Category: History

Polis/Counter-polis: On the Civic Benedict Option

October 2016 was a simpler, more innocent time. We were all youths, wet behind the ears; we look back at ourselves with a kind of bemused affection. Rod Dreher assumed, surely—we all assumed—that Hillary Clinton would win in November, that...

/ April 18, 2017
hauerwas-benedict-option

Theologians Were Arguing About the Benedict Option 35 Years Ago

Getting historical perspective on a contemporary topic of debate is always helpful. Dr. Christopher Cleveland’s essay for us on the trinitarian controversy last summer is exceptional precisely because of how successfully he tied the current debate to historical debates and...

/ March 13, 2017
benedict-option

The “New Alarmism” is not new and is not alarmism.

When asked about the Holy Roman Empire the French philosophe Voltaire once quipped that said empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. I had something like that thought while reading Dr. James K. A. Smith’s piece for the...

/ March 10, 2017
limits-of-policy

On Presidential Politics and Evangelical Cultural Clout

If you’ll indulge me, I’m going to circle back around to Emma Green’s review of Rod’s book while also linking it to Katelyn Beaty’s review of the same published earlier this week in the Washington Post.

/ March 3, 2017
henry-viii-donald-trump

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...

/ November 18, 2016
evangelicals-civil-rights

Are Religious Liberty Restrictions God’s Judgment on Racism?

“I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and lack of bread in all your places, yet you did not return to me,” declares the LORD. – Amos 4:6 I did a number of medical school rotations in...

/ August 15, 2016
book-reviews

Reviewing Nancy Isenberg’s “White Trash”

This guest review is by Dr. Miles Smith. In 2014 The King’s College professor Anthony Bradley wrote an article on the plight of poor whites for World Magazine. That Bradley, an African American, first raised the issue seems strange, but...

/ August 8, 2016
hamilton-patriotism

Hamilton, Meritocracy, and Patriotism

I held out for as long as I could. My resistance was sustained chiefly by a stubborn contrarianism that resists as many trends as possible, particularly those that can be credibly connected to New York City, Washington, San Francisco, or Los...

/ July 20, 2016
flag-american-exceptionalism-civil-religion

Reviewing John Wilsey’s “American Exceptionalism and Civil Religion”

I’m pleased to publish this guest review today by Hillsdale College visiting professor Dr. Miles Smith. You can learn more about Dr. Smith from his bio below this post. You can also follow him on Twitter @IVMiles A book exploring...

/ January 7, 2016

The Evangelical Roots of the Benedict Option

In 1948 the Bible Presbyterian Church, a quasi-fundamentalist evangelical denomination, sent a 36-year-old pastor and his family to Europe to check on the state of the church after World War II. The family settled in Switzerland and worked mostly in...

/ September 5, 2014