Can We Live Without Tradition? Part One

Every civilizational form assumes some role for tradition. No cultural moment emerges from a vacuum, for every generation responds in some way to the tradition it has inherited. Without an appreciation for the role of tradition and the inheritance of moral wisdom, the achievement of civilization becomes dubious if not dead.

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Defining and Defending Conservatism–Senator Rick Santorum’s “It Takes a Family”

Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) admits that political conservatives have often failed to present a comprehensive vision of the underlying commitments and convictions that frame the conservative vision. Beyond this, he laments the fact that some conservatives fail to link those basic convictions with political decisions and matters of public policy. He’s out to reverse that failure, and his new book It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good is one of the most important books written by a political figure in recent American history.

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The Post-Truth Era–Welcome to the Age of Dishonesty

Have we now reached a stage of social evolution that is “beyond honesty?” That fascinating question is raised by author Ralph Keyes in his book, The Post-Truth Era: Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life. “I think it’s fair to say that honesty is on the ropes,” Keyes observes. “Deception has become commonplace at all levels of contemporary life.”

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Another Look at Lust: A Christian View

Joshua Harris takes lust very seriously–so seriously in fact that he has written a book that takes the issue head-on. In Not Even A Hint: Guarding Your Heart Against Lust, Harris provides a candid appraisal of lust as a challenge for the Christian believer. According to Harris, lust is wrongly directed desire. “To lust is to want what you don’t have and weren’t meant to have,” he explains. “Lust goes beyond attraction, and appreciation of beauty, or even a healthy desire for sex–it makes these desires more important than God. Lust wants to go outside God’s guidelines to find satisfaction.”

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A New Look at Lust: The Secular View

Philosopher Simon Blackburn argues that lust “gets a bad press.” His project, based on a lecture sponsored by the New York Public Library and Oxford University Press, is to rescue lust from misunderstandings and historical abuse. In his book, Lust, Blackburn presents an updated vision of lust as sexual desire for its own sake. If lust now has a bad press, Blackburn wants to be its public relations agent.

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The Supremacists–A Judiciary Out of Control

Phyllis Schlafly put herself through college working the night shift at the St. Louis Ordnance Plant, firing rifles and machine guns in order to test ammunition for troops during World War II. Sixty years later, she has lost none of her nerve, none of her energy, and none of her aim. Now, she has leveled her powerful intellectual guns at an out-of-control judiciary, and her book The Supremacists is a powerful manifesto for our times.

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Barbarians and Wimps: America’s Boy Problem

Writing in the very first year of the twentieth century, William Byron Forbush warned America that it faced a crisis he called “the boy problem.” Forbush warned that a generation of young males, then still in boyhood, would soon enter the life of the nation without the necessary civilizing influences, discipline, and character. He called for immediate action and directed national attention to the problem.

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Natan Sharansky Makes the Case for Democracy

President George W. Bush is recommending a book these days, and the President’s new literary interest has caught the attention of the world press. President Bush is recommending Natan Sharansky’s book, The Case for Democracy, and he has made frequent references to Sharansky and his book, telling audiences that Sharansky’s argument represents “how I feel” and how he thinks.

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What Should We Think of the Emerging Church? Part Two

The Emerging Church Movement includes an expanding number of leaders and a diversity of representations. For some, the movement appears to be something of a generational phenomenon–a way for younger evangelicals to reshape evangelical identity and relate to their own culture. For others, the connection with the Emerging Church Movement seems to be a matter of mood rather than methodology or theory. Nevertheless, for most Emerging Church leaders, the movement appears to be an avenue for reshaping Christianity in a new mold.

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What Should We Think of the Emerging Church? Part One

The “Emerging Church” has become a focus of intense evangelical interest, as the nascent movement has grown in both size and influence. While its eventual shape is not yet clear, we now know enough to draw some preliminary conclusions about the movement, its leaders, and its influence.

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Why Sing the Hymns?

Consider this statement on the disappearance of hymns from worship from Paul S. Jones: The postmodern church, like the rest of Western culture, is self-obsessed…

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True Beauty — And True Wisdom

Carolyn Mahaney and her daughter Nicole Mahaney Whitacre have written an important new book, Girl Talk: Mother-Daughter Conversations on Biblical Womanhood [Crossway Books]. The book…

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“A Generous Orthodoxy”–Is It Orthodox?

The book’s title looks both promising and inspiring. Brian D. McLaren’s new book, A Generous Orthodoxy, is sure to get attention, and its title grabs both heart and mind. Who wouldn’t want to embrace an orthodoxy of generosity? On the other hand, the title raises an unavoidable question: Just how “generous” can orthodoxy be?

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