Sunday Night Odds and Ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

Pencils

Book contracts and tenure

Peter Wehner talks religion and politics

Hometowns

Renaming Confederate monuments

James Baldwin’s letter to the born-again

The Book of Amos in America

What Marianne Williamson and Donald Trump have in common

The case for Klobuchar

What to do if you encounter a bear in the woods

Christian college presidents

How would Bonhoeffer vote?

Addison Del Mastro reviews Johann Neem, Democracy’s Schools: The Rise of Public Education in America

Forgetting

An eighth-grade teacher reflects on “Social Studies” and “History”

One thought on “Sunday Night Odds and Ends

  1. The interview with Peter Wehner was instructive concerning the mentality of the anti-Trump Republican Establishment.

    Before going critical it’s it’s necessary to say that Wehner comes across personally as a very civil, yea even a most likable man. He also has a more humanistic base to his thinking than many in the practical political world. (He’s humanistic in the positive 16th Century sense rather than the narrow contemporary ethical and cultural sense.). He’d probably do well in the academy.

    When he explains his functional view of politics, however, “…there is death in the pot.” II Kings 4:30. Specifically, Mr. Wehner fails to realize that the political and social left is relentless at pushing its agenda; momentary compromises with conservatives are simply way stations en route to a statist coercive utopia.

    Wehner points to Ronald Reagan’s successes; there were some, however, the intrusive power of the state has grown in the intervening thirty-some years since Reagan left office. His accomplishments were unfortunately nothing but a temporary speed bump for the left.

    It was sad to read Mr. Wehner’s remarks about the value of “epistemological modesty.” This noble-sounding phrase is practically speaking not a lot different than “postmodernism lite.” It has little to do with the actual Christian virtue of modesty.

    In the final section of the interview, Wehner gives his unbelieving interlocutor his working definition of grace. Like a lot of abstract concepts, giving a partial definition of a word such as grace can be as misleading as giving an intentionally false definition. We are told that Christians today are becoming known by “harshness, anger, and judgement” rather than by grace. Of course, Mr. Wehner fails to tell the interviewer that Jesus himself showed each of those emotions at various times within the four Gospels. The Lord often balanced grace with judgement and righteous anger. Should Christians do less? Was it Pete Seeger (or maybe King Solomon) who famously said, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.”

    Mr. Wehner’s NYC corporate Wall Street brand of “get along—go along” Republicanism has had dubious success since the Eisenhower Administration. I can understand why Mr. Wehner does not like President Trump, but an iconoclastic president deserves a chance to make genuine change.

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