• Book Reviews,  Christianity,  Culture,  Social Justice

    Taking on the Revolutionary Program of Ibram X. Kendi

    Anyone reading this site over the last several years has probably noticed my growing alarm about leftist “social justice” ideologies. I had already become somewhat acquainted with queer theory while doing research for my book on sexual ethics in 2012-2013. A 2016 lecture on intersectionality by David French, however, helped me to see that queer theory was but one strand of a multi-faceted leftist identitarian movement. I had heard of identity politics, but now I was beginning to understand some of its ideological underpinnings. More and more, it appeared to be a kind of religion. I began writing informally about intersectionality in this space in 2017 and began to see…

  • Book Reviews,  Christianity,  Culture,  Social Justice,  Transgenderism

    Could you be convinced that 2 + 2 = 5?

    In high school, I remember starting George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World but never finishing either one of them. I thought they were boring and—what’s worse—morose. So I gave up on them. That was then, and this is now. In the last few months, I restarted and completed each of them. First, Brave New World and then 1984. This time, I was very much engaged. Both books read like totalitarian prophecies that have or at least are on the verge of coming true. Both of them forecast dystopian futures dominated by totalitarian regimes. One totalitarianism maintains power by appealing to human desire for pleasure (Brave New World)…

  • Book Reviews,  Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Why White Fragility Fails

    Earlier this week, I finished Robin Diangelo’s New York Times #1 Bestselling book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People To Talk about Racism (Beacon, 2018). A lot of ink has already been spilled over this book, and I suppose that I have little more to add. I won’t write a full review here. If you want that, I recommend Tim Challies’ three–part series. Nevertheless, I do have some observations that I would like to add to the conversation. The basic gist of the book is this. White people participate in a complex system of privilege and white supremacy. Whether they mean to or not, they are therefore…

  • Culture,  News,  Social Justice

    Attorney General Daniel Cameron Announces Charges in Breonna Taylor Case

    Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced a grand jury indictment in the Breonna Case. The Grand Jury indicted one officer for several counts of “wanton endangerment,” but the Jury did not indict any officer for murder. Every person in the country should read or listen to the statement that Attorney General Daniel Cameron made earlier today. The statement mourns Taylor’s death as a great tragedy while also arguing for the rule of law, due process, and justice—the stuff that civil rights, freedom, and democracy are built upon. You can watch or read the AG’s statement below. Remarks by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron Press Conference Regarding the Grand Jury Proceedings…

  • Christianity,  Culture,  Theology/Bible

    Is “Systemic Racism” a Useful Category for Christians to Use?

    I’ve been watching the misadventures of Matthew Franck’s insightful article criticizing the concept of systemic racism. It originally appeared for two hours yesterday morning at Newsweek online. Apparently the opinion editor fought to have it posted, but the editor-in-chief swooped in to remove it without explanation. Franck explains the behind-the-scenes chicanery at The Public Discourse where the full article is now posted. It’s not encouraging. Is the concept of systemic racism so brittle that it can’t be scrutinized? Or are Newsweek editors too afraid to allow a thoughtful piece questioning the new orthodoxy? Who knows? In any case, it’s a shame that Newsweek would not stand by Franck’s column because…

  • Christianity,  Social Justice

    The Dead-end of Research Justice

    I’ve been reading through Helen Pluckrose’s and James Lindsay’s new book Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity–and Why This Harms Everybody. I’m sure I will have more to say about this book in coming days, but I thought I would highlight one particular item that the authors address in the early chapters—research justice. In Cynical Theories, the authors demonstrate that modern Critical Theory is essentially applied post-modernism. Applied post-modernism involves a number of ideological commitments including: Skepticism about whether objective knowledge or truth is obtainable. A belief in cultural constructivism. A belief that society is formed of systems of power and hierarchies, which decide…

  • News,  Personal

    My Hometown of DeRidder in the Aftermath of Laura

    Last week, I wrote about Hurricane Laura as it bore down on my hometown of DeRidder, Louisiana. None of us knew then exactly what path the storm would take, but it turns out that the eye of the storm passed right over my childhood home. As the dust settled on Thursday, it became really clear that our little town was devastated. In fact, the federal government has designated our city as a disaster area. My parents have been taking care of my aged aunt who has been having extreme difficulties that have rendered her unable to walk or care for herself. For that reason, they had decided to ride the…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    If you think God is wrong, you can never be right.

    I was just reading an article by a biblical scholar who argues that God’s command for Israel to destroy the Canaanites cannot be excused or justified. In other words, God was wrong in Deut. 20:16, and the Israelites were wrong to obey Him. It is not my aim to explain the ethics of the conquest of the Holy Land in this short blog post. Rest assured, however, that Christianity does account for it. Even though our convictions on this account are often very difficult for modern readers, they are coherent. Michael Kruger, for example, has a really fine short treatment of this question in “Is God Guilty of Genocide?” Likewise,…

  • News,  Personal

    Waiting for the Storm

    I suppose most of the country is watching a political convention tonight. Not me. I’ve been focused all day on Hurricane Laura that is bearing down on Southwest Louisiana. My hometown is DeRidder, LA, and my parents still live there. It is 80 miles from the Gulf and is far enough inland that we usually don’t worry about Hurricanes there. We found out 15 years ago from Hurricane Rita that our inland “safety” is not as safe as we once thought. Mom and Dad rode that storm out, and it was one of the most harrowing experiences of their lives. The winds churned through our town. Mom and Dad said…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Reflections on a Review

    Well, I think my review of Aimee Byrd’s book may have touched a nerve. At least it seems that way from the wide array of responses I have seen on social media this week. There are a whole lot of folks that really appreciated it, and there are a number of folks for whom—let’s just say—it was less than edifying. Years ago, I used to be more of a Twitter warrior and would have been online answering all the criticism. Not so much anymore. I don’t have the bandwidth for that kind of interaction, and I’ve come to see it as mainly futile because Twitter is often dominated by foolish…