First Reformed: The toxic mess of syncretism

There’s a lot to process in Paul Schrader’s latest film, “First Reformed.” The first half of the film sets up as a powerful, even brilliant, study of spiritual desolation and the cross-currents of modern idolatry and traditional religion. Continue Reading...

Video: Rev. Ben Johnson on First Things blaming democracy and capitalism for abortion

Rev. Ben Johnson, editor of the Acton Institute Religion & Liberty Transatlantic project, appears on the Stephen Herreid Show on YouTube to talk about his critique of First Things editor Matt Schmitz’s essay which blamed democracy and capitalism for Ireland’s repeal by referendum of its 8th Amendment, which “recognizes the equal right to life of the pregnant woman and the unborn.” Latest news here. Continue Reading...

How eschatology transforms our economic action

As the church continues to navigate the challenges of the modern economy, we’ve seen a renewed recognition of the “earthiness” of our God-given callings—embracing the mundane and material aspects of our daily work and rejecting the “sacred-secular divide.” Yet in our earnest efforts to become more “earthly minded” for heavenly good, we face new temptations toward a different sort of lopsidedness. Continue Reading...

Bernie Sanders, jobs, and what work really is

Last month the Washington Post reported, “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will announce a plan for the federal government to guarantee a job paying $15 an hour and health-care benefits to every American worker “who wants or needs one,”…” These jobs would be the product of hundreds of government projects initiated in, “…infrastructure, care giving, the environment, education and other goals.” The projects, their costs, and how they would be financed have yet to be disclosed. Continue Reading...

How not to think clearly on faith and economics

Mark Labberton, President of Fuller Seminary, recently addressed a meeting of Evangelical leaders held at Wheaton College and has released a reconstruction of his remarks. It is an interesting address which spends four paragraphs explicitly addressing questions of economics and economic policy. Continue Reading...

Is economics an ideology?

Richard H. Spady, research professor of Economics at Johns Hopkins, has recently published a piece at First Things entitled ‘Economics as Ideology’ in which he explores some contemporary trends among economists and their use of economics as a Procrustean bed to reshape society in its own image, A body of thought is “ideological” when it will­fully projects its own first principles on its subject matter and actively seeks, perhaps unconsciously, material changes to bring social realities into conformity with these first principles. Continue Reading...

The bishop, Balaam, and communism

Lester DeKoster begins his book Communism and Christian Faith, now out in a new edition from Christian’s Library Press, with a quote from Bishop Joseph Butler’s sermon ‘Upon the Character of Balaam’: “Things and actions are what they are, and their consequences will be what they will be: why then should we seek to be deceived?” At first it seems transparently simple, obvious really, but in our day-to-day lives it is as obscure as it was to Balaam himself. Continue Reading...

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