I believe we suffer from a propensity to look at people with whom we disagree and say to ourselves, “That person can’t teach me anything. They are so wrong in how they think, so insufficient in their intellectual capacities, so distorted in their worldview, that I could not possibly see reality more clearly by interacting with this person.”
Think of the political divide. Republicans decry working with “the other side” as a compromise of values. In turn, Democrats seriously question the sanity and morality of those who disagree with their principles. Both sides react with disdain when anyone seeks a third way for moving forward.
Consider the culture wars. One side sees evil lurking everywhere.Government, the news, schools, technology–-all are trying to poison the hearts and minds of the faithful. The other side sees the forces of corruption, corporate task masters, and institutional suppression reigning supreme, preventing people from experiencing true liberation.
Think of what is now 500 years of theological division (non-Chalcedonian and Orthodox brethren aside, of course). For some, the Reformation was the moment of freedom, the removal of the shackles of theological corruption, the purification of doctrine and practice, and remains a cause for great celebration. For others, the Reformation was a grave mistake, a continued blight on the landscape of Christianity, a massive embarrassment, a destruction of unity that should be mourned, not celebrated.
The very way in which we talk to and interact with others is poisoned by the mindset, “You’re wrong. I cannot learn from you.” Too often, the logic is frighteningly simple: Someone is different than me. Since I’m right, that someone is wrong. Therefore, they have nothing of value to offer me or my tribe. Continue reading
This was unexpected. For weeks, pundits were talking about the flexibility of polling (it looks like the major polls were ~3-4% points off) and the unknowability of the “Silent Trump vote” which came out en masse yesterday. This was yet another election where the experts were off in their predictions enough that it mattered in the end.
Social media matters. The idea that any press is good press undoubtedly assisted President Elect Trump during this election. Election-themed hashtags are here to stay. Additionally, our reliance on social media made it near-impossible to forget that yesterday was election day or who was running. Trump’s traditional “ground game” was non-existent in some places, but his social media furor helped alleviate those concerns. Our country is changing how we communicate and Trump did a solid job embracing that reality.
There are some intriguing parallels to the Obama 2008 election. Both Trump and Obama ran on outsider, change-centered platforms, a possible indication that the electorate really doesn’t really like either party just change. Both candidates offered rhetorically strong campaigns but did not rely much on rhetorical sophistication (“Make America Great Again” and “Hope and Change”). Obama and Trump have also “rewritten” the electoral map (insofar as you can rewrite anything that, by definition, changes constantly and very clearly every four years) in ways that pundits will be digesting and discussing for what will feel like endless election-cycles to come. Continue reading
If you read one article this week, check out Lecture Me. Really. by Molly Worthen.
For those of you with additional reading time today, check out the following selections below, gleaned from around the internet. As always, if you think there is something else I should be reading, let me know in the comments section below. Continue reading
Looking for just one thing to read this weekend? Check out Homoousias and the Dignity of Children by John Ehrett.
For those of you with additional reading time on your hands, check out the following suggestions, gleaned from around the internet. Think I missed something important? Let me know in the comments section below. Continue reading
At the risk of shocking some of my readers, I want to start this article with a confession: I was raised in a household that did not watch television. Or, at least, did not watch television that was anything other than the Olympics, Presidential speeches, or the occasional Chicago Cubs playoff collapse. Although the primary reason for our not watching television was because of scheduling (we simply were too busy with other things to make watching TV any sort of a priority), we would also occasionally hear about the dangers of watching TV, especially the immoral values that it promoted. Continue reading
If you read one article this week, look at Catacomb Time? by George Weigel.
For those of you with additional reading time this weekend, check out the following suggestions from around the blogging world. And–as always–if you think there is something else I should have included on this list, let me know in the comments section below. Continue reading
If you engage one article this week, read After Obergefell: Prospects, Predictions, Program by Peter Leithart.
If you’ve got more time to read the following selections from around the blogosphere. As always, if you think there is something else I should be reading, feel free to let me know in the comments section below. Continue reading
If you read one article this week, engage Not Just Another Culture War Story by Dominic Bouck.
For those of you with additional reading time this weekend, check out the selections below from around the internet. As always, if there is anything else that I should be reading, feel free to let me know in the comments below. Continue reading
If you read one article this week, engage After Obergefell: A First Things Symposium
If you’ve got more reading time on this fine Independence Day, check out some other recommendations below, gathered from around the blogging world during this past week. As always, if you think there is something else I should be reading, feel free to let me know in the comments section. Continue reading
Few people have shaped contemporary Christianity more than Billy Graham. Though not as active, popular, or visible as he once was, Graham’s decades of evangelism, writing, and preaching continue to influence Christians around the world. Even in retirement, Graham continues to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world. It was thus with eagerness that this reviewer engaged one of his latest books, The Reason for My Hope: Salvation (Thomas Nelson: 2013). Continue reading