Joy for the World: Restoring the Joy of God to Cultural Witness

Over the last century, Christianity has declined in social influence across much of the Western world, leading many to believe it has little place or purpose in public life. In response, Christian reactions have varied, with the more typical approaches being fortification (“hide!”), domination (“fight!”), or accommodation (“blend in!”).  Continue Reading...

Pastors, Pulpits, and Politics

This week’s Acton Commentary is adapted from an introduction to a forthcoming edited volume, The Church’s Social Responsibility: Reflections on Evangelicalism and Social Justice. The goal of the collection is to bring some wisdom to principled and prudential aspects of addressing the complex questions related to responsible ecclesial word and deed today. Continue Reading...

The Church as Cultural Lifeblood

After years of rejecting or downplaying so-called “organized religion,” evangelicals are beginning to appreciate the church not only as organism, but as institution. As Robert Joustra explains at Capital Commentary, a “minor renaissance in thinking” is taking place, wherein the church is viewed “not as a gathering of hierarchy-allergic spiritualists” but as “a brick and mortar institution, something with tradition, and weight, and history.” Evangelicals are beginning to see view it not as a “catchphrase and metaphor for likeminded people who love Jesus,” Joustra continues, but “as an inheritance, as spiritual and cultural lifeblood, as common practice and belief, as community.” Once that view is regained and restored, another question begins to demand a bit more attention. Continue Reading...

The Joyful Seriousness of Christmas

As Christians living in a secular age, there’s a temptation to use Christmas as a wedge to wage epic new battles to restore Christendom. But despite the flurry of hackneyed “War on Christmas” tropes, there is, alas, something rather amiss. Continue Reading...

Aslan’s Song of Stewardship

When we think about “stewardship,” our minds tend to revert to the material and the predictable. We think about money or the allocation of resources. We think about growing crops or creating goods or financial investment and generosity. Continue Reading...

Rev. Sirico: Fox TV’s unserious ‘Lucifer’ nothing to get upset about

Fox TV is prepping for a Jan. 25 release of a new show titled “Lucifer,” where “bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, the original fallen angel, Lucifer Morningstar has abandoned his throne and retired to L.A., where he owns Lux, an upscale nightclub.” Fox adds helpfully, “He’s no angel.” A report by Barbara Hollingsworth on CNSNews.com notes that “a number of faith-based and conservative watchdog groups are panning Lucifer.” Among others, she interviewed Rev. Continue Reading...

The Power of Prayer

This is just a brief note, a cohortative: Let us pray! For those tempted to disdain prayer in favor of work in alleviating the ills of the world, I recommend C.S. Continue Reading...

Seeking Justice Must Always Be Personal

Conversations about justice tend to quickly devolve into debates over top-down solutions or mechanistic policy prescriptions. But while the government plays an important role in maintaining order and cultivating conditions for society, we mustn’t forget that justice begins with right relationships at the local and personal levels. Continue Reading...

China Ends One-Child Policy, Still Limiting Births

The BBC reported today that China is ending its one-child policy, providing the following overview: Introduced in 1979, the policy meant that many Chinese citizens – around a third, China claimed in 2007 – could not have a second child without incurring a fine In rural areas, families were allowed to have two children if the first was a girl Other exceptions included ethnic minorities and – since 2013 – couples where at least one was a single child Campaigners say the policy led to forced abortions, female infanticide, and the under-reporting of female births It was also implicated as a cause of China’s gender imbalance Before everyone celebrates, China did not, however, eliminate all limits but changed the limit to two children. Continue Reading...