That Was The Week That Was

Here…

• I’m mostly past worrying about pageviews, but if you missed my observations about the past and politics in southwestern Virginia… I do think it deserves more attention than it got.

• But more importantly, Andy Crouch’s Trump editorial in Christianity Today got a huge readership.

• Reader Sean O’Neil suggested that Christian intellectuals are actually planting some important seeds during this election.

• For example, Adam Johnson’s guest post on moral psychology.

…There (How Many More Days until November 8th?)…

• If you define evangelicals by beliefs, as LifeWay Research does, and not by self-identification, Donald Trump (45%) is only up fourteen points over Hillary Clinton. But the real story there? White evangelicals still support Trump by 50 points; those who are African American, Asian American, and Hispanic back Clinton by a similarly wide margin.

This StarTribune report on how Minnesotan evangelicals are struggling with the presidential campaign is noteworthy, if only because it has a quotation from the president of the National Association of Evangelicals.

Evan McMullin
If you don’t know who this is, you should definitely click the “we shouldn’t assume” link…

• Of course, we shouldn’t assume that Clinton or Trump will be president come January, just because they’re the nominees of the two major parties.

• Look, it’s not going to make a difference in the outcome of this election. But it is fascinating that the Amish-for-Trump story refuses to go away.

• Perhaps lost in all the discussion of evangelical reactions to Trump: conservative Jewish opposition to the GOP nominee.

• Trump recently gave a speech about higher education. As the Chronicle reported, “Mr. Trump made few concrete proposals. But few is more than zero.”

• Also at this intersection of topics… Students at Liberty University are publicly criticizing their president’s unwavering support of Trump.

• Perhaps most importantly, Lily Burana wondered how pro- and anti-Trump Christians can love each other.

…and Everywhere

• Did evangelicals help sink the peace deal that won Colombia’s president the Nobel Peace Prize?

• The tragedy in Syria continues:

• The phenomenon of Muslim refugees converting to Christianity while in Europe is not going away.

• I’ve written before about the Europeans periodically encountering unexploded ordnance from the two world wars. But I doubt that South Carolinians have had to deal with Civil War shells too often…

B&C logo• Sadly, editor John Wilson announced that Books & Culture will soon cease publication. John Turner and I both shared tributes at The Anxious Bench.

• Few books have made more of an impression on my theology than N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope. Scot McKnight predicts that Wright’s new book, on the Atonement, will be even more important.

Marilynne Robinson replied to Alan Jacobs’ critique of her.

• Billy Graham “was never fully in lockstep with what would become the Christian Right,” wrote Tommy Kidd. But a quick review suggests that “politics can confuse the gospel message, even for someone who spoke as clearly about the new birth of salvation as Billy Graham did.”

• Must-read of the week: Ruth Graham’s long, well-reported profile of former Wheaton professor Larycia Hawkins for the New York Times Magazine. And Graham (no relation to Billy, though she’s also a Wheaton alum) frames important issues for Christian higher ed moving forward: “The balance between orthodoxy and intellectualism is poignantly fragile. And the Hawkins episode was a painful reminder of why. That Wheaton couldn’t make room for a scholar like Hawkins raises questions about what real diversity might look like in a setting where a certain uniformity of belief is essential. And that so many of its constituents interpreted her actions so uncharitably, so swiftly, reflects poorly on evangelicalism as a whole. The difference between theological purity and cultural exclusion is not always as tidy as believers would like to think.”


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