1. The Virtues of Empire (R. R. Reno)
Our neo-imperial efforts to reorganize and supervene over the Middle East after September 11 failed, perhaps because they were ill-considered, perhaps because they were poorly executed, perhaps because they were infused with a perennial Wilsonian idealism that is an enemy of empire and blind to its virtues—probably all three. Whatever the causes, the current fact is clear.
2. Naturalizing “Shalom”: Confessions of a Kuyperian Secularist (James A. K. Smith)
How I discovered I could long for justice in both this world and the next.
In strange, often unintended ways, the pursuit of “justice,” shalom, and a “holistic” gospel can have its own secularizing effect. What begins as a Gospel-motivated concern for justice can turn into a naturalized fixation on justice in which God never appears. And when that happens, “justice” becomes something else altogether—an idol, a way to effectively naturalize the gospel, flattening it to a social amelioration project in which the particularity of Jesus as the revelation of God becomes strangely absent.
3. Some Very Scattery and Long and Likely Disjointed Thoughts on Art and Agendas and Stuff (Alissa Wilkinson)
Hollywood’s dirty little secret is that there are plenty of people of faith who work in the industry (hello, Pixar), and even more who are mostly out to make a product that’s basically just entertaining and will sell well.
4. Supreme Court Cases on Same-Sex Marriage: Where the Church Goes from Here (Mark Bailey, Darrell Bock, Rollin Van Broekhoven)
5. Graphic: Locator map of states status on same sex marriage (Detroit Free Press)
6. Roberts Pulls Supreme Court to the Right Step by Step (New York Times)
7. On Winning the Marriage Debate (Eric Teetsel, The Witherspoon Institute)
This week, the Supreme Court will issue decisions in two cases involving the meaning and purpose of marriage. Whatever the results, our work to rebuild a culture of marriage and family will continue. Restoration will require that we better brand ourselves and make our case more attractive.