Ballfields debate will test community

Tom Stein is senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Indiana. He writes a weekly blog for his local newspaper. We are at a fork in the road. It is not a choice that will make or break this community, but it will test the heart of this community — and the hearts of... Continue Reading

What is the chief end of man?

Religion best serves public life by relativizing the importance of public life, especially of public life understood as politics. Authentic religion keeps the political enterprise humble by reminding it that it is not the first thing. This March the magazine FIRST THINGS is celebrating twenty years of publishing with a 20th Anniversary Issue chock full... Continue Reading

The New Marketing

The direction of modern advertising is away from the blunt instrument approach my generation grew up with and toward the stealthy and subliminal. A tactic I didn’t know of is celebrity marketing—giving exposure to products at celebrity parties. The college age son of my friend Beth is working part time for an ad agency, so... Continue Reading

Tiger’s Twelve Steps

Whatever people may think about Tiger Wood’s sincerity on Friday, one thing is clear to me. He’s on a Twelve Step program and is committed to finish it. For those who are familiar with Twelve Step programs, the format goes back to the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1940’s. They have been modified,... Continue Reading

The dangers of defining personhood

What if every human being has intrinsic worth simply because we are human and not based on whether we can act or not? What if life is more than biology, that humans have souls as well as bodies and are endowed by their Creator to have certain unalienable rights? I am not one who ventures... Continue Reading

The Founders: How Christian Were They?

Despite their theological differences, virtually all the founders maintained that morality depended on religion (which for them meant Christianity). They were convinced that their new republic could succeed only if its citizens were virtuous. One of today’s most contentious culture wars is over the religious commitments of our nation’s founders. Were most of them orthodox... Continue Reading

The Truth is in the Bible, Not in Ourselves

“If you believe what you like in the Gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.” –Augustine Every generation faces challenges regarding the veracity of the Bible: Is it really the Word of God and does it speak truthfully in every area that God intended? Apologists from... Continue Reading

How (not) to be an American Missionary in Scotland

Scotland is not the land of Mel Gibson, Brigadoon, quaint wee redheaded Highland lasses, Eric Liddell running in the Glens and John Knox preaching in the pulpits. This is an updated version of an article I wrote a number of years ago on the Free Church website. It received a lot of comment, especially from... Continue Reading

Sport Is More Than Play

The myriad of goods reflected in and derived from sport are part of the richness of our humanity. When athletes contest with one another, they revel in the very complex act of being human. Shirl Hoffman’s recent CT article, “Sports Fanatics,” questions an evangelical love for modern sports that confuses infatuation for true love. Repentance!... Continue Reading

The Abandoned Orphanage: Hillary Clinton’s Mother Teresa Moment

“The Clintons remained seated, yet both—particularly the ever-politic Hillary—understood how behind-the-scenes power politics work within the Christian Right, and responded to the rebuke by finding “common ground” with the nun.“ At the National Prayer Breakfast, Hillary Clinton fondly remembered how Mother Teresa—or perhaps God—compelled her to encourage adoption. The behind-the-scenes story of how The Family... Continue Reading

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