The Gift of Heresy

“What I’m getting is that as Christians, heresy is in our blood. It’s an integral part of our genealogy. You don’t have to like it, you don’t even have to reconcile with it, but like Tamar’s place in the genealogy of Jesus you can’t do anything about it. Despising it or denouncing it does not render it invisible. It is nothing if not a reminder that when it comes to “correct belief” we could at any moment be completely wrong — which is the source of real humility.”

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The Purity Movement Isn’t Just Failing, It’s Backfiring

The story we hear in church so often is that Christianity is being assailed on all sides by the demoralizing principalities and powers of promiscuity in secular culture, and yet by these measures it seems that Christians are having more trouble with sexual purity than anyone else. Put another way, Christian moral alarmists are right to say there’s an epidemic of sexual demoralization happening right now in America, but perhaps the only reason it feels so imminent is because the worst of it is happening right under their noses in their own Christian circles. Could the purity movement actually be backfiring?

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Hacking the Kardashian Effect

The super-famous do not rise to power on waves of total support or total disgust. Like a metal ball caught between two mutually repelling magnets, they are instead rocketed to power by the polarization between total support and total disgust. The best thing that can happen to you as a person looking to become super-famous is to polarize everyone… your path to fame will literally pave itself. When this happens you no longer have “a demographic,” your demographic is everyone. This is what I call, with a bitter sense of irony, the Kardashian effect.

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The Answer to America’s Identity Crisis: Its Own Literature

“I suspect that most of the American literary experience today is instead composed of brief up-to-the-minute news clips and tweets from the echoes of our own ideological chambers that together cobble a constantly changing image of American national identity. Perhaps if we indulge the timeless and classic stories of our own damn literature we’ll rediscover true Americanism.”

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