NICKAPRI

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Our Children Might Return to the Church, but Our Grandchildren Most Likely Won’t

It is no surprise that the children of the Church are growing up and growing out of Church. What is surprising is that they are not returning. Worse …

A Mind-Bending Translation of the New Testament

David Bentley Hart’s text recaptures the awkward, multivoiced power of the original.<p>In the beginning was … well, what? A clap of the divine hands and a poetic shock wave? Or an itchy node of nothingness inconceivably scratching itself into somethingness? In the beginning was the Word, says the …

New Testament

Wonders Never Cease

Wonders Never CeaseBy Marilynne RobinsonDecember 11, 2017I place the origins of modern intellectual tradition in the seventeenth century for the …

Cost-benefit Analysis

Is There an Evangelical Crisis?

About 20 years ago, the eminent sociologist of religion Christian Smith coined a useful and resonant phrase, describing evangelical Christianity in the post-1960s United States as both “embattled and thriving.”<p>By this Smith meant that evangelicals had maintained an identity in a secularizing …

Faith

What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men?

Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, William Burroughs, Richard Wagner, Sid Vicious, V. S. Naipaul, John Galliano, Norman Mailer, Ezra Pound, Caravaggio, Floyd Mayweather, though if we start listing athletes we’ll never stop. And what about the women? The list immediately becomes much more …

God in the machine: my strange journey into transhumanism

After losing her faith, a former evangelical Christian felt adrift in the world. She then found solace in a radical technological philosophy – but its promises of immortality and spiritual transcendence soon seemed unsettlingly familiar<p>I first read Ray Kurzweil’s book, The Age of Spiritual …

Theology

The New Religions Obsessed with A.I.

Yes, not only is A.I. potentially taking all of our jobs, but it's also changing religion.<p>What has improved American lives most in the last 50 years? …

Colin Kaepernick vs. Tim Tebow: A tale of two Christians on their knees

<i>Editor’s note: At a rally Friday in Huntsville, Ala., President Trump called on NFL owners to release players who took a knee during the national anthem like former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who intended to draw attention to police violence against African Americans. Here,</i> …

San Francisco

The First White President

The foundation of Donald Trump’s presidency is the negation of Barack Obama’s legacy.<p><b>It is insufficient</b> <b>to state</b> the obvious of Donald Trump: that he is a white man who would not be president were it not for this fact. With one immediate exception, Trump’s predecessors made their way to high office …

Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity

When a Christian foundation interviewed college nonbelievers about how and why they left religion, surprising themes emerged.<p>"Church became all about ceremony, handholding, and kumbaya," Phil said with a look of disgust. "I missed my old youth pastor. He actually knew the Bible."<p>I have known a lot …

The Warrior Wives of Evangelical Christianity

The intense focus on sexuality, purity, manhood, and womanhood in certain faith communities—and its consequences<p>"Your husband will want sex way more than you do," advises Elizabeth of the blog <i>Warrior Wives</i> in a post called "Wifey Sex Confessions."<p>"God just made him to think about sex more than you. …

The people who challenged my atheism most were drug addicts and prostitutes

They prayed whenever they could find 15 minutes. "Preacher Man", as we called him, would read from the Bible with his tiny round glasses. It was the only book he had ever read. A dozen or so others would listen, silently praying while stroking rosaries, sitting on bare mattresses, crammed into a …

Why Conservative Parties Are Central to Democracy

The right has repeatedly acted as a “hinge of history,” one political scientist says.<p>Survey the conservative parties of the Western world these days, and you’ll come away confused. Are they on the rise or under siege? In the United States, a Republican Party that only months ago was imploding now …

Political Science

Why Millennials Long for Liturgy

America’s youth are leaving churches in droves. One in four young adults choose “unaffiliated” when asked about their religion, according to a 2012 …

United Methodist

Divided by meaning

We are a divided country, split along race and class. We are also divided by education. Front row kids, many with post graduate degrees, versus the …

Hillary Clinton

Good People

Two young Christians and an unwanted pregnancy<p>They were up on a picnic table at that park by the lake, by the edge of the lake, with part of a downed tree in the shallows half hidden by the bank. Lane A. Dean, Jr., and his girlfriend, both in bluejeans and button-up shirts. They sat up on the …

Did Religion Make the American Civil War Worse?

Faith may have inflamed the conflict, but one lasting legacy of the war may be the toll it took upon American faith.<p>If there is one sober lesson Americans seem to be taking out of the bathos of the Civil War sesquicentennial, it’s the folly of a nation allowing itself to be dragged into the war in …

War

The Myth of the Kindly General Lee

The legend of the Confederate leader’s heroism and decency is based in the fiction of a person who never existed.<p>The strangest part about the continued personality cult of Robert E. Lee is how few of the qualities his admirers profess to see in him he actually possessed.<p>Memorial Day has the …

Paris Review - Peter Matthiessen, The Art of Fiction No. 157

Interviewed by Howard Norman<p>Issue 150, Spring 1999<p>Not long after the publication of <i>The Tree Where Man Was Born,</i> Peter Matthiessen’s classic account of travels in East Africa, I overheard a restaurant conversation between two well-dressed men on the general topic of midlife. One said, “My wife and …

Doubt and the Creed | Tim Kelleher

There are times, even in polite company, when a believer can feel like the last duck left in hunting season, flapping past the blind in a bulls-eye …

My Family’s Slave

She lived with us for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized who she was.<p>点击这里阅读中文版本 (Chinese) | Basahin ang artikulong ito sa Tagalog (Tagalog)<p>Alex Tizon passed away in March. He was a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and the author …

The Decline of the American Book Lover

And why the downturn might be over.<p>The Pew Research Center reported last week that nearly a quarter of American adults had not read a single book in the past year. As in, they hadn't cracked a paperback, fired up a Kindle, or even hit play on an audiobook while in the car. The number of …

A Church that Was | Peter Hitchens

Yes, I remember the Church of England, much more than a name, a living thing. As it happens, my own religiously confused family was not churchgoing. …

What Critiques of 'Smug Liberals' Miss

Attacking half the country with condescending vitriol has been going on for decades in movement conservatism, too.<p>Last April, Emmett Rensin warned in <i>Vox</i> about what he called “the smug style in American liberalism.” Its adherents believe that American life is not divided by moral or policy …

The Devil Problem

Elaine Pagels won popular and scholarly acclaim for her revolutionary interpretation of the early Christian Church in “The Gnostic Gospels.” Then unthinkable personal tragedy led her to the subject of a new book: What is Satan?<p>Sixteen years ago, Elaine Pagels, who was then a professor in her …

Theology

Rod Dreher’s Monastic Vision

An orthodox Christian says his side has lost the culture wars—and argues for a “strategic retreat.”<p>Rod Dreher was forty-four when his little sister died. At the time, he was living in Philadelphia with his wife and children. His sister, Ruthie, lived in their Louisiana home town, outside St. …

Faith

Love in the Time of Numbness; or, Doctor Chekhov, Writer

<i>The following text is adapted from a keynote address given to the recipients of the 2017 Whiting Awards for emerging writers</i>.<p>When my mother’s mother began to die of a mysterious, undiagnosable neurological illness, the first thing she lost was her sense of taste. For most families, perhaps, this …

Literature

Breaking Faith

The culture war over religious morality has faded; in its place is something much worse.<p>Over the past decade, pollsters charted something remarkable: Americans—long known for their piety—were fleeing organized religion in increasing numbers. The vast majority still believed in God. But the share …

Religion

Hank Hanegraaff's Switch to Eastern Orthodoxy, Why People Make Such Changes, and Four Ways Evangelicals Might Respond

Let's follow Jesus, keep sharing the simple gospel, focus on the Bible, and think like missionaries in order to translate that truth to our modern …