Posts by ryansrindels2014

“Best Country on Earth”: Being Thankful There’s More Than One

It’s not uncommon before, during, and even after July 4th, for Americans to speak of our nation as the “best country on earth.” The claim is typically followed by historical high points—victory over the Nazis in World War II—or the financial support given to nations around the globe. Christians often point to the number of missionaries sent to spread the gospel abroad.…

Martyrdom: Outward and Inward

“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” Such was Tertullian of Carthage’s claim in the early 3rd century AD. Though his quote is perhaps the most famous of its kind, the African apologist was not alone in his conviction about martyrdom. The anonymous author of The Epistle to Diognetus, a letter likely composed between 150-250 AD challenges the…

Original Sin: American, Political, Theological

U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield made headlines recently when she testified at the National Action Network’s virtual conference that “the original sin of slavery weaved white supremacy into our founding documents.” Whether that claim is true or not—and/or to what extent—is not the point of this blog. Of present interest is why original sin as a theological term has entered the cultural lexicon. Without…

Andrew Fuller’s Theology of Revival: A Brief and Personal Introduction

“Of making many books there is no end” (Ecclesiastes 12:12), an observation no less true in our day as in Solomon’s. But unlike the ancient world, the sheer number of potential writers and readers in 2021 is staggering. As a representative from Wipf & Stock publications noted, anywhere from several hundred thousand to one million books are published annually in the U.S.…

Hard Hearts and Soft Heads: C. S. Lewis’ Prophetic Abolition of Man

In my second semester of seminary—fall 2011—I took a course called “Classics of Christian Devotion.” The instructor for the class was my future doctoral advisor, Chris Chun. One of our first assignments was to read a 1944 essay by C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) called, “On the Reading Old Books.” In the essay, Lewis makes the case for reading books that have withstood…

The Mayflower Pilgrims, Liberty, and some Familiar Questions

2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Pilgrims’ arrival at Plymouth, a significant milestone no doubt obscured by the nation’s election and COVID.  In true technocratic form, one’s appraisal of this event depends on algorithmic suggestion no less than a philosophy of history. Articles praising the Pilgrims as an embryonic community of liberty-loving patriots can be matched by scholars who decry…

A Season to Consider (again) The City of God

In March 2016, Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore wrote an article titled “Reading Augustine in an Election Year.”  Drawing on the principal theme of The City of God, a book some recognize, fewer have read, and even fewer have finished, the motif of “two cities” is no less important today as it was four year ago, for in Moore’s words, “it can…

A Cynical if Comprehensible Take on Adoption and Race

If you have been following contemporary politics, President Trump’s prospective nominee for the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, has been the subject of vigorous debate, notably in the last week.   Barrett is a mother of seven children, whose ages span 8 and 18 years, five of which are biological, the youngest having Down Syndrome. Two of the Barrett children were adopted from…

“A Man of Power”: A Theological Take on H. G. Wells’ The Invisible Man

Two weeks ago, Janai and I finished reading H. G. Wells’ The Invisible Man. Published in 1897, the book is considered one of the earliest works of the science fiction genre. As the title suggests, the story’s central figure is a mysterious man who has discovered a chemical formula that makes him invisible. Early portions of the narrative describe the curious musings…