He’s No Saint: It’s Time to Talk About the Real Nicholas of Myra

Note: We are issuing this statement anonymously because in the current political climate it is important to protect the safety of dissenters and those whose views may be challenging to the powerful Santa Claus Lobby.

Earlier this week we celebrated the feast day of Saint Nicholas of Myra. In the popular imagination, Saint Nick is a warm, cheerful, and giving man. Yet the real Nicholas could not have been more dissimilar and his canonization as a saint is deeply problematic. The so-called “saint” Nicholas was a violent, judgmental, and divisive man unworthy of the title Christian.

We, the writers at Mere Orthodoxy, are calling upon all Christian leaders to denounce Nicholas and for the Vatican to strip him of his status as a saint. Upon the briefest examination of Nicholas’ legacy, one finds a seemingly endless pit of aggression, hate speech, dogwhistling, and exploitative tendencies. For brevity’s sake, we will limit ourselves to six theses on why Nicholas is unfit to be held up as a saint in the church. Continue reading

Mere Fidelity: The Four Loves, On Eros

In which we consider the subject of ‘eros’ by way of C.S. Lewis’s chapter on the same in The Four Loves.
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Finally, as always, follow DerekAndrew, and Alastair for more tweet-sized brilliance.  Thanks to Timothy Motte for his sound editing work. And thanks to The Joy Eternal for lending us their music, which everybody should download out of gratitude for their kindness.

Mere Fidelity: The Post-Election Show

In which we consider the results of the American Presidential election, and what they might mean.
If you enjoyed the show, leave us a review at iTunes. If you didn’t enjoy the show, let us know and we’ll work to make it better. Or we’ll ignore you, and you’ll feel better for having vented your feelings. We are here to help, either way. And if you want to subscribe by RSS, you can do that here.

If you’re interested in supporting the show (you know, with money), you can check out our Patreon here.

Finally, as always, follow Derek and Andrew for more tweet-sized brilliance.  Thanks to Timothy Motte for his sound editing work. And thanks to The Joy Eternal for lending us their music, which everybody should download out of gratitude for their kindness.

Rejoicing and Weeping After Election 2016

Our latest post is from Dylan Pahman.

The end of our long, tiring, and often vitriolic presidential election season in the United States came last Tuesday when Donald Trump became our new president-elect. Trump won more electoral votes but lost the popular vote, the fourth time in U.S. history such a result has occurred. The race was close, tempers were high, and reactions have ranged from apocalyptic despair to unexpected jubilation and everything in-between. How should Christians – regardless of how, or even if, they voted – respond? Continue reading

How to Deal With Erratic Corpulent Ginger Authoritarian Much-Married Rulers: Options for Christians in Public Life

Note: Some of these Options are better than others.

The Wolsey Option

Through an excess of personal ambition, tie your whole career to the favor of an unpredictable and potentially vicious master. Lose his favor anyway.

The Cromwell Option

Facilitate your master’s bizarre, persistent and destructive attraction to a sexy fascinating Pepe-meme generating femme fatale whose appeal has to do with the pleasure of transgression, leading to huge rents in the social fabric and the overturning of established norms of behavior.

The Edward Option

DOUBLE DOWN

The Mary Option

ROLLBACK

The More Option

If, in the context of your work, it is conceivable that you might receive a 3 a.m. order to… oh, hit this button, say; deploy that weapons system… and that refusing such an order could potentially trigger a court martial, rehearse saying the following phrase: “The King’s good servant, but God’s first.”

The Elizabeth Option

Keep your own counsel. Don’t deliberately alienate anyone.  Bind together a fractured nation full of mutually antagonistic, mistrustful and confused people. Carve out a space for the preaching of the Gospel. Reform, with moderation and prudence. Seek the common good. Trust God. And survive.

Susannah Black received her BA from Amherst College and her MA from Boston University. She is associate editor of Providence Magazine and of the Davenant Trust’s journal Ad Fontes, is a founding editor of Solidarity Hall (which now appears as The Dorothy Option on Patheos), and is on the Board of the Distributist Review. Her writing has appeared in First Things, The Distributist Review, Solidarity Hall, Providence, Amherst Magazine, Front Porch Republic, Ethika Politika, The Human Life Review, The American Conservative, and elsewhere. She blogs at Radio Free Thulcandra and tweets at @suzania. A native Manhattanite, she is now living in Queens.

Mere Fidelity: Richard Hooker

Alastair talks with Brad Littlejohn and Michael Lynch about the ongoing relevance of 16th century theologian Richard Hooker. Brad’s recent book is a highly praised introduction to Hooker and contemporary debates about him.

If you enjoyed the show, leave us a review at iTunes. If you didn’t enjoy the show, let us know and we’ll work to make it better. Or we’ll ignore you, and you’ll feel better for having vented your feelings. We are here to help, either way. And if you want to subscribe by RSS, you can do that here.

If you’re interested in supporting the show (you know, with money), you can check out our Patreon here.

Finally, as always, follow Derek and Andrew for more tweet-sized brilliance.  Thanks to Timothy Motte for his sound editing work. And thanks to The Joy Eternal for lending us their music, which everybody should download out of gratitude for their kindness.

#NeverTrump and President Trump

This will be the note I sign out on this year. I’ll be off the next seven weeks but we’ll continue to publish other authors during that time.

In the build-up to the 2016 election, American evangelicals were a pessimistic bunch. We racked up an impressive (and depressing) run of unfavorable court rulings and legal battles, featuring photographers, bakers, and florists. These defeats all ran parallel to our biggest cultural defeat, the Obergefell decision. In addition to this, we saw our standing in the Republican party fall sharply as the party nominated a candidate who by every traditional standard held by the religious right was an abysmal failure. (The fact that we supported him anyway will almost certainly teach the GOP that evangelical voters will go with them no matter what. This realization, of course, robs evangelicals of all their political capital that they might use to influence the GOP.)

Add to that the ever-growing number of “nones” that Pew and Gallup found in their religion surveys, the remarkably hostile response to the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, this summer’s Supreme Court ruling against many state-level abortion regulations, and the alarming court case in Massachusetts that would result in the policing of religious speech from Christian ministers and, well, things looked grim. Continue reading

The Possibilities of Home

I. The Impeded Stream

According to a study from LinkedIn, people who graduated between 2006 and 2008 worked for nearly three companies on average in their first five years after graduation. Those who graduated between 2001 and 2005 worked for an average of four companies in their first ten years after graduating. This fact has led Fast Company, a popular business and career magazine, to advise their readers to plan on switching jobs every three years for the rest of their professional life.

This attitude toward work and career isn’t limited to work and career, however. Continue reading

Mere Fidelity–On Bible Designs, with J. Mark Bertrand

J. Mark Bertrand joins Mere Fidelity to discuss the Biliotheca Reader’s Bible Project and other new ways of designing Bibles. Mark is the author of the Bible Design Blog, and has written on how technology has affected our relationship to Scripture. Interested parties might also look at the ESV Reader’s Bible, both in its six-volume edition and the single edition.

The Booktrades article on (vo)codex to co(in)dex Alastair referenced is here

If you enjoyed the show, leave us a review at iTunes. If you didn’t enjoy the show, let us know and we’ll work to make it better. Or we’ll ignore you, and you’ll feel better for having vented your feelings. We are here to help, either way. And if you want to subscribe by RSS, you can do that here.

If you’re interested in supporting the show (you know, with money), you can check out our Patreon here.

Finally, as always, follow Derek and Andrew for more tweet-sized brilliance.  Thanks to Timothy Motte for his sound editing work. And thanks to The Joy Eternal for lending us their music, which everybody should download out of gratitude for their kindness.

Courage, St. Crispin’s Day, and the 2016 Election

It’s a fortunate quirk of our calendar that this year St Crispin’s Day, the day on which Henry V led the English to victory against the French in 1415 and made immortal in Shakespeare’s “Henry V,” fell two weeks before the presidential election, a day on which a sizable portion of our nation’s evangelicals will demonstrate precisely the sort of cowardice Henry’s words so beautifully condemn. Continue reading