francis-schaeffer

Winsomeness, Evangelism, and Pastoral Theology

It is an odd thing to see a pastor from New York City presented as the spokesman for a movement supposedly defined by its concern with “winsomeness.” Though I do not know the city that well, my few trips to it have...

/ June 3, 2022

The Self is a Problem

There is something which unites magic and applied science (technology) while separating them from the “wisdom” of earlier ages. For the wise men of old, the cardinal problem of human life was how to conform the soul to objective reality,...

/ June 1, 2022

The Three Ages of Christian American Exceptionalism

In 1789, Otobo Cugoano, a freed slave and a Christian, wrote in his Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evils of Slavery against those who claimed that the manstealing and enslavement of Africans was justified by the fact that some of...

/ May 31, 2022

In Memoriam: Michael Baker: Teacher of Persons

I suspect that my old high school teacher Michael Baker would have rather mixed feelings about having an obituary published in a magazine called Mere Orthodoxy. Certainly, he was the kind of teacher that would have scared many white evangelical parents,...

/ May 30, 2022

Finding Belonging in the City

Chad Bryant. Prague: Belonging in the Modern City. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2021. 352pp, $29.95. Historian Chad Bryant has produced a moving and deeply informative book in Prague: Belonging in the Modern City. The book’s structure, consisting chiefly of five...

/ May 19, 2022

Why Our Churches Should Be Beautiful

In the last few decades, American churches have gotten a new look—but don’t call it a facelift. Instead, think of it more as a toning-down, as church exteriors have ridden themselves of their steeples and other religious symbols, while their...

/ May 18, 2022

On Loving Newcastle

Michael Chaplin. Newcastle United Stole My Heart: Sixty Years in Black and White. London: Hurst and Co, 2021. 280pp, $25.00. The first thing to say is that Michael Chaplin’s Newcastle United Stole My Heart is one of the most delightfully...

/ May 18, 2022

Fear and Deconstruction

In Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s inaugural speech, he told the American people that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The country was enduring a major economic crisis and would soon face the threat of fascism encircling the...

/ May 17, 2022

The Third Reformer

Bruce Gordon. Zwingli: God’s Armed Prophet. New Haven: Yale, 2021. xxii + 349 pp, $32.50. The contemporary of Martin Luther and predecessor of Jean Calvin within the Reformed family of churches, Ulrich Zwingli is sometimes described as “the third reformer.”...

/ May 17, 2022

When the Ad Replaced the Icon

Ellen Wayland-Smith. The Angel in the Marketplace. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020. 288pp, $30. Throughout the 2010s the signs of a new holy month became undeniable. Each June seemed to mark an exponential increase in rainbow flags. Early summer...

/ May 16, 2022