I just received the new issue of The City in the mail.  If you’re not a subscriber, you should be, as it fits a good niche between First Things and Touchstone.

The latest issue has an interview with Arthur Brooks of the conservative think-tank AEI.  It’s a pretty casual discussion–a transcription from Coffee and Markets, I believe–but Brooks is a mainline conservative, and his take on the ongoing conversation about the shifts in evangelicalism on economics is worth considering.  For instance:

“So the key is is, if you fought the Reagan fights, and you won, then you’ll have an anthropological proclivity toward wanting to fight those fights again and agian, when you see the same threats that lead to those fights–right?  So you see Obama coming along, and you think Jimmy Carter and you fight the Reagan fights.  Now, you talk to a whole generation of guys like you who say, “Wait a minute.  What do you mean?  What do you mean we need free trade?  We have free trade…”

We can’t just respond to the whole global warming thing by just saying “it’s just a hoax.”  It becomes the old guy commenting on the newfangled, not understanding–not taking the time and energy to say, “Look, we understand your concern, but there’s a problem with the execution.  Statism is a natural answer to your concern, but it is not going to get you where you want to go.  There’s nothing wrong with where you want to go, which is proper stewardship of the environment of our planet.  That’s actually a good thing–it’s good Christianity.  It’s proper theology.  It’s well-ordered thinking.

But the problem is that the statist approach to fixing it probably won’t fix it, and it will have consequences.  The wrong way to talk about that is to say:  “They’re just trying to pull the wool over your eyes.”  Which, in a way, denigrates the entire basis of the next generation’s concerns.

Lot’s more in the issue to think on.  But that’s a pretty good start.

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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. I very much enjoyed the article… He makes some great points. Brooks is committed to the ideas and moral foundation of the conservative movement without being stuck in the 1970s platform. We need more like him…


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