Brexit and the Moral Vision of Nationhood

Note from Jake: This is an Alastair piece so it’s both extremely long and extremely rewarding to those who will read the whole thing. That said, today may be a good day to avail yourself of that green “print-friendly version” on the left-hand side of the post.

On the morning of June 24, Britain awoke to the devastation of a vast political and social earthquake, as, after an unpleasant and divisive campaign, a majority of our nation voted to leave the European Union (EU). The aftershocks and long term consequences of this earthquake are likely to define our politics for a generation.

Upon announcement of the result, the value of Sterling plunged precipitously, initially losing a tenth of its value against the dollar, as the markets responded to radical uncertainty about the future of Britain’s economy. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, quit and a vote of no confidence was submitted against Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour party. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, declared that, in light of Scotland’s overwhelming support for Remain, a new vote for Scottish independence should take place. Sinn Fein called for a vote on the reunification of Ireland. In response to Gibraltar’s 95.9% Remain vote, Spain renewed its push for joint sovereignty over the British territory. France’s current border agreement with Britain at Calais was challenged, with potentially significant consequences for the deeply controversial migrant camps there. Meanwhile, over a million people signed a petition advocating for a second referendum and many others for Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, to declare the city’s independence from the rest of the UK and remain in the EU. Continue reading

The Worldly Poetry of the Puritans

I’m pleased to have Stephen Wolfe back with us again today for this piece on Puritan poetry.

The common understanding of the Puritans, in both popular and academic circles, is that they were hostile to all art, despisers of human desire, and saw nothing redeemable or good in creation. According to this view, their religious fervor was more than world-denying; it was earth-denying; it was desire-denying; it was sense-denying; and it was beauty-denying.

Continue reading

The Trinity Debate and “Big Eva”

I had hoped that the big Trinitarian brouhaha was starting to calm down to more of a restrained, tightly defined level. Then Dr. Al Mohler waded into the debate yesterday, calling attacks on his friends Drs. Bruce Ware and Wayne Grudem “nonsense” without ever bothering to actually engage with the substance of Carl Trueman, Liam Goligher, Mark Jones, Alastair Roberts, Michel Barnes, Matthew Crawford, Lewis Ayres, Fred Sanders, or Matthew Emerson’s actual arguments. Apparently it only takes one dismissive wave of the hand by someone as prominent as Mohler to dismiss the careful argumentation of a half dozen leading authorities in patristics or dogmatics. Continue reading

The Predictable Rhetoric of Evangelicalism

It’s now been 12 days since the horrific shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that saw 50 people killed and over 50 more injured. We did not publish anything on this event last week out of respect for the victims and because in the aftermath of such horror, silence is often the wisest response initially. That said, we’re now beginning to talk about it. We began with a post by Bernard Howard on gun control. Today we’re continuing with a reflection on the evangelical response to the shooting. Continue reading

Why the Trinitarian Controversy Was Inevitable

Recently, there has been a major clash in the Reformed and evangelical blogosphere on the doctrine of the Trinity. While others have covered the ins and outs of the controversy with some depth, I am more interested in why this clash is happening, and why it is happening now. Michael Bird has said that this is about to be a “miniature civil war”. While that may be an exaggeration, the clash was inevitable for several reasons. Continue reading

A Christian Case for Gun Control

Note from Jake: It’s been 10 days since the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Out of respect for the victims and their family, we haven’t posted anything about the shooting until now. But given the significance of this event in the life of our nation, we need to speak about it, but I hope that our continued discussion of it will show the same respect for the victims that our silence did. On that note, here is Bernard Howard making his Mere O debut:

On February 16th, Jeb Bush tweeted the single word, “America,” accompanied by a picture of a handgun with his name inscribed on the barrel. The tweet has been retweeted more than 29,000 times, probably by a combination of the admiring and the appalled. It led, as one might have guessed, to a multitude of copycat tweets featuring a place name and an emblematic picture. Continue reading

Mere Fidelity: The Pursuing God

This week, Derek and Alastair welcome Joshua Ryan Butler to the show. They talk about his new book, The Pursuing God, which you can purchase here.

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