The BreakPoint Blog

  • The Missing Piece

    Every now and then we post something about atheist gatherings that simulate the church experience. (Here's one example.) But for Alana Massey, writing in the Washington Post, such gatherings aren't going far enough. While she doesn't want them to have a connection with God, she wants them to have a different focus: READ FULL ARTICLE »
  • Making Good a Matter of Grace

    I came across this abominable argument via screen grab on a Christian Facebook group today, and couldn't help reading the responses in the comments section. Most, of course, were very critical of the defense of abortion raised here, if not quite erudite. Needless to say, more thoughtful pro-lifers have excellent ethical responses to the scenario the post raises.

    But what really got me thinking were the comments along the lines of "If only God would open this woman's eyes to see that she's defending death," and "My, how the depraved human heart justifies wickedness."

    Now, on some level this is well and good. As a Calvinist I'll be the first to profess that no one will seek good consistently without a supernatural work by the Holy Spirit (Romans 3:10-18). But on another level, these kind of tut-tutting answers to strong pro-choice arguments are counterproductive, lazy, and just plain wrong. READ FULL ARTICLE »
  • You Say You Want a Revolution

    I think I understand the reasoning behind this trend. Commentators far and wide are saying that the United States is guilty of “institutional racism” and “systemic racism.” That means that even if all the individuals in the U.S. were to stop being racist, the “system” still would be. Therefore, to eliminate racism, we need a new and different system, and new and different institutions. The way forward is not via reform, but revolution; riots are just the beginning. The flag, to the revolutionaries, is a symbol of what will be torn down and replaced. The new order will usher in freedom, equality, and brotherhood . . . just like the French got after they guillotined a lot of people. Until, that is, Napoleon took over as dictator.

    So with Germany under the Kaiser and again under the Fuhrer, Russia under the Bolsheviks, China under Mao, the Middle East under Islamism, Cambodia, Vietnam, and so on. Revolutionaries often think they can outsmart history. But they can’t.

  • Nonnegotiable Demands

    While I had heard of Rachel Held Evans, this is the first piece of hers I can recall reading. It suffers from one obvious problem and many small ones.

    First, it is, empirically speaking, questionable. How do I know this? A simple logical inference. In any given city in the USA, be it Indianapolis, D.C, or, say, Atlanta, there are going to be far more millennials worshiping in "hip" churches, or even -- gasp! -- megachurches than people like Evans worshiping in Episcopal churches or other Protestant liturgical churches. She has universalized her experience. That's okay, I do it, too. But I don't commit it to writing and certainly not in the Washington Post.

    A subtler problem came up when I Googled her after reading this. Over at Patheos, an Australian Anglican named Michael F. Bird "asked" Evans five questions. Here is the first one:
  • Sign of the Times

    A number of observers of this weekend's fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather were troubled by Mayweather's record of domestic abuse. But if you were on social media this weekend, you may have seen people complaining that Pacquiao is a homophobe -- and that this makes him every bit as bad as a man who beats women. I saw it twice, myself. And here's a Huffington Post story to back it up (with the additional charges that, not just content to be an evil homophobe, Pacquiao adds the evils of being pro-life and anti-contraception).

    Here's some background on the homophobia accusation, from back in 2012. The Village Voice clears Pacquiao of the worst charges against him, but acknowledges that he is one of those Christians who believe what the Bible says, "as idiotic as it may be," and so probably do want homosexuals to die, even if he didn't actually say so. With friends like these . . .READ FULL ARTICLE »
  • A New Look at John Knox

    Brian Donnelly of HeraldScotland writes about Professor Jane Dawson's new book "John Knox," based on newly uncovered letters between Knox and his best friend, Christopher Goodman. Among its reported highlights:
  • David Brooks at the Trinity Forum

    New York Times columnist David Brooks' talk about his new book "The Road to Character" at The Trinity Forum can now be viewed online at TTF's site. It will also air on C-SPAN 2 this Saturday at 8 p.m. Eastern. Go here to read a BreakPoint Radio commentary from last summer about some of the ideas Brooks discusses in this book.READ FULL ARTICLE »
  • Illiberal Liberalism

    I’ve just been catching up with Matthew Lee Anderson’s “Naïve Young Evangelicals and the Illiberal DNA of the Gay Rights Movement” (which we linked here). Excellent piece.

    I would add only one thing: liberalism, as in the "political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality," i.e., the liberalism of the American founding, is itself illiberal as regards religion in public life.

    At the risk of becoming a bore, I submit that liberalism defines the ends of human existence as the maximization of human freedom. While it can tolerate myriad expressions of that freedom, it cannot tolerate those who call its definition into question publicly. Thus, for liberalism, religion is a private matter that serves public ends, such as guaranteeing social order, what Michael Burleigh in "Earthly Powers" called "Christians by Fear."

    When religion goes beyond propping up the current order and actually challenges it in a meaningful way, liberalism becomes, almost instinctively, illiberal.READ FULL ARTICLE »

The Point Radio

  • Transforming the Culture of Self

    From self-sacrifice to self-expression . . . and back again. For the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, I’m John Stonestreet with the Point.

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