Interview with Danielle Hitchen

After featuring Danielle Hitchen’s new project on Monday, I wanted to ask her a few more questions about the counting primer specifically and about more general work that she is doing with Catechesis Books. So in this brief interview, we’ll hear how Danielle (and artist Jessica Blanchard) chose the visuals for the book, selected text excerpts to feature on each page, and more. Remember, if you’re interested in Danielle’s project and want to support it, you can do so via their Kickstarter page.

The first thing that stood out to me as I looked at the proofs is that you’ve made some really interesting choices for the topics you cover. It’s a counting primer board book for very small children, but you’re covering things like the two natures of Christ, three persons in the trinity, etc. How did you decide what things to feature on each page? Continue reading

Mere Fidelity: On Biblical Exegesis and Systematic Theology

On this show, we discuss the thorny relationship between Biblical exegesis and systematic theology. It’s a lot of fun, let me tell you.

But the real news is that we have music! Yes, music! Kenneth Padgett from The Joy Eternal graciously allowed us to use music from their album A Sweet and Bitter Providence.  Go download a copy now.

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 DerekAlastair, 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.

Choose: A Republic or “A Basket of Deplorables”

One of the smarter critiques of today’s American liberalism is that it’s actually mainline Protestantism shorn of its explicitly Christian content. Former First Things editor Jody Bottum makes this critique in his book An Anxious Age but others have made similar arguments elsewhere.

Typically the point of making this observation is to highlight points of overlap between mainline Protestantism and today’s liberalism. But in light of Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment from late last week, it seems worthwhile to note where precisely today’s liberalism is deeply at odds with Christianity and how this discontinuity with liberal Christianity figures to be far more important than liberalism’s many continuities with that dying branch of American Christianity. Continue reading

The Problem of Pronouns and Pluralism

From the land of “the culture war is interested in you,” here’s this new report from Eugene Volokh at the Washington Post:

From the official Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination’s Gender Identity Guidance, just released last week:

Even a church could be seen as a place of public accommodation if it holds a secular event, such as a spaghetti supper, that is open to the general public.

Now, churches hold events “open to the general public” all the time — it’s often how they seek new converts. And even church “secular events,” which I take it means events that don’t involve overt worship, are generally viewed by the church as part of its ministry, and certainly as a means of the church modeling what it believes to be religiously sound behavior.

You should read the whole thing for context, but the upshot is that there are serious conversations happening right now in the state of Massachusetts that could lead to legal action against churches that do not use a person’s preferred pronouns. Legal action may even be taken against churches whose congregants engage in such behavior, depending on how laws are written and courts rule. Continue reading

Mere Fidelity: The Righteous Mind


Andrew, Alastair, and Derek consider Jonathan Haidt’s thesis that conservatives and liberals are divided by how they value harm, fairness, and authority.

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 DerekAlastair, and Andrew for more tweet-sized brilliance.  And thanks to Timothy Motte for his sound editing work.

Regarding Nebraska

I wrote this essay four years ago and it has been sitting on my hard drive awaiting further work ever since. I’ve recently concluded that it’s been so long now that I can’t “finish it” but only write a sequel. I’m working on that one now. But for the moment, I decided to finally hit “publish” on this, even if it’s now four years old and, as a result, a bit dated in parts. Do note that I quote a few people directly and these people have… we’ll say “colorful” ways of speaking.

I. “Love… has a body and a place.”

If you stand at the intersection of 48th and O in Lincoln and look north, you’ll see an Advanced Autoparts on your right next to a dilapidated (but still open) skate zone. To your left, you’ll see a CVS, Target, and a grocery store called Super Saver. If you walk a half mile north, you’ll come to 48th and Vine. From there, you can see a lingerie store in an old office building to your right. Across the street from it, you’ll see a Mexican restaurant called D’Leon’s that looks like a converted trailer home and a small, unobtrusive pet shop specializing in fish named, in classic Nebraskan fashion, “The Fish Store.” Continue reading

The Treachery of Narratives

Yesterday, Vanity Fair published a damning investigative article on Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the biotech start-up Theranos. Over the past few years, Holmes has never been far from the spotlight. She delivered a popular TED talk, won countless awards and placements on prestigious lists in publications such as TIME, Forbes, and Glamour for her supposed inspirational achievements, and was celebrated by many as an example of a woman achieving in the male world of big business. Last year, Forbes listed her as one of ‘America’s Richest Self-Made Women’, with an eye-watering fortune of $4.5 billion. Today her net worth is estimated to be nothing. Continue reading

Mere Fidelity: Are there any more Christian ‘Intellectuals’?

We loved Alan Jacobs’s terrific essay on the decline of Christian intellectuals and the reasons for it so much that we wanted to talk about it. So, we did. While reading Jacobs’s essay isn’t quite mandatory before listening, the conversation may be a bit perplexing if you haven’t. And you should, anyway.

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 DerekAlastair, and Andrew for more tweet-sized brilliance.  And thanks to Timothy Motte for his sound editing work.

Purity as Branding in the Evangelical Sub-Culture

After Ruth Graham’s interview with Joshua Harris last week in Slate there was, once again, the predictable round of discussion on social media and in the blogosphere about evangelical “purity culture,” as it existed in youth ministries during the late 80s through the early 2000s. The term purity culture is probably part of the problem here, as there isn’t just one “purity culture” in evangelicalism. Continue reading