We’re over half way through the year and it was my birthday recently, so, I’ve been in a slightly reflective mood. I thought it would be useful to review my new year’s resolutions (see here). The coronavirus was an interesting time for testing these habits and developing new ones along the way.Continue reading “Half Year Review: How Well Have I Stuck to Those New Year’s Resolutions?”
“By faith Abraham dwelt in the promised land as a stranger in a foreign country. He lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob” – The Epistle to the Hebrews 11:9
This post introduces a four-part series on Christianity and tribalism.
Confessions of a Tribalist
I want to start this blog post with a confession. In recent weeks, I have to admit that I have been left reeling as our news cycle in the UK has moved from one major societal upheaval after another.
I remember the distinct sense of national unity that followed the news of lockdown. Culture wars seemed for a brief moment to pause as we took stock of an enemy that, at least at face value, cared little about differences. In its face, we were all human beings.
As we all know, that sense of unity didn’t last long. (And, to be fair, some of that unquestioned “unity” needed to be challenged, as I wrote about here).
There was Cummings-gate, the Black Lives Matter protests and counter-protests. As many remarked, the world seemed to be on fire in June 2020.
In all of this, what struck me the most was not the time and effort I was spending in forming opinions on the big topics of the day. Rather, it was that these events came to be invested with rich meaning. As I read and had conversations with others, the positions I took, and didn’t take, came to define me. Whereas I thought I was informing myself on complex and hot-button issues, what was actually happening was that I was being formed by them—or more accurately, I was being formed by the positions I took on those issues.
And I’ve been wondering why that is…
At one level, I’m sure that part of it is down to being confined to home with (seemingly) little to do. Boredom, in other words. But I think there’s a deeper explanation for the profound and formational impact that these stances were having on me, than sheer ennui.Continue reading “Pitching a Tent: Practical Resources for Navigating A Tribal Age (Introducing the Christianity and Tribalism Series)”
Over on his Youtube page, Nathan Hood has posted an extremely erudite discussion about reformed Protestantism and the origins of the modern left.
Nathan confronts the argument that it is Calvin and the Puritans that lie behind contemporary left wing politics, and particularly the form of progressive left-wing identity politics that exists in the West today. Nathan is careful to define his terms, making clear from the outset that he is dealing primarily, though not exclusively, with the “progressive left” (think Jeremy Corbyn), which focusses on certain dogmas around gender, sexuality and race and promotes an identity that is “multicultural, inclusive, politically correct, social justice-oriented, eco-friendly, and so on”. Nathan dialogues carefully with one proponent of “the Left as heir to Calvinism” view—the blogger Mencius Moldbug—though one need not look far to find the Crypto-Calvinist argument (“the left is puritanical”) in a wide variety of sources.Continue reading “Reformed Protestantism and The Origins of the Progressive Left”