Is Loyalty a Virtue?

I like to think of myself as a pretty loyal person. I’m wary of loyalty to imagined communities like nations, but when it comes to family members and close friends, I’d even say that I’m fiercely loyal. But one of the many consequences of the Trump presidency is that I’ve been reconsidering the moral status … More Is Loyalty a Virtue?

Counterpoint: How Evangelicals Are Politicized

Thanks to everyone who commented (here, on Facebook, by email) on yesterday’s post! I quoted from recent posts by historians Neil J. Young and Thomas Kidd, both of whom drew on research and personal experience with evangelical churches to argue that evangelicals are far less concerned with partisan politics than media coverage (and a recent … More Counterpoint: How Evangelicals Are Politicized

How Much Do Politics Matter to Evangelicals?

This will push into next week my long-gestating post on whether it’s possible to write persuasively for an evangelical audience, but I wanted to think aloud about one question that’s probably bigger than that post: Just how much do politics matter to evangelicals? That first came to mind last month, while I was reading Alec Ryrie’s Protestants: … More How Much Do Politics Matter to Evangelicals?

Quick Thoughts on Republican Dislike for Higher Education

Further evidence of polarization in America: a recent Pew survey finding sharp partisan splits in how Americans view institutions’ impact on the country. It’s worth digging into the full report, but here’s a summary: Type of Institution Overall % with Positive View Republicans and Lean GOP % Democrats and Lean Dem. % Churches and religious organizations … More Quick Thoughts on Republican Dislike for Higher Education

Public Uses of Romans 13 in American History

Last Friday I took issue with Vice President Mike Pence’s commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy, in part because he exhorted graduates to “Follow the chain of command without exception. Submit yourselves, as the saying goes, to the authorities that have been placed above you.” His allusion to Romans 13:1-2 (or 1 Peter 2:13-14) got … More Public Uses of Romans 13 in American History

How Would Donald Trump Fill Out His Bracket?

To the countless number of ways in which our current president is unlike his immediate predecessor, you can add this: Donald Trump is not filling out a March Madness bracket for ESPN. Of course, that short-lived presidential tradition had been so appealing because, as ESPN analyst Andy Katz explained, “President Obama follows basketball and is passionate about the sport. He … More How Would Donald Trump Fill Out His Bracket?

The Strength of White Evangelical Support for Trump

Tomorrow night I’ll be in Chicago making the case that Pietism might help renew evangelicalism. That assumes, of course, that evangelicalism can be renewed. Or that we have any idea who “evangelicals” are. I’m going to proceed as planned with the talk, but a new report from the Pew Research Center has me a bit more skeptical … More The Strength of White Evangelical Support for Trump

The Silencing of Conservative Christians Opposed to Trump

If you work in a church or Christian non-profit, or care about how those organizations function in the midst of such polarizing times, then you need to take a few minutes and read religion reporter Emma Green’s latest piece for The Atlantic: Donald Trump has divided conservative Christian communities. Most white Christians support Trump, or at … More The Silencing of Conservative Christians Opposed to Trump