Reflections on the First Quarter of 2023
It is hard to believe we’re already near the end of the first quarter of 2023. There have certainly been a lot of newsworthy stories in the press in general; American Reformer has likewise been busy these last few months. In this short article we round up some highlights from the last three months with some reflections on what we’ve been up to.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Christian Nationalism has been a recurring topic on our pages. In January William Wolfe wrote a hard-hitting review of Paul Miller’s The Religion of American Greatness: What’s Wrong with Christian Nationalism. Needless to say, Wolfe wasn’t impressed:
The question of Christian nationalism, the cases for and against, and the overall project is still in the conceptual stages. Miller’s contribution, unfortunately, adds neither heat nor light to the process. Serious interrogators of Christian nationalism will engage in more than table-pounding, axiomatic assertions about the goodness of liberalism and less name calling of their opponents. Substantive critiques of Christian nationalism are needed and welcome. Miller provides neither.
Also in January, Baptist pastor Chris Bolt tackled fellow Baptist Andrew Walker’s engagement with Christian Nationalism in “Beware the Baptist Nationalists.” Cory Higdon, also Baptist (there seems to be a theme here), wrote in March on the overt Christian Nationalism of the leftwing mayor of NYC, Eric Adams. Additionally, Stephen Wolfe (not a Baptist) responded to John Ehrett’s review of his book at American Reformer. The debate over Christian Nationalism shows no signs of slowing down.
Wokeness in Higher-Ed
Another recurrent theme at American Reformer over these last few months has been the chaos unleashed in higher-ed as one institution after another capitulates to the woke revolution currently marching its way through every American institution.
Scott Yenor has published two articles that have garnered a great deal of attention: one on concrete strategies to be pursued in state legislatures, and the other on how wokeness has even infected a large number of Protestant and Evangelical colleges in America. Mark Devine has shown in detail the dangers of introducing the trojan horse of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs into institutions of higher-ed. Jackson Waters makes the case for what we should do about all of this: “use the power legally conferred to us in the Departments of Education and Justice, as well as state governments, to turn the tide of this academic siege.”
Clifford Humphrey and Timon Cline have jumped into the fray on whether Christian colleges can survive without insisting on robust confessional identities, interacting with a recent First Things piece by Carl Trueman.
Other pieces that have received broader attention include one on difficulties The Keller Center for Cultural Apologetics has faced recently, a piece on the importance of honoring one’s forefathers, and an article on the biblical teaching about “winsomeness,” a topic that has been much debated over the last year or so.
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