1. The lasting legacy of Lesslie Newbigin
Michael Goheen writes for Q Ideas about the contributions Lesslie Newbigin made to Western Christianity and our understanding of mission:
It is a peculiarity of Western culture to isolate the domain of religion from the rest of life. Religion, he said, is a “set of beliefs, experiences, and practices that seek to grasp and express the ultimate nature of things, that which gives shape and meaning to life, that which claims final loyalty.” Thus religion includes the comprehensive worldviews that shape Western culture, like the modern scientific worldview in both its Marxist and its liberal-democratic-capitalist expressions. If the Western church is to be faithful to the gospel and its mission, we will need to work hard to understand the religious beliefs of our culture in order to extricate ourselves from idolatry.
2. Gerson on prudential politics
Michael Gerson writes for Capital Commentary about competing political priorities and the choices facing GOP voters especially:
[N]early every political choice involves the weighing of competing priorities—freedom and the common good. This is the reason that prudence is the highest of political virtues. And prudence is exactly what some political ideologies lack. Socialism places an unbalanced emphasis on equality above all else—resulting in the routine violation of individual rights. Libertarianism places an unbalanced emphasis on autonomy above all else—resulting in a nation without airport security and food safety laws. Raising a single, pure, simple principle in politics can be powerful—but it is almost always dangerous. Complexity is the nature of politics. It is also the sign of a serious political thinker or candidate.
3. The gospel of immigration
Dr. Russell Moore, from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, urges us to remember the personhood of immigrants – documented or otherwise:
I’m amazed when I hear evangelical Christians speak of undocumented immigrants in this country with disdain as “those people” who are “draining our health care and welfare resources.” It’s horrifying to hear those identified with the Gospel speak, whatever their position on the issues, with mean-spirited disdain for the immigrants themselves. While evangelicals, like other Americans, might disagree on the political specifics of achieving a just and compassionate immigration policy, our rhetoric must be informed by more than politics, but instead by Gospel and mission.
4. Radical cartography
I find this kind of stuff fascinating: a Yale professor named Bill Rankin created a map of Chicago that shows racial and ethnic segregation in the city. It is here. Below is a spin-off map of Detroit from another guy named Eric Fisher. That one is here. If you click on the links you can see info on the various color designations.