Ash Wednesday....

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Is this guy too white to pastor a multicultural church?
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“Am I too white to be your pastor?” That’s the question posed in a recent promotional campaign for River Pointe Church in suburban Houston. The church published full-page color ads featuring a picture of their pastor, Patrick Kelley, holding a sign bearing the borderline-bombastic message in the Houston Chronicle, encouraging people to attend their special Sunday worship service marking Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend....

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Southern cities owe Bible devotion to hillbillies
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The American Bible Society and the Barna: Cities project are out with an updated ranking of the “Bible-mindedness” of the 100 largest American metropolitan areas. Chattanooga, Tenn., leads the way this year, snatching the top spot from its Volunteer State neighbor, Knoxville. Unsurprisingly, the rest of the top 10 cities are also located in traditional Bible Belt states. On the other end of the...

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Are greater things yet to come in the suburbs?
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During the past decade or so, one of the most interesting demographic trends in American evangelicalism has been the relocation of its leadership from suburbia to center cities. Just 10 years ago, you would have chosen James Dobson’s Colorado Springs, Rick Warren’s Orange County, and the Wheaton-Willow Creek axis in Chicagoland as the epicenters of evangelical activity—suburbs or exurbs all. Now, the shepherds are...

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Build it or they will leave
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With their victory last Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks secured homefield advantage throughout the National Football League playoffs. And what an advantage it is. The Seahawks have been nearly untouchable at home during the last two seasons—going 15-1—and statistical analytics confirm Seattle has enjoyed the strongest homefield advantage in the league since the team moved into CenturyLink Field in 2002. Seahawk fans are known as...

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Born in a stable, raised in the ’burbs
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During my church’s celebration of the third Sunday of Advent, I was again struck by the absurdity of it all. The eternal God of the universe chose not only to veil himself in flesh, but also to do so in particularly humble circumstances. Geopolitical forces may have caused Joseph to take his betrothed to Bethlehem, but Jesus’s parents were not movers and shakers in...

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Evangelical Theology: A Review (of a section)
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Michael Bird has written a new single-volume systematic theology titled Evangelical Theology. His publisher, Zondervan, offered complementary volumes in exchange for reviewing one of the book’s sections. That’s the kind of offer that I find difficult to turn down, and, thus, here we are today. Given the choice of which section to review, I selected Part 3: The Gospel of the Kingdom, thinking that...

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GUYS, Some Evangelicals Want a Pullback from the Culture Wars, and the WSJ is ON IT.
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This week, Neil King of the Wall Street Journal wrote a front page feature on Russell Moore, “Evangelical Leader Preaches Pullback From Politics, Culture Wars.” Moore has recently been installed as the president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, replacing longtime leader Richard Land. The Journal reports that this generational transition marks the end of an era as the peaceable new...

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No, The GOP is Not Losing Young Christians
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Monday, Matt Lewis penned the latest in a long line of the GOP is losing young Christians articles. It is actually a superior piece to many of its kind because it considers how the Christian mandate to “live at peace with all men” weighs against unchecked descent into no-holds-barred political combat. Unless care is taken, Christian politicos may become “wise as serpents, but no...

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Spurgeon’s Tea Party Politics
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This week, the Reformed Evangelical blogosphere was rocked* by the stunning revelation that their hipster-beard-wearing, homiletical heartthrob Charles Haddon Spurgeon was a pinko Commie.** (* or at least mildly intrigued) (** or, to be precise, a “liberal”) Jonathan Merritt’s post, Spurgeon: How the politically liberal preacher became a conservative paragon, was very clear in its intent. Merritt, a man of the left himself, wanted...

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Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Modern Literature?
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Back during the halcyon days of the Bush administration (ha!), I read a piece in Touchstone which bemoaned the dearth of Evangelical modern literature. Evangelical professor David T. Williams surveyed the fiction produced by his tradition over the past century and found a great deal of “schlock and kitsch” but nothing “recognized as having literary value by the literary world.” Williams noted Christian authors from other...

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Why Cities Matter: A Review
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  My latest post on hating suburbia precipitated a great number of substantive responses. I want to continue the discussion by reviewing the new book, Why Cities Matter by Stephen Um and Justin Buzzard. Both men are pastors of Gospel Coalition-ish churches in Boston and Silicon Valley, respectively. They are also aspiring Kellerites. Not only does Keller pen the foreword, but there are nearly twenty citations to his...

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Why Do We Hate the Suburbs?
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Suburbs have been getting a bad rap for a while now. But recently, Anthony Bradley struck a nerve in his probing post on the dysfunctions of Evangelical twenty-somethings. He blames two salient ideas: the “missional narcissism” of the Radicals and the anti-suburban dictates of the Metro-Evangelicals. Both trends are animated by the conviction that the comfortable, consumer-driven suburban life of the previous generation of...

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Still Eating Sausages: Reservations Regarding Evangelicals and Lent
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Matt’s discussion of the Radicals and their revolution against comfortable and convenient Christianity has emerged, perhaps fittingly, during the liturgical season of Lent. The annual forty-day fast has always focused on the sacrifice inherent to the Christian call. Therefore, it should be no surprise that many of the same believers latching onto David Platt & Co.’s message have also begun to incorporate Lenten fasts...

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Metro-Evangelicals and Their Organic Produce
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Over at his Gospel Coalition blog, Jared Wilson has followed my lead by sticking his thumb in the eye of the Metro-Evangelical consensus with a post titled “Rural Ministry: Too Cool for Hipsters?” In his post he quotes my friend and Hillsdale College compatriot Darryl Hart on the inconsistencies within the younger set’s worldview. Hart wishes … that Christians, who have discovered the value...

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Are the Metro-Evangelicals Right?
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Andy Crouch (or his headline writer) coined the catchy term “metro-evangelicals” to describe the growing urban resurgence within American evangelicalism. In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Crouch explains that pastors like Tim Keller and Mark Driscoll see cities as the beachhead of a new evangelization. Crouch’s magazine, Christianity Today, has launched an extensive series on this work of God (This is Our City)....

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Beauty and Power in Church Architecture
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Last month, I began to build the case that Evangelicals possess an aesthetic that is reasoned, deliberative, and theologically informed. Contra the critics who charge that beauty is neglected in Evangelical circles, I find the comeliness in multipurpose worship centers equipped with retractable basketball stanchions. No, really. To support this contention, I offered the parallel of Mormon architecture. Their institutional commitment to beauty—evidenced by their...

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Smiths, Joneses, and Americans
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My inaugural foray on this site–calling on Evangelicals to remember that nations are a kind of thing that can keep people out–inspired comments querying whether national sovereignty is actually a Christian idea. Some commenters asked this question honestly, others rhetorically. To this latter group, a sovereignty which flexes its power to deport outsiders is deeply inconsistent with Christian charity and biblical morality. Since then, this...

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Another Principle to Bring to the “Table”: Evangelicals, Immigration, and the Supreme Court
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Earlier this month some sort of “table” of Evangelicals issued a call for bipartisan immigration reform. Whether willing accomplices or unwitting stooges (You Make the Call!), they served to provide cover for President Obama’s executive-policy/discretionary-enforcement/mini-Dream-Act, announced just three days later. Whatever its motivation, this coalition of Evangelical groups outlined a set of principles that ended up looking a little more like a camel than...

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Social Security Reality
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This spring, many Americans sat in front of their TV sets, watching a “reality show” in which a well-off, 50-something business tycoon controlled the financial future of 16 young adults. On The Apprentice, Donald Trump weeded through the contestants and ultimately awarded one young man a $200,000 contract. A somewhat similar situation prevails in the real world. Here in Washington, a group of well-off...

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