Christian higher education in the negative world

I was eager to read Aaron Renn’s highly anticipated new book, Life in the Negative World: Confronting Challenges in an Anti-Christian Culture. The book is an expansion of his much-discussed 2022 essay for First Things titled “The Three Worlds of Evangelicalism.” Renn’s argues that American culture has been secularizing at an increasing rate since the 1960s. He breaks […]

Navigating Critical Theories Faithfully

A decade ago, few people had ever heard terms like critical race theory, queer theory, intersectionality, social justice, gender fluidity, hegemonic power, whiteness, DEI, or heteronormativity. The exceptions were those who had undertaken graduate studies in law, education, or the social sciences. That is certainly no longer the case. These days, it seems that everybody […]

Scholastic versus moms and dads

Four decades ago, I began my elementary school journey. I don’t remember many things about those years, but a few fond memories stand out. Every spring we tried out our skills at the 40-yard dash and tug of war during Field Day. We spent the last day of each term watching a movie like Old Yeller or Where […]

FIRST-PERSON: Commending classical evangelicalism

The evangelical label has fallen on hard times. A growing number of Americans treat it almost like a slur, especially on social media. The terms evangelical and evangelicalism are contested by scholars, controversial in the public square, and confusing to many churchgoers. Pundits, pollsters, journalists and many scholars are convinced evangelicalism is primarily a special interest group that skews […]

A popular but misguided idea

Americans are concerned with the state of our colleges and universities. Last summer, the Gallup organization reported that only 36 percent of those polled reported “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in higher education. Most were ambivalent or negative, with 40 percent of respondents expressing only “some” and 22 percent claiming “very little” confidence. […]

Carl F. H. Henry: Integrating Public Engagement and Personal Evangelism

Carl F. H. Henry (1913–2003) was arguably the most important American theologian of the postwar years. His best-known book likely remains his 1947 manifesto The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism, which was recently republished by Crossway. I reflected on this important work in a previous essay for The Land Center. Henry is also known for […]

On the Political Uses (and Misuses) of Scripture

 American political figures love the Bible. Some no doubt love the Scriptures because they sincerely believe the Bible is God’s written words for humanity. Others seem to love the Bible because it serves as a useful prop that resonates with particular voting blocs. Still others probably just have a nostalgic love for the Good Book […]

Spiritual Awakening and Cultural Engagement

I’ve been a student of spiritual awakenings for several years. As a church historian, I have taught many courses over the years on the history of revival and closely related themes. I’ve also published a little bit in the area, mostly in relation to either Jonathan Edwards or the Missionary Awakening among English Baptists in […]

An Absence of Trust: Navigating our Knowledge Crisis Faithfully

Americans don’t trust the media. According to a Gallup story released in October 2022, American confidence in mass media remains near historically low. The story did document some noteworthy variances. Democrats trust the media more than Republicans, the college-educated have more trust than those who did not finish college, and younger Americans were far less […]

A Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8, 2022. She was 96 years old. Her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, preceded her in death in 2021. Queen Elizabeth was the constitutional monarch of the United Kingdom from 1952 until her death. Her 70-year reign made her the longest-serving ruler in British history. She was […]