The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self

“I am a woman trapped in a man’s body.” While this is a phrase we have grown accustomed to hearing in recent years, it is a phrase that would have been incomprehensible to those who lived and died just a couple of generations in the past. While it is full of meaning today, it would have been void of meaning back then. So what has happened in recent decades to make that phrase make sense? What has happened to make …

A Field Guide on False Teaching

Christians have always had to contend with false teaching and competing faiths. But what surely makes the current age unique is the sheer number and sheer diversity we may encounter in any given place. From my context in ultra-multicultural Toronto, it is not unusual to find myself in a setting where there are adherents of 5 or 10 different religions. I can take a short drive and spot places of worship that represent every type of divergence from the Christian …

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Why Social Justice Is Not Biblical Justice

Do you remember the Emerging Church? Steeped in postmodernism and marked by more than a little progressivism, it rose to prominence in the early naughts and seemed as if it would present a formidable challenge to orthodox Christianity in the new millennium. Many viewed it as a severe threat to the gospel of Jesus Christ. But now, less than two decades on, I’d wager it has been a long time since you’ve heard the term or thought much about it. …

Is Soft Totalitarianism Coming to America?

I grew up in the era of the Cold War. From my youngest days I was taught that the West was the bastion of democratic freedom and the Soviet Union the stronghold of oppressive totalitarianism. We knew who the enemy was, and we knew he was across the ocean, behind the Wall. On our fridge was a poster filled with names and faces of Russian Christians who had fallen afoul of that regime and been imprisoned. Each day we would …

New Religions for a Godless World

We’ve all heard by now of the rise of the “Nones,” that growing demographic that, when filling out a census, marks their religious affiliation as “None.” While until recently they made up only the smallest minority in America (and the rest of the Western world) they may now come close to forming a majority, especially among the younger generations. A common narrative among Christians is that people are migrating away from traditional Judeo-Christian faiths in favor of liberal secularism. But …

A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife

It is more than a little ironic, and more than a little disturbing, that some of the most prominent “Christian” scholars in the world are not Christian at all. At least, not by a definition that would require their assent to the doctrines outlined in the historic creeds and confessions. To the contrary, many of the most significant scholars at the most significant universities tend to deny the doctrines of the Trinity, of the divinity of Jesus Christ, of his …

How Everything Became About Race, Gender, and Identity

You can’t read the news, you can’t scroll through Twitter, you can’t browse a bookstore, you probably can’t even talk to a neighbor without realizing that somehow everything has become about race, gender, and identity. In a short period of time we’ve been introduced to a whole new vocabulary that conveys a whole new set of ideas. We’ve been told that language can be violent and that the sciences need to be decolonized. We’ve been told that there is no …

A Way With Words

Books often arrive in topical waves as an event or emphasis within the church or within wider society sparks many writers to address a common concern. This is the case right now with a whole crop of new books that have significant thematic overlap: Scott Saul’s A Gentle Answer: Our ‘Secret Weapon’ in an Age of Us Against Them, Dane Ortlund’s Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers , Gavin Ortlund’s Finding the Right Hills to …

Is White Fragility a Helpful Resource for Christians?

For the past couple of weeks I have been laboring to write the third and final part of my review of Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility. The first two parts took an unusually long time to prepare, but in the end I was pleased with the results. In the first article my goal was to summarize the contents of the book as a kind of narrative that explains what the world should be like, tells what the world is actually like, …

The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters

When historians look back on the twenty-first century Western world, surely few things will strike them as being more deranged and more sinister than its insistence that biology has no bearing on an individual’s gender. While society has long acknowledged the rare existence of gender dysphoria, a psychological condition marked by discomfort with one’s biological sex, it now celebrates full-fledged gender fluidity. Only our contemporary context could make sense of a phrase like “some men get periods” or a headline …