Books, Interaction with culture, academics
“While he is remembered primarily for his difficult political decisions which kept the Union intact, the more we study them, the more we realize that all of them were reached at a level far deeper than that of politics. Underlying all particular decisions was a moral revulsion against human slavery . . . and an abiding conviction that the divine order can be ascertained and followed.”
- Elton Trueblood, Abraham Lincoln: Theologian of American Anguish (courtesy of Trinity Forum Documents), pp. 17–18
I’ve often heard that we should keep our views on what we believe about various moral issues out of the public square.
My first contention is that it is impossible to do so. Judgments offered from either side of the discussion have a fiercely moral tone. While the moral indignation of gay marriage and abortion opponents is well known, none can doubt a similar indignation in gay marriage and abortion affirmers. Who has not seen the fires of righteousness burning in the eyes of their ideological opponents? Sometimes it is a righteous fire borne of concern, and other times it is the smug fire of self-righteousness. But we cannot deny that the indignation is moral in its nature. Continue Reading…
Recently California governor Jerry Brown caused a stir by signing into law the first bill supporting “equal access” for students who identify as transgender—those who believe themselves to be the opposite gender from their biological sex. Members of the LGBT community have hailed this as a monumental success (The “T” stands for “transgender”). Others, many of them conservative Christians, have found the news much less encouraging.
Russell Moore weighed in on the topic with a thoughtful piece in the Washington Post, challenging the church to respond to complicated issues like this by simultaneously reaffirming biblical truth and holding out the magnificent grace of Christ: “All we can do is say what we believe as Christians: that all of us are sinners, and that none of us are freaks.”
In response to Moore, faith and culture writer Jonathan Merritt threw his hat into the ring, commenting that transgender issues are more complicated than most Christians assume, Moore included. He pointed to a number of research studies and statistics indicating that sex should be seen as more of a mosaic than a binary. Perhaps, he implies, the existence of those with physical and genetic sexual variations lends credence to the transgender community.
For most people—Christian or not—these discussions venture into unchartered territory. So what are we to make of all this? Continue Reading…
I recently came across this article by Jillian Keenan in Slate Magazine, entitled Legalize Polygamy: Marriage Equality for All. At first I thought that this was a piece of satire. As I read on, however, I realized that it was not. And Keenan is not alone in pushing for the unsettling idea of “marriage equality for all.” Her conclusion is actually quite consistent if—as she and many others today claim—the definition of marriage is “plastic.” It simply gives us a glimpse of where this is all headed. Continue Reading…