Inazu teaches law at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference and the forthcoming (with Tim Keller) Uncommon Ground: Living Faithfully in a World of Difference. Here is a taste of his recent piece at Christianity Today: First, pay more attention to your words. Stop saying you’re … Continue reading John Inazu’s Advice for White Evangelicals
Inazu is the Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law & Religion at Washington University Law School. He is the author of Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference. That book was published two years ago and Inazu continues to believe in his thesis. Here is a taste of his recent piece at Christianity Today: The … Continue reading John Inazu Still Believes in Confident Pluralism
Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home: White Christians Lynching Black Pastors Jerry Falwell Jr. Represents Everything Wrong With Evangelical Christianity Right Now Another Christian College is Closing its Doors The Problem With the “Reluctant” Trump Voter: A Response to Andrew Walker’s National Review Essay What is … Continue reading Most Popular Posts of the Last Week
Yesterday several readers sent me Andrew T. Walker‘s National Review essay, “Understanding Why Religious Conservatives Would Vote for Trump.” Walker teaches Christian Ethics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. Walker writes in a very irenic tone as he challenges Christian anti-Trumpers to work harder at understanding why so many evangelicals will once again vote … Continue reading The Problem With the “Reluctant” Trump Voter: A Response to Andrew Walker’s *National Review* Essay
Here is a taste of Elana Schor’s Associated Press piece “Democrats’ challenge: Courting evangelicals in the Trump era“: President Donald Trump’s strong white evangelical support poses a challenge to Democrats: how to connect with a group of Christian voters whose longtime GOP lean makes them compelling antagonists in a polarized era. Former President Barack … Continue reading How the Democratic Presidential Candidates Can Win Evangelical Votes
Eric Metaxas has once again turned to the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal in defense of Donald Trump. (Some of you may recall his October 12, 2016 op-ed in which he said “God will not hold us guiltless” if we vote for anyone but Trump). Metaxas writes: The [Christianity Today] article cleared its throat—and conscience—by … Continue reading The Many Problems With Eric Metaxas’s “Christian Case for Trump”
Yesterday Utah congressman Chris Stewart introduced the Fairness for All Act. The bill would protect LGBTQ rights and religious liberty. Fairness for All has the support of the Church of Latter Saints, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and the National Association of Evangelicals. Unlike the Equality Act, Fairness for All provides exemptions for … Continue reading What is the Fairness for All Act?
A few things online that caught my attention this week: Jon McNaughton: Trump’s court artist Some minor controversy at The Kings College Did Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence? Wilfred McClay on loyalty John Inazu on tax exemptions for religious institutions Evangelicals arguing about David and Bathsheba Italians and whiteness Kate Bowler on the preacher’s … Continue reading Sunday Night Odds and Ends
I was on Fall Break this weekend and probably spent way too much time reading and watching the news, following the Values Voter Summit, and tweeting. With the exception of the beautiful central Pennsylvania weather, I leave the weekend pretty discouraged. First, there was Beto O’Rourke’s remarks about removing the tax exempt status from churches, … Continue reading Thoughts on a Discouraging Weekend
Beto O’Rourke went to high school at Woodberry Forest School in Virginia. He graduated from the boarding school in 1991. Woodberry Forest is an all-boys school. Like most schools, colleges, and universities, it is a non-profit organization with tax-exempt status. I have lectured on Woodberry’s beautiful campus, ate dinner in its dining hall, and spent … Continue reading What Does Beto O’Rourke Think About His High School Alma Mater?
Here is Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke on CNN last night: Every Democratic candidate for President of the United States should be asked this question. I have always appreciated Beto’s sense of conviction, but I hope he rethinks this one. His answer to Don Lemon shows a fundamental misunderstanding of religious liberty. In fact, this … Continue reading Beto O’Rourke: Churches and Religious Institutions Should Lose Tax-Exempt Status If They “Oppose Same Sex Marriage”
Universities like Duke claim to be bastions of free speech, inclusion, and pluralism, but they tend to define these commitments very narrowly. For example, the student government at Duke recently rejected Young Life‘s official status on campus because the Christian ministry supports traditional views on marriage and sexuality. Here is an article from the Duke … Continue reading Duke University Rejects Young Life
The administration of the University of Iowa does not want a Christian student group called Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC) on campus because they do not permit LGBT students to hold leadership positions. After de-registering BLinC as an official student group, a federal judge temporarily re-instated the group. Over at Inside Higher Ed, Eboo Patel writes: … Continue reading What is Going on at the University of Iowa?
At the State Department’s recent “Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions claimed that there is a “dangerous movement, undetected by many” that is “challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom.” This “dangerous movement,” Sessions added, “must be confronted and defeated.” I am part of the camp that believes people with … Continue reading What Does the Trump Administration Mean by “Religious Freedom?”
Last week I did a post on evangelical theologian Wayne Grudem’s biblical defense of Donald Trump’s border wall. Here is what a couple of smart people tweeted about Grudem’s defense of the wall: I admire much of Wayne Grudem’s work. But this is crass politicization of biblical interpretation. It helps confirm secular critics’ worst caricatures … Continue reading What Happens When a Culture Warrior and a Confident Pluralist Exchange Tweets About Trump’s Border Wall?
As some of you know, I spent the last couple of days in Regina, Saskatchewan. The Canadian Society of Church History (CSCH) invited me to deliver the keynote address at its annual conference. (Thanks for everything Stuart Barnard!). The collegial historians associated with the CSCH made me feel very welcome and I thoroughly enjoyed getting … Continue reading Christian Political Engagement in the Age of Trump
I wrote this early last week and never got the chance to place it somewhere. Regular readers of The Way of Improvement Leads Home will recognize it as a compilation of a couple of blog posts I wrote in the wake of the dedication of the new Jerusalem embassy. –JF Jesus said “I am … Continue reading Is Robert Jeffress a “Bigot” for Claiming that Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven?
On Monday, Robert Jeffress, the controversial pastor of the massive First Baptist Church in Dallas, offered the invocation at the dedication of Donald Trump’s new American embassy in Jerusalem. When it was revealed that Jeffress would be praying at the event, the pundits pounced. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP candidate for president, led the way. … Continue reading Is Robert Jeffress Really a Bigot?
Over at First Things, church historian Carl Trueman argues that Christian colleges need to prepare financially for a bleak future in a post-Christian age. He writes: The specific point of conflict is likely to be (once again) Title IX legislation that prohibits sexual discrimination at any institution of higher education receiving federal funding. The law does … Continue reading What Looms on the Horizon for Christian Colleges?
A few things online that caught my attention this week: Samuel Moyn reviews James C. Scott, Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States A public intellectual explains how she became a public intellectual Natural disastersNatural disasters are never entirely natural Fear in U.S. history The art of disagreement Richard Moe reviews Ron Chernow, Grant. … Continue reading Sunday Night Odds and Ends