In a 2013 commencement address at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, Makoto Fujimura told the graduating class, “We are to rise above the darkened realities, the confounding problems of our time.” A tall order for any age, but one God has decisively overcome in Jesus Christ. Fujimura uses his talent to connect beauty with the truth of the Gospel in a culture that has largely forgotten its religious tradition and history. He makes those things fresh and visible again. With works like “Walking on Water,” and the “Four Holy Gospels,” Fujimura is illuminating God’s Word to a culture that is mostly inward looking and mired in the self. Our interview with Fujimura leads this new issue of Religion & Liberty.
Also in this issue, I contribute a column on the dangers of state religion. Secularism, now thriving as the state religion, has the potential to unleash a new kind of religious persecution in America.
David Deavel reviews Infiltrated: How to Stop the Insiders and Activists Who are Exploiting the Financial Crisis to Control Our Lives and our Fortunes by Jay Richards. Samuel Gregg reviews Missionaries of Republicanism: A Religious History of the Mexican-American War by John C. Pinheiro.
Bruce Edward Walker reviews Liberalism: The Life of an Idea. The author, Edmund Fawcett, has attempted to provide a comprehensive overview of the life and rise of political liberalism.
Abigail Adams is profiled for “In the Liberal Tradition.” Her contribution to liberty of course is exceptional as a wife and mother but doesn’t end there. Adams’s recognition of the necessity of morality and virtue in order to sustain liberty is clearly visible in her many letters. John and Abigail Adams wrote over 1,000 letters to each other that are still widely read and studied today. She wrote to her son John Quincy Adams saying, “The only sure and permanent foundation of virtue is religion. Let this important truth be engraven upon your heart.”
In his R&L column, Rev. Robert Sirico addresses the crisis of young people today leaving their faith. One of the positives he cites are the many excellent interns we’ve had pass through Acton over the years. One of the most enjoyable aspects of working at Acton is seeing the tremendous impact this organization is having on young people who cross our path. It’s exciting to see our reach expanding rapidly through our materials and program, especially with our amazing new film “For the Life of the World.”