What I've Been Writing

My latest elsewhere on the Web.

I’ve had the honor of publishing a couple recent pieces online. You can read the articles by clicking their titles. I hope these will enlighten and help you.

A Vision for Engaging Post-Christian Culture.

My latest for TGC is about the relevance of Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill for evangelicals today. Here’s an excerpt:

The Athenian society whose pantheon of idols “provoked” Paul (v. 16) was a culture primed to hear the gospel of the true God. The altar to the unknown God was more than a sociological curiosity; it was a transparent confession of religious impulses bursting inside these pagan people. While the good news about Yahweh and Jesus of Nazareth may not have been what these religious folks thought they needed to hear, Paul knew it was fundamentally something they wanted to hear. Their hearts were restless, so Paul preached rest.

Christians in the West today should think very carefully about how this might describe our context. I fear that we sometimes throw around the word “secular” carelessly, glibly labeling every facet of Western culture as secular and reenforcing the notion that we live in some kind of post-religion generation. While it’s true that the traditional institutions and forms of religion do not have the same influence they once did, it is likewise true that contemporary culture in the West is inarguably, even aggressively, religious.

The Illusion of Porn Literacy.

For First Things, I wrote about the trend in education toward “pornography literacy” classes how we should interpret this. Here’s an excerpt:

Among many other things, the push for porn literacy classes reveals just how decadent the liberal dream has become. For decades, media moguls and sex researchers insisted that maintaining a robust market of pornographic content for willing adults was compatible with protecting children from being harmed or victimized. From plastic bags over magazines, to cordoned-off sections of the video store, to FCC-mandated time slots, the narrative was the same: Adult-only desires can and should be fulfilled. 

The Internet utterly destroyed this compromise, and the smartphone delivered the coup d’etat. Extreme forms of pornography are now viewed regularly by 12- and 13-year-olds. Teens are participants, not merely viewers. Sociologists are coy about wondering if the “sex recession” might have something to do with the triumph of online porn, but the lesson from the Japanese demographic crisis, particularly when it comes to young men, seems clear enough. Why would anyone risk rejection, awkwardness, pregnancy, or disease to have sex when limitless masturbatory fantasy is so free and easy? So much for adults only.