As secularism has grown ascendant and liberalism has become decadent, Christians have used different strategies to respond. Some change to accommodate the culture, some hunker down and wait for it to blow over, and some propose re-Christianizing America. Ross Douthat recently wrote a piece analyzing these responses. You’ll get a lot more out of this Mere Fidelity conversation if you read Ross Douthat’s article first. Nothing says Mere Fidelity better than a heated exchange over the pronunciation of ‘amicable.’

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Mere Anglicanism [0:00]

The Cul-De-Sacs of the Christian Intellectual” by Ross Douthat [1:36]

Ecumenism not Accommodation [13:48]

Analyzing the Different Christian Strategies[19:40]

What is the job of the church? [27:08]

Each Mere Fi Member’s Unique Contribution [35:20]


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Follow DerekAndrew, and Alastair for more tweet-sized brilliance. Thanks to Timothy Crouch for keeping us organized. Thanks to Tim Motte for sound editing. And thanks to The Joy Eternal for lending us their music, which everybody should download out of gratitude for their kindness.


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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.


  1. Unfortunately, I think that political polarization will be a barrier to the kind of ecumenical collaboration that is proposed here. When one “side” will claim that our moral witness is corrupted by association with Donald Trump and the other side claims that rejecting the influence and status gained by alignment with him is weak, naive, and irresponsible, its hard to imagine what institutions can mediate those disagreements.


    1. Or at least, so many kinds of conversations would need to be bracketed within those institutions that it’s tough to imagine what there will be left to talk about.


  2. The problems caused by divisions among Christians are not the crisis facing the church. The crisis facing the church is the multitude that has simply stopped paying attention. On any Sunday morning, both pre- and post-Covid, you will find far more people working in their yards, jogging, meeting friends for brunch or sleeping late and watching Sunday morning talk shows than you will people going to church. At one time, Christian worldview and conduct was enforced by law or by social pressure; now that both of those are gone, we have discovered just how few people ever really did care about religion. Trump made it worse; the number of people heading for the church exits skyrocketed because of the divisions he caused, but in a healthy church and a healthy society, he would not have been able to do the damage that he did. He’s a symptom, not the underlying problem.


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