Mark D. Tooley

Christian Post Contributor

Methodists and Race

Wesley Seminary hosted a well attended panel on faith and race last evening, undoubtedly nobly intended, but frustratingly offering few if any clear pathways of hope. Several panelists mentioned the church's supposed "silence" about race. But I've attended official United Methodist governing bodies for my entire adult life, and this "silence" has actually been loud and repetitive across at least thirty years, doubtless much longer.

Why Are Americans Happy & Religious?

A new Pew survey of 44 countries reiterates what other surveys have shown for years: Americans are more religious and Americans are more hopeful about their ability to improve their future than are other wealthy countries.

Evangelicals Must Resist Mainline Protestant Trajectory

Debates over same sex marriage and homosexuality were previously until fairly recently reserved for historically liberal Mainline Protestant denominations, who've had a 40 year conversation over Christian sexual ethics, having already liberalized theologically in the 1920s or earlier

God's Ideal Government

Southern Baptist thinker Jonathan Leeman wrote a fascinating essay last month on God's purposes for the state. He points out that Scripture commends no specific polity, admits that democracy has benefitted Americans, but warns against idealizing any form of government.

Calvinist Evangelicals In a United Methodist Church!

Last evening in Washington, D.C. I was walking by an old United Methodist sanctuary and heard uncharacteristic music emanating from the windows. Curiosity drove me inside, where I was surprised to see a full congregation of almost all twenty-something's singing fulsomely as a band performed behind the altar.

'The Imitation Game' and Government's Vocation

The Imitation Game, like all historical movies, has little relation to actual history and is primarily a fictional interpretation of the brilliant British mathematician Alan Turing who helped break the German military code during World War II.

Harper Lee's Character, 'Atticus Finch' Upheld the Family Legacy

Harper Lee, now age eighty-eight and long out of the public eye, is the legendarily mysterious author of the iconic 1961 novel of southern racial injustice, To Kill a Mockingbird. It inspired an equally beloved film with Gregory Peck as heroic small town lawyer Atticus Finch, who defends an innocent black man accused of raping a white woman.

Can Religious Activism Shift on Immigration?

This USA Today piece wonders if the religious coalition behind immigration reform, i.e. mass legalization, can survive President Obama's executive amnesty. It quotes Southern Baptist official Russell Moore warning it could indeed fracture the coalition.

Hillsong Church, Relevance and Pariahs

There's a good piece by Andrew Walker in First Things on a popular international church network called Hillsong's apparent equivocation on marriage. At a recent New York press conference, the ministry's leader, Brian Houston, declined to answer whether the ministry affirms the biblical position. Instead, he stresses the church's need to stay "relevant."

Calvinists, Please Rescue Evangelicals From Perfectionism

Wesleyan and Anabaptist perfectionisms are the emerging dominant forms of Christian social witness in America, according to this fascinating piece in First Things by Dale Coulter of Regent University. He's certainly right about their pervasive influence but unduly optimistic about their plausibility and sustainability, much less desirability.

Who's Killing Christians in Iraq?

At least 14 Christians were targeted for killing in Mosul, about 260 miles north of Baghdad, earlier this month, prompting more than 1,300 Christian families to flee what had previously been a safe haven.

Religious Left Voter Guides

Allegedly manipulative conservative religious voter guides often get lots of media play. But Religious Left groups publish their own guidance, although for a much smaller potential constituency.

Sarah Palin: Under His Thumb?

Religious Left theologian Susan Thistlewaite at the Center for American Progress, writing for The Washington Post's religion blog, has formulated the ultimate reason why Sarah Palin must not become Vice President.