Toward utopia?

I have always had a small-c conservative streak that makes me skeptical of utopian politics. The idea that human beings could, through their own efforts, abolish suffering, strife and injustice once and for all has always struck me as dangerously wrongheaded. Both history and my own religious tradition seem to tell pretty decisively against this […]

Will Marcion win after all?

In his recent book, Princeton Theological Seminary professor Brent Strawn makes a provocative case that American Christians are in imminent danger of losing the Old Testament—and with it much of the substance of Christian faith. Drawing on a variety of evidence, Strawn argues that we are losing our grip on the OT, making it comparable […]

Tom Paine, the Bible and wealth redistribution

I enjoyed this interview with University of Michigan philosopher Elizabeth Anderson on how workplaces effectively function as “private governments” and often act in oppressive ways toward their employees. That lead me to this piece by Anderson on Tom Paine as an early theorist of social insurance. In Anderson’s telling, Paine was responding to revolutionary communist […]

Is penal substitutionary atonement the “core of Christian faith”?

According to this story, the Southern Baptist Convention just adopted a resolution at its annual meeting that re-affirms the “penal substitutionary” view of Christ’s atonement. This was passed in the face of what were described as efforts to “weaken” the doctrine. Proponents of PSA (penal substitutionary atonement)–the view that on the cross God was punishing […]

A brief case for #MedicareforAll

I’ve long believed that people in a wealthy society (such as our own) have a right to health care regardless of their ability to pay. To me, this arises from a Christian conviction (though certainly not an exclusively Christian conviction) that each human being has intrinsic worth as creature made in the image of God. […]