Division Point: Whittaker Chambers’ Witness for the 21st Century

I’m very excited to be giving a lecture and recording a podcast this week on what we can learn today from the profound Christian political thought of Whittaker Chambers. I have invested a great deal of work in digesting Chambers’ insights for the church and the world today, as we continue to struggle with the same “crisis of history” Chambers described, and the project has been very fruitful. I’m delighted to finally be able to share the fruits of that labor.

The lecture, taking place at the Acton Institute, will be livestreamed this Thursday, Feb. 22, at 12:00-1:00 Eastern time. Tune in here to watch live, or come join us if you’re near Grand Rapids. I’ll post a YouTube link when it goes up. I’m very grateful to Acton for inviting me to deliver a lecture on this critically important Christian thinker.

The podcast is with National Review’s podcast The Great Books, hosted by my old friend John Miller. I’ll post that link whenever the podcast goes live. It’s an honor to be working on Chambers with National Review, where he wrote at the end of his life.

MLK on Opportunity

Mat TGR, my latest on MLK and work. This time, on justice and opportunity:

King often cited the emerging global economy as a liberating force that would bind people closer together. Walking through the different products you use in the morning – sponges from islands in the Pacific and coffee from Africa, and on and on – he would conclude: “Before you even finish your breakfast, you are interdependent with half the world.”

That was right. Perhaps King could not have foreseen the backlash through which we are now living, in which the forces of reaction against the new global world are drawing new strength from fear and anomie amid the dissolution of old cultural certainties. The death throes of the old, ethnocentric public orders – once thought to have been over with the defeat of the fascist powers – may be longer and harder than we had foreseen.

But make no mistake, death throes is what they are.

Let me know what you think!

You Are Hereby Served Notice

Attention citizens! You are hereby served notice that Mary and the Witch’s Flower, which I reviewed here, is returning to US theaters for two days only next week, due to overwhelming demand.

If you missed it the first time, attendance is mandatory. Otherwise, attendance is merely meritorious.

A theater near me has brought back Darkest Hour, the surprise hit of the Oscar noms – as I said before, you should see that one on the big screen, too!

That is all.

The New Billy Graham

When I wrote that Rachael Denhollander was a witness worthy of Polycarp, Luther or Whittaker Chambers, I had no idea how right I was:

We can tend to gloss over the devastation of any kind of suffering but especially sexual assault, with Christian platitudes like God works all things together for good or God is sovereign. Those are very good and glorious biblical truths, but when they are misapplied in a way to dampen the horror of evil, they ultimately dampen the goodness of God. Goodness and darkness exist as opposites. If we pretend that the darkness isn’t dark, it dampens the beauty of the light.

And:

It’s devastating enough when money and medals are put against sexual assault victims. But when the gospel of Christ is wielded like a weapon against sexual assault victims, that’s wicked. There’s no other way to say it.

And:

I have found it very interesting, to be honest, that every single Christian publication or speaker that has mentioned my statement has only ever focused on the aspect of forgiveness. Very few, if any of them, have recognized what else came with that statement, which was a swift and intentional pursuit of God’s justice. Both of those are biblical concepts. Both of those represent Christ. We do not do well when we focus on only one of them.

Can we please declare this woman The New Billy Graham and put her in charge?

Of, like, everything?

Because here’s the standard of comparison:

If the document published by the Washington Post is what it appears to be, Perkins knew a candidate for congress was a predator and kept it under wraps – while promising the father of a sexually abused 18-year-old swift action – as the candidate defeated two (presumably non-predator) rivals for his party’s nomination.

I guess selling your soul can technically be a swift action.

HT Larry Wilson