Articles categorized as Culture War
In these talks, which I delivered at Biola University’s Torrey Honors Institute, I attempt to lay out an evangelical account of justice that is responsive to current questions.
Mr. Trump’s degeneracy and the old-guard religious right’s defense of it provide younger conservative evangelicals an opportunity to clarify the nature of their witness in the political realm. In the coming years, they will need to look for new avenues to proclaim the truth of God’s word in a fractured and broken world.
Conservative evangelicals have been gripped by such questions since the CBMW released the statement two weeks ago. Yet while its advocates and defenders have touted its importance and its benefits, I fear the ensuing discussion has left conservative evangelicals as bereft of sound guidance on questions of gender identity and sexual orientation as we were prior to its release.
Either we recognize the “beauty of God’s design for human life,” or we embrace a sexual ethic and understanding of maleness and femaleness grounded in an “individual’s autonomous preferences.” Either our witness is counter-cultural, or it is not biblical.
While evangelicals indisputably have a less-than-exemplary record on questions of race, their own history within the South is not necessarily identical or equivalent to the history of the Religious Right.
The work of conservation isn’t the same as defending (with its connotations of hostility and warfare): It is the work of weeding out positions and attitudes that would undermine social stability, of cultivating and tilling the soil so that cultural flourishing can take root.
One of the hidden yet potentially devastating costs of a culture war mentality is that it locks people into a framework and keeps them pursuing the particular questions that emerge from within it. If the point of our efforts is winning, then questioning our own presuppositions is out of bounds.
For social conservatism to thrive, it needs to end its hostility toward elite institutions that are currently opposed to it.
You can’t fight a culture war if you haven’t got a culture.
The legal and social struggle between gay rights and Christian sexual ethics is real, but whatever challenges ‘losing’ the culture brings for conservative Christians, martyrdom is currently not among them.
If family is something slightly different than friendship, than marriage is essential to the needs of those who never marry.
The more confident we are in our knowledge, the more willing we can be to hear challenges to it.
Suppose the challenges I have described are real and that there is lots of social and institutional pressure to change one’s views about human sexuality. In such an environment, those who have the clearheadedness to see the game afoot will almost invariably sound paranoid.
The central question facing our society is whether there can be mercy in the gay marriage debate.
Our impulse to punish wrongdoings through shame is expanding in part because we lack shared authorities who can make justice public for us — and because so much more of our lives can become public. We are all judge and jury now.
If culture is in a decline, repeatedly reminding the world of the fact did nothing to reverse it.
The church’s distinctiveness from the world is a byproduct; it comes from ordering ourselves toward the person and work of Jesus.
Having played the same song of decay so often, evangelical writers have a credibility gap with anyone who isn’t already convinced.