Life and Books and Everything
Life and Books and Everything

Episode · 10 months ago

Division, Whataboutism, & Christian Nationalism


Why is it so hard to acknowledge when our opponents get something right? Or
to admit when we are wrong? Why do so few people see that BOTH this issue AND that issue can be right or wrong? Collin, Justin, and Kevin discuss these divisions that we experience on this episode. They also ask, “What is Christian Nationalism?” Listen to the end for the book recommendations and scroll down for the links. 

Life and Books and Everything is sponsored by Crossway, publisher of the Short
Studies in Biblical Theology Series, edited by Dane C. Ortlund and Miles V. Van Pelt.  

The Short Studies in Biblical Theology Series is designed to help readers see the whole Bible as a unified story culminating in Jesus Christ. In each volume, a trusted scholar traces an important topic through God’s word and explores its significance for the Christian life. 

For 30% off this series and all other books and Bibles at Crossway, sign up for a free Crossway+ account at 


The Best Person to Disagree With [0:00 – 1:46] 

Collin’s Jolly Holiday [1:46 – 4:17] 

A Brief Digression on Morally Problematic Television [4:17 – 7:34] 

Justin’s COVID Christmas [7:34 – 10:53] 

VidAngel & Cobra Kai [10:53 – 12:15] 

Kevin’s December Viewing [12:15 – 17:45] 

Both/And: Why is it so hard to see both sides of an issue? [17:45 – 25:54] 

Both/And: Should we even want this approach? [25:54 – 35:23] 

Whataboutism & Selective Policing [35:23 – 40:57] 

Christian Nationalism [40:57 – 56:16] 

Book Recommendations Featuring Pro-Life and MLK, Jr. Topics [56:16 – 1:08:25] 

Books and More Books: 

The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture, by Scott

Defending Life, by Francis J. Beckwith 

Beyond Racial Gridlock: Embracing Mutual Responsibility, by George Yancey 

Letter from a Birmingham Jail, by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times, by David S. Reynolds 

The Attributes of God: An Introduction, by Gerald Bray 

Forty Questions About the End Times, by Eckhard Schnabel 

The Bible and the Future, by Anthony A. Hoekema 

Not Tragically Colored: Freedom, Personhood, and the Renewal of Black America,
by Ismael Hernandez 

America in the King Years, by Taylor Branch 

Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade, by Clarke D. Forsythe 

Concise Guide to Conservatism, by Russell Kirk 

The Myth of the Lost Cause: Why the South Fought the Civil War and Why the North Won, by Edward H. Bonekemper, III 

Geerhardus Vos: Reformed Biblical Theologian, Confessional Presbyterian, by Danny E. Olinger 

Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day, by Jake Knapp and John

Heralds of the King: Christ-Centered Sermons in the Tradition of Edmund P. Clowney, edited by Dennis E. Johnson 

For Christ and the University: The Story of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of
the USA - 1940-1990, by Keith Hunt, Gladys Hunt 

C. Stacey Woods and the Evangelical Rediscovery of the University, by A.
Donald MacLeod 

Moral, Believing Animals: Human Personhood and Culture, by Christian Smith 

Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth: 12 Questions Christians Should Ask About Social Justice, by Thaddeus J. Williams 

Minds Wide Shut: How the New Fundamentalisms Divide Us, by Gary Saul Morson and Morton Schapiro 

R. C. Sproul: A Life, by Stephen J. Nichols 

It's fo I readings and salutations. This is KevinDy young and we have the band back together today, Colin Hanson and Bhoomgoes the dynamite. Justin Taylor is here and well hear from them in just amoment glad to Heav you with us here on life and books and everything, as is typical. We are glad to besponsored by Crossway rateful for their ministry and their books and wanted tomention to you today short studies in diflical theology. This is a seriesDane Ortland and myles man. Health have edited. There are lots of volumes. Thisis a really good. It is what it says, Short Studies in Biblical theology.They also have one in systematic teology. We may mention that an afuture episode, but this one is in Biblical theology, so you have TomSchriner on covenant and God's purpose for the World Hm. I wonder I'm do I agree with everything in thatbook Justin about confinant. If there's anyone I would want todisagree with, I would want to disagree with me. It would be Tom Schrinerbecause he's so thoughtful and so irinic okay. So you still read thatbook. Lots of others Guy Printiss waters, there's a good. The Lord Supperis a sign and means of the new covenant. GKBL redemptive reversals new book byFrank Telman, the new creation storyline of scripture. There there'smore than a dozen of them, so they're all worth reading so check out shortstudies in Biblical theology. Thank you, Crossway, Collin and Justin good tohave you here just catch up a little bit, I'm sureany listeners are eager to hear what you did for your Christmas vacation.Collin anything note worthy over the last month or so did you go anywhere?Did you get sick? Did you eat anything, watch anything what happened? I gained way too much weight and I'memploying my New Year's resolutions, and I did I did watch some things, somethat I'm more proud of than others. I read a lot, which was fun which isappropriate for this broadcast and this podcast, but I did H. One thing I did at that wasvery enjoyable and maybe werth talking about would bewatching Ted Lasso on Apple TV. Now I cannot. I cannot recommend this show ingood conscience, because it's got very bad language and a lot of sexuality init, not like explicit just sexual talk in it, but there's a reason. It's been veryprovocative for people, because it's so different from what you normally see onTV. So that's probably the one thing most interesting that I felt like man.I want to talk to people about watching this. Is it funny that this is th theAmerican Coach Who's, coaching English Football Jason Sideca? So he startedout. You remember when the Premier League broadcast cameto NBC right this Wis, like a little commercial bit, ther ere a coupledifferent commercial bits. Pretending like an American football coach wascoaching English football and he had a whole bit as his guy named hed Laso,and he had an assistant coach called the beard and somehow they developed itinto an entire series, at least for one season, and I think they'll be renewingit. But I love Jason Today because I think he's, I think, he's great. Ithink he's funny. It helps that he's from Kansas City, and so we love thesame sports teams and that comes up a lot Kansas City in the series, but justoverall I did find it to be incredibly funny, but then also strangelyendearing in actually poignant and a number of different occasions, and avery good contrast and distraction from the news which I needed over Christmas lastmonth. We welcome that I'll get to Justin, but that that prompts something in me if I canput on my my infamous glowering scowl towards allof those people who were watching game of thrones, which Babylon Bi didsomething about that after I wrote a couple of blog articles, I I will go on.I will hear of these things now. I didn't I've heard of that one ted Lassoand didn't look at it in depth, but I'llhear of things. This is trending on Netflix or this is on prime or what andand they sound interesting, especially ones that are historically situated.Maybe my wife would watch or if they're British, in some way and invariably Igo, and if you go to imdb international... database, they have, I find themost detailed, pararental advisory. I thinkit's just what people have tight down mean they'll, give you how many wordsthey time they said this word and sexuality. So I will go for theseseries that I find all sorts of people raving about and I can't even readthrough the parental advisory content without feeling some sense of shame. No, I didn't do I'm not I'm not shamingyou for Ted Lasto, because I didn't see that one, but I knew when I broughtthis up. I knew this were the conversation wos Kayg for other and I'mnot depending myself on this. I just one thing: That's interesting with this,and I want to you' finish that point. One thing I sided about Ted Lasso isthat the his character shines preciselyagainst the backdrop of the other attitudes and language and speech ofthe other characters, and so it's just it's a strange dynamic because youcan't tell is this show the most wholesome thing. I've watched in yearsor is it the opposite? You D, it is a Confunnot, the opposite, because it'snot nearly as vile as a lot of other things out there and, like I said it'snot graphic, so that's a very big difference on it, but I, I think, withyour friendship over the years Kevin and becoming a parent, I've become moresensitive in good ways and my conscience has been restored a littlebit from where he had been seared. I think in some of my younger evene, theQueens Gambit right that th, the chess one people I mean Bridgerton. Thatthing looked like soap, opera trash from the get go, but any of these sortof things. I look and it's just mind boggling to me that I mean- and I woill do this- sometimesfor my kids I'll say: okay, I want you to read this read this to me and tellme if this sounds like something that wer my kids were watching some avengermovies earlieer. So people could draw the lines a lot better and closer onsome things than we do. But I ask the question to friends: Not Infrequently:Do you have anything good because I'd be happy to watch something while I'm w running on the treadmill or riding mybike or want an hour of downtime and it's just very hard to find something Justin? What did you do and can youredeem the time better than Colin Yeah I'll? Tell you what I did and thenI'll tell you a solution to make both of you guys happy on the movie angel?That's it so I'll get there but yeah. It was not a an easy break for us like Thanksgiving. We did not meet as afamily, which was weird like living nown locally with family. Some other family members made thatdecision. We didn't end up getting together and by time Christmas rolledaround, I think, having foregone family gatherings for Thanksgiving with thethe vaccine in sight. My Way at one point said: Do you thinkwe should we should be meeting for Christmas and we all decided to meetand long story short over? Probably two thirds of the people who gathered gotcovid, including myself and my wife, and a couple of ourkids. So thankfully the symptoms weren't unmanageable and we survived it, which is not a throwawayline because know people who haven't and parents who haven't so we'rethankful to be on the other side of it. But one unfortunate thing that I thinkof all the stuff that I've read on Covid that I didn't truly get is thatunless you're completely self isolated from other family members, the people who tested negative theirquarantine time starts only after your quarantine. Time ends and you're nolonger contagious. So functionally three of our kids didn't get covid, butI had to quarantine essentially for a full month, which is the long time the quarantine,especially after nine or ten months of doing this, so that that was, you know, mildly frustrating. But wegot through it. This weekend we discovered that our twelve year old doghas limfoma. So that was not something we were expecting, but talking aboutnew KHEMO. What do you do there? So we're going to put him on somethingthat it will. Probably Lord will and give thim another month to live, butthat's a sad thing, especially when you have kids and I think for people who don't own petsand pets like dogs that you can truly...

...grow attached to for many years. It feels a little bit abstractive. Whywet losing a pet, be that that difficult, but throw kids in the mixand it ends up being a large part of yourlife. So that's a little sadness hanging over the Taylor household rightnow, but yeah so go ahead. Kevin! No. Did you watchanything? Did you do anything noteworthy sorry? You were sick, likeyou're, better yeah, thanks yeah. I think. If you're looking for agood movie, that's well acted. Wile, shot news of the world with Tom painksYeh I go yeah. It is good, it's you know not. I think our kids wouldprobably find it boring, but my wife and I watched it and it's set in ehandeight hundred and ninety and just well acted and a good story andinteresting keeps your attention yeah. I'm surprised that I don't hear of more Christians using fit angel,which was started by Mormons and I for monthly fee. It essentially allows youto filter out whatever you want: imean very granular, from graphic violence tojust regular violence from normal kissing to passionate kissing fromblasphemy. To profanity I mean it goes. You can pick and choose what you wantto see and what you want to hear. So we've been watching Cobra Khi with ourkids and we just vid angel the whole thing anything you know related tosexuality and profanity and plaphomy has gone, and we keep all the violencein there. But it's kind of a fun bridging of thegap for my wife and I who are in our mids and our kids, who range from thekids watching it range from preytein up to teenager, but to go from kind of karati kid world ofour youth. In he s s to today it's it's kind of a funthing to bring everybody together and we did watch my wife and I watched theQueen GAM onvid angel and it was really well shot and well acted. I did not love every part of it, but Ithink other people were more excited about the storyline than I was yeah. Well, we we didn't go anywhere. We wereoriginally going to go to Michigan and see my family and friends up there, butcovid canceled that Christmas. So we stayed here. We did. I don't know if I should say, as we didgo to the Great Wolf Lodge for one night with our family, which is IndoorWater Park Hotel, and I can tell you that the covid precautions weresomewhat more lax inside the Great Wolf Lodge lots of a sea of humanity andtattoos gathered together on, but on think anyone got. At least we didn'tget sick from that. So that was a fun thing to do. For the kids just locallyhere and I flew to DC, I've hardly been on aplane it since March it one of the only two or three times and was there abouthalf of the speakers for the Cross conference were there and that was goodto just go up. I'd never been to McLean David Platt's, the church where DavidPlatt serves, and one of the things reminded me of, and maybe we'll talkabout. This is how how infrequently we're seeing people now. We know that,but I think one of the reasons that largelygoes unnoticed and untalked about for divisions in our day and almosteveryone recognizes there's lots of divisions in the church right now. One under the radar reason is peoplethat might normally be seeing each other and having face to faceconversations, haven't seen each other for a year, I'm talking about differentleaders and pastors and Church folks who would be interminglingat various conferences or Simposium Evente, and we just don't seeeach other now. So I was really glad to see nextyleswas there and Matshmucker and same Pratt and David platd and several otherpeople couldn't come, but it's just good to see guys that I would havenormally probably seen two or three times in the past year but hadn't forsome time. So we watched none of you mentioned Mandalorian, maybe becausethat ended before Christmas. I didn't see the first season, but my kids didand then we did watch the second season and that was a fun thing to do. OnFriday night forty minute episodes and pretty much everyone in the family hadsomething to enjoy in it. Although there's some, I think some cringycharacters and things in there, but it got better and I thought it. The lastepisode was good.

I watch football, so I'm sad there'show many there's only three more football games and then we take a longbreak so grateful for that and well my wife's excited about the Joannagaines resurfacing again with a cooking show and Magnolia network. My wife alsofound a show on HDTV called escape to the Chateau and have you seen it so it's a British couple that bought achateau in France. So it's a Reno show but they're renovating a chateau and the amazing thing is they bought aforty five room chateau with seven other buildings, an a moat in thecountryside of France and they bought it for three hundred and fifty thousanddollars, and so I've been just sort of watching it. Inthe background, but my wife has enjoyed that, and I will say that this is youknow, maybe our style here we were, we still have cable were so antiquated and we saw the Turner classic movies theother Night Sharade. If you h've never seen that movie, never ten, I I don'teven Ow I've, never even heard of this. It is very good, it's Mi right's ahitch, cock movie and it has carry grant and Audrey Hepburn sixty three or sixty four, very clever,very lots of twist and turns it's kind of a mystery who done it, but it haslots of actors and actresses who went on to be famous Walter, Mathow JamesCoburn. So I tried to have my kids watch it and they were so bored. I saidjust stick with it. It's really interesting, so that's sort of our style and then evenmy motherinlaw could come and watch that with us. So I'll have to give I a angel and try TedLasso after that. If I try to have our kids watchanything made like in two thousand and ten they're like dad, this is so old. Well, I know, and then after that cameon the man who knew too much, which is another hitchcock movie with Dori Tayand Jimmy Stewart, and that was made, I think in fifty eight. So I was born inseventy seven and I was thinking this movie seemd so old, but it was onlymade twenty years before I was born twenty years before some of my kidswere born is finding Nemo. I mean that's how old we are so all right. Well, we'll transitionand talk about, there's lots of talk about in our world. I wanted to start-and you guys have seen this. I won't read the whole thing, but maybe it'llbe a good entree into a conversation about all that's going on, especiallyhere in the United States. This is facebook post from Abigail Dod, so Ithink all of us know, and one way or another and a good writer and thinkerand at Bethlahem Baptist Church or one ofthe church sites in Minneapolis and she had a post on both and and she says just reading some of it,it's possible to believe that widespread stealing burning violentriding. All summer was damnable and that the violent storming of thecapital was likewise damnable, it's possible to believe there were innocentprotesters caught in both it's possible to believe that covid is real andespecially dangerous for some, and also that the panic, the media incided isunhelpful, a best and harmful to millions at worst, it's possible thatethnic partiality is sinn to be repented of Whill, also believing thatthe cultural narrative, a pervasive misstreatment of anyone who isn't white is a lie used for political, socialcapital, 's possible to believe that the merging of Christian symbols withthe storming of the capital and cult like conspiracies is wicked, while alsobelieving that critical theory is a danger to the authority of scripture inthe purity of the church. She gives a few other examples. So my question forus and thank you Apigail for writing that and I think all of us, you know more or less said yeah. Weagree with that both, and so why is that so hard to do, and not so muchasking the particulars of each line or phrase that Abigail wrote? But why isthat approach to these issues so difficult, and is that an approach weshould be advocating more frequently justin? Ah, I think one of the reasons thatit's difficult for us to do is that we like to posture we like to play to the crowd-and I don't just mean other people like... do that T. I think I face thattempation myself, and so it should not be hard to do. It shouldbe easy to say. I want to declare truth where I find it and I don't need toplay to the crowd or to play sides off of each other, but I think that we areso politically oriented, and I don't just mean by that kind of executive politics, but we're political animals who want toappease one side or the other, and we also have different instincts and sooftentimes we can emphasize things differently, have different suspicions of one another differentsenses of what what needs to really be emphasized for our particular crowd butyeah. I think all three of us when we read Abigail'spiece said I agree with both of those sides and why? Why is that so difficultto say? What do you think Holin, you guys are probably familiar with alot of the studies on the effect of the market on churches and one of the keysociological takeaways of the effect of an open market place of religion. Isthat churches tend to end up focusing on their distinctives as opposed totheir commonalities. So a new church will come along andtheyre. They show how they're not like your grandmother's, church or they'redifferent, because they have congregational polity or because theydon't have concreational polity or because they have high church worshiper,because they have low church worshipper because they have dynamic preaching orbecause they have biblical preaching. You see what I'm saying the marketplaceencourages us to be able to emphasize what makes us different from others, and I think that has some carryover tohow that plays out within broader debates within the church. Is that willtend to emphasize that which divides us? That which distinguishes us that whichsets US apart- and I was in fact just thinking about thisthis morning- guys about how journalism is including the work that I do for theGosspal coolition- has a kind of force that continually pulls you away fromthe both end or continuing th pulls you away from the traditional or the or thejust. That was been that which has been said before, because there's a constantpoll to want to distinguish and to differentiate and to criticize and toand social media is just that kind of journalism on steroids. But you guyshave much more experience within the academic guild than I do, and theacademic guild has a little bit of that temptation as well, because you have tobe able to distinguish yourself from that which came before so. There isn'ta lot of incentive to simply reiterate. What's been said before, you have toalways pitch it as something that is. That is different, so I think sometimesthe biggest effects on our lives are those which we don't even recognize andfor all this living in an open market place of ideas. I think the both and is comes across is not saying anything isnot adding anything to the discussion of not creating a a level of urgencythat leads to action, or at least that demands orcompells action, because we're allso primed for that kind of setup. So, but I think one reason why I'm hearingso much from so many pastors now is because I think they're trying to havethe both end mentality in an either or world, and it's really pulling them andtheir churches at the seames, and so I appreciate Abigail just being able toshow that it is possible, be able to hold competing what are appearing to becompeting ideas in our heads at the same time and even to be able todiscover a kind of nuance without, at the same time, fallwing Praeno Kevin toone of your pet peeves, the constant synthesis or even being above the Fraye.Those are two other approachesoeone approach of love. The frame of. Whydoes anybody even care about any of this stuff? You guys don't have a clueor the synthesis that always says well over here. You guys are wrong over here.You guys are wrong, but somewhere, where I'm standing here in the middleis the right way to do it, and I'm not say this always wrong. Just saying thatthis the bill fand is little bit distinguished from that. I think it's alittle bit more characteristic to a pastor's typical position. Do you thinkthat's accurate Kevin or w t how they often feel pulled of? I I see whatyou're saying over here, but I see what you're saying over here, but why can'tyou guys see that both of you have some...

...valid perspectives that can be held atthe same time? You certainly do have to do that a lot as a pastor, not thatother people don't, but I am often finding myself listen tothit you now. That's that those are true points, and sometimes you don't get to a a new breaking ground or wonderfulstatement of agreement, but simply by acknowledging you know what you you made six points there and three ofthem, I think, are right. I'm still over here disagreeing because I havesix other points that I think are right, but sometimes just to be willing tostate Ye that that's a good point. I can see that can at least helprelationally rhetorically, but of course the question is: Do we want to find that? Because itdepends on what sort of issue I'm reading through and listening to thewonderful biography by Antrew Roberts on Winston Churchill? And you know whenChurchill is wanting Britain to rearm, to fight the Nazis you're not trying tofind common ground you're, not trying to find a way to say well, you know youmay really make some good points and we make some good points. So if everyconflict that we have is that a fevered pitch of those you know reductio AdHitlarum, everyone else is Hitler. Then of course, then that is a misstep andsometimes the stakes are that high, but that's not always the best way forward.I think to what we see is tha. The nega cultural teams are soincreasingly well defined, at least intuitively and hermetically sealedfrom each other that it is like, as I'm looking at Colin, you know, he'swearing the Kansas City chiefs outfit and they beat e the browns the otherday, so it is like two teams, and so when the capital insurrection happens, the I think almost all Americans cansay that was that's a sad day that shouldn't have happened. That's that'shorrible, but there's also this instinctive tribal thing that if you'reon the left, you feel like their team, just threwh six interceptions on thatday, I mean look at what they did. This you do feel some sense of this is:Let's keep talking about this. This is good for our side and, if you're moreconservative you feel like. I can't believe this own goal that we just didthese were these were our people, even though, when you think about it, youdon't really want to own, not all of those people t the one's killing peopleand breaking in and and chanting horrible things, but when the larger cultural issues are so divided,those two things anytime. Something it's just so predictable, whether it's a mass shooting or itsriot or protest or something all the side get divided and there there isvery little, at least in the short run. It feels like to be gained by trying toacknowledge any other legitimate points on the other side and last aut here andsee what else you guys want to add. But there is a there is a question of: Should wemainly be policing our own so to speak, or ought we mainly to be warningagainst outside ISMs infiltrating into our campor our church, because both of those things are reality but your instinctsthere? So if your instinct is hey, you know what mainly conservative EvangelicalChurches are not reading critical race theory, but they may be unhelpfullydiscipled and Christian nationalism we're going to come to that. What isthat? Is that a thing? Can we define it? But let's just say: that's somethingbad. So there's one instinct that says youknow what I really need to be talking about. Is that danger? That's what's inmy churches, where someone else could also make the point say: Hey you? Don'trealize just the very world that we're living in this is the year that we'rebreathing. Everybody is picking up this, whether it's critical theory orwhatever it is so, and that may cause people to be silentin one or the other direction just sensing. Well, that's not really myfight to pick or the people I know are not really into that, but the people Isee on facebook are falling pray to...

...that other thing, and so I'm going totalk about that and because it's a big world and a big country- and we can follow anybody on social media,any one of us can, you know somewhat legitimately make the case that our wayof seeing what the major problems are are really the major problems, becauseyou can point to evidence in any of those directions. I think all of thatmakes it very hard and there just isn't the you don't often get a lot of traffic wins whatever by trying to sayyou know what they had a good point. They had a good point on some of thesecultural flashpoints and doing this sort of both and that Abigail did, buton those issues in particular, I think we need to be leading the way asChristians as say: Hey we can. We can condemn two things. At the same time,we can praise two things at the same time, even if theyre seem to be comingfrom opposite into the spectrum, anything else you guys want to add yeah,I just at the both and can be done in the way Abigail did there. At the sametime, it can also be done at different times. So, for example, you in themiddle of the riots this summer, you might have a certain message at thatpoint, and then you might have another message when we see the capital hillattack six for whatever plus months later, that can be part of the both endas well. There can be a different emphasis depending on the differentmoment, and that's why I keep bringing it back Kevin to the pastor, becausethe pastor has to be able to sense his congregations mood and what word of theLord that they need for that particular time, and sometimes there are words ofconsolation. Sometimes there are words of challenge, then sometimes ofadmonition, sometimes of encouragement. That's part of the both end as well, soit's not just that. We always go around and say t that that then becomes alittle bit of the. What about ISM, if you just say: Well: okay, yeah, I iseewhat happened on Capital Hill, but what about all the stuff that the left isdoing over here? That's not the kind of both and that I would necessarilycommend. There can be a time and a season for different messages, but allwithin the same conceptual framework of conviction. That is not content to beconfined to whatever kind of either or binariesyou're being given at that particular moment by whether it be politicians ormedia or circumstances or whatever. Just in what do you think yeah thewhole, what apot is ome question is really interesting to think through,because if nobody it's an Isam, so nobody likes being in the receiving endof it almost bng definition tat something bad. I was part of an atspanel discussion, Wot Jamarisbiand John Fee over John Fe's book John Phesa,American Historian, writing about Donald Trump, and he coined the term tocourt evangelicals and and wrote a book about how terrible it is that theEvangelical Support, Donald Trump- and I was part of the response to that- andone of his key points in the book is that Evangelikuzo support trump art aredriven by fear, and then he go a few Bible verses that show that Evangilicoshould not fear people if God should not fear anything, except God alone, agree with those in theory, but Ipointed out by response that sure seems like people who ere voting for HillaryClinton. This was before the election, so it's mainly focused on two thousandand sixteen election. You could produce lots of evidence thatthey were driven by fear. They were ffearing the Christian nationalism, thetheonomic right they were fearing presidency, so is Fer, something that'scommon to all and you're just picking on one or are you being inconsistent inepplaying that and he an his response suggested that I was engaged in whatabout ism but and it's best that can try to just pressure test whethersomebody actually holds to a principle or not or whether they're trying toscore a cheap political points. Remember another speaker, Scott Clusen,dor, talking about the pre life defense and the accusation that prolifers areinconsistent because they believe in defending the life of the unborn, butthey don't do enough to actually care for those who are bored and one of hisRy sponses was you may be right, I may be terribly inconsistent. I don't thinkI ham, I may be hypocritical and how I treateissues x and Wy, but that does not necessarily mean that I'm wrong aboutissue ats. You still have to eventually at some point get around to discussingmy argument about ISSUEX. So the whole, what about ISM thing is interesting andfrustrating at the same time.

I do think that hyppocrisy is a seriouscharge, that somebody is acting out of accordancewith what they believe. But that's not the same thing is: Have you condemnedby tweeting every single thing that is bad on the planet, that that's not thesame as hypocrisy? I just the failure to say all those things yeah. I think that's a really importantdistinction. What about ISM and if people haven'theard of that phrase it just means well what about that? When you don't want totalk about, what's going on at the moment, there's a distinction between the charge of personal, what aboutismand more principial big picture, and so, if you know SOM Creellativille ismurdering puppies and you try to speak out against it and someone says wellwhat about the Armenian genicide from a hundred years ago. So, okay, I'm! Iwasn't there, but that's bad! Well, you never talk about it. You didn'tcelebrate the ender, I'm giving an absurd example, obviously, but there'sa that. That's one sort of hey you're, just avoiding talking about what'shappening right now or trying to make this seem less severe than it is. Butthen your point is is important: Justin. It is fair to ask people well. Wherewas this moral indignation here now? Sometimes that's just a sidestep to notreally talk about it, but on a personal level it can be fair, and this is whereall of us I'm talking about the three of US and other people who may write and comment.That's not we're not mainly cultural commentators, but all of us do some ofthat. We do some of that on this podcast and when you go down that path,you set yourself up. So the more that sort of your thing is that's what you do and more and morebecause of social media. It can become anybody's thing. You do set yourself upto say now. where was this righteous indignation six months ago or six yearsago, and even when we think that we're being fair, we can look at our tone,and I know people hate that the tone police. But this is what I mean we may have spoken against one thingand we did it in a very scholarly dispassionate way, and thenwe speak about something else, and it's full on pophetic kind of shame on youor we speak against one thing, but it's very seeking to persuade and hey. I reallyhear where you're coming from- and I agree with all of these things, butjust hear me out versus seeming to be talking down to someone. So all of that is, I think, part of what comes out inthe what aboutism charge that can be legitimate on a personal institutionallevel, even if it' sometimes use as adistraction from really talking about and really condemning what needs to becondemned. Did you have something calling yeah? I had a couple people askme this week why the Gospel Coalition doesn't do more exposas, don't do moreinvestigative journalism, things like that, and I think it was probably inlight of some of what World Magazine and Christian today have done, forexample, with Robbie Zackarias, and I'm grateful for what World Magazine andChristian today have done of being able to understand those things, because Ithink people deserve to know, especially astheir donors to these ministries, about how their funds are used and how theseorganizations are governed. Things like that, so that I think those arelegitimate forms of of inquiry. But I responded and said I don't thinkorganizationally I ever could have done that without being selective mm, inother words, say something came up with somebody. The Gospel colition didn'tlike okay, an expose what if it came up withone of our own people, I'm not saying that it's some likesomebody would have been. Oh No N! No! We! My point is it's too tempting wewould have walked straight into a situation where it was wait a minute. I'm not sure we want todo that. That person might be upset or those people could be on and on and on-and I just knew at that point- we couldn't get into that situation,because it would be clearly inconsistent and that's wha and I'm soI'm grateful for what world and Christian today have also done.Sometimes in writing about some of my friends, some of our friends, some ofthe people that we've worked with before some of the people that thatwe've, U K, had had you know difficult breaking of fellowship with, but I just had to learn that was notgoing to be my particular calling because of where I am, and I have to bemindful of those temptations. So that's,...

I think, to your point, Kevin. Ifyou're going to be the cultural commentator, you're going to speak thebiblical truth about every single thing, that's happening. It is extremelytempting to only do that against certain lists of people who are notthose people who pay your bills, you're going to be extremely tempted to onlysay bad things about them, and only good things about your the people whosupport you. The more you talk, the more you sort ofput up with, but then you put of that platard of what that of what you'redoing professionally. You Walk Yourself into that situation and now to Justin'spoint earlier, because of social media were kind of all in that situation, andit induces quite a bit of stress and conflict and anxiety, and I don't thinkit's particularly healthy right. Let's use that to Segue to this Ism d,I'm going to set the clock at about ten minutes here, so we can finish by talking about some books, butChristian nationalism. We know we have someone a friend ofours at least acquaintance of Ourswho's writing a a big book on Christiannationalism. As of yet I couldn't point to somebody today, some a manifesto onit or here's the book that argues for it. So on the one hand, it seems to mestill pretty ambiguous and nebuless, but that doesn't mean ideas aren'tsometimes in that stage. What I want us to talk about, becauseit's after the the the capital riots were hearing a lot about it. Let's go around this triangle a coupleof times and let's start okay. If Christian nationalism means this and let's start with, if it means this,it's not a bad thing. I think people are using it as a bad thing. I thinkthe three of US would say yeah. It sounds like a bad thing, but just thosewords together in many people's minds wouldn't have to be so justin give usan example of. If someone out there thinks of Christian nationalism as x,then that's not what we're concerned about, and maybe this is too somplistic. Butif somebody gets tears in their eyes when they hear the National Anathem,they love America, which is where we're recording this in the United States.They have a love of country and they appreciate the the sacrifice that ismade. They think that their country is flawd but still aforce for good on the whole worldwide. So they they love their nation and they want tosee it prosper. They don't want to see it divide or turn it on itself, and theyalso want to see people come to the Lord of want to see their fellowcitizens become Christians and bow the need to the Lord Jesus Christ, so kind ofcombine that love of country and desire to see thecitizens of the country love Jesus. If that's what Christian nationalism is pretty hard to find objections to that?That's good Colin. What give us an example of something that wouldn't beproblematic would not be problematic to be able toidentify the elements of Christianity, specifically within the reformation,specifically within continuing on through the enlightenmentperiod, of how the very essence of what became the United States of America wasowing a great deal to Christianity. We don't have to say that that was theprimary or even the or certainly the exclusive force, or even that all ofthe founders were explicitly Christian or doing this because of the they wereChristians, but simply to be able to observe the particular elements ofChristianity that made the United States of America possible. For example,Kevin Shout out to you some of that Presbyterian influence on you, knownational, you, Kno, presidring, polities, influence on some of thechecks and balances, and things like that, or even just broader changes thatthe reformation had wrought that made things like liberty of conscience, morerealizable. Within that context, and specifically through the you know,through the pilgrimage of some people who ere motivated by religious reasons,now, wouldn't want to attribute that to religious freedom because they didn'tnecessarily allow religious freedom. But my point is simply if we recognizesome of the particular elements of Christianity and how they shipe theUnited States that Christian nationalism, I think, is fine, yeah and putting those two together.Then we could say if Christian Nashalsm...

...means trying to bring to bear Christianvalues and principles and be salt and light in our world. Recognizing thatthere's a creator recognizing whether from the Bible or from natural law,there is a higher authority in law to which human flourishing is made possible.When we follow that law to even have some sense of remembrance of ways in which thecountry was more discernibly Christian, now, minority, brothers and sisterswould say the good old days weren't that good. So we know there were nogolden days but to have a sense that there used to be more of a acceptable public face for Christianityin this country, and we lament that loss. All of that can be appropriate, defensible good, soChristian nationalism, just by putting those two words together, doesn't haveto be nefarious, but let's turn the corner. Now, what are some things that we want tosay? Well, if that's what Christian nationalism is, then that's a big problem and we'regoing to need to disciple people out of it or worn against it. Do you havesomething at the top of your mind? Justin Yeah. I think the identity issue is alarge one, that it's okay to identify is an American and to feel some measure ofpride in that, but when it it becomes functionally such a deep part of youridentity that it obscures our identity in Christ. I think that that becomesproblematic. Tommy Kid on our evangelical history, Blug wrote a postand he made the point in critiquing Christian nationalism about the levelof affinity that one feels with fellow believers, who might not be Americansversus somebody WHO's. An American was not a believer bred. Little John wrotea response and critiqued him to some degree, but I think there's somethingto what Tommy saying that there's a naturalness if you're in a foreigncountry and you're the only American and you spot another American, youshare some cultural commonalities and youboth speak English and you you have some shere history, and sothere's some effitit, even if you don't know each other, but the way in whichan unbeliever, you feel that with an unbeliever is different than twobelievers meeting up for the first time, there's a there's, a deeper, moreembedded, more more fundamental to our identity aspect.To that relationship that I think, should trump any commitment tonationhood. So identity would be one area. I thinkthat that we want to be really careful about, if that, if we feel moreAmerican than we do Christian, if being in America, counts more thanbeing in Christ, and I think there's warning signs of the Dashboard at thevery least that something has gone seriously wrong. Yeah. No, I agree withthat. CONN whawould, you say I'm going to stick with the foundingand say that there is a way that that element of Christian influence on thefounding can go very badly, and that would be where we identify the covenantof God with his people in the Old Testament, with a covenant that Godmakes with the the people of colonial or now the United States of America. I I think Eric Mataxis is a plentyvisible public figure that, as I relate a conversation with him, I think it's appropriate and in keepingand I've shared the story with you guys before, but it it'll probably be new toa number of listeners at a conversation in two thousand and fifteen with Eric,and my understanding with him was very different from what it would be in twothousand and twenty one and at one point in the conversation he said that at restaurant that he picked out in NewYork City. He said America is the last hope ofChristianity and I just assumed he had misspoken. Ithought he meant to say that Christian was last hope of America and he said no,I meat what I said and in fact he would go on to write a book about nationalismand Christianity. That, I think, would exemplify the problematic elements thatwe're talking about here and that we've seen a flourish in the last number ofyears and sort of reach a kind of heightened point in disturbing point with the you know, with the late trumppresidency into the transition or lack thereof, into the attacks on thecapital building. So I, if you begin to...

...see the United States incovenantalterms in divine terms, then as aricmataxes said within the at theJericho March. At that point, reality doesn't matter becauserevelation trumps. So let me add, add to that- and I think you guys would agree with theseand that's helpful Colin, I'm just jotting down a few words so more theological. If Christiannationalism is a less sophisticated form of theonomy. I would find that problematic, theonomy,arguing that the old testament laws are giving us a blue print for what amodern nation state should do that. It's God's law and therefore thatshould be enshrined. I think when I hear voices on the left and they'vebeen saying this for thirty years or more fearing a great Theana theanomictakeover. Do you want to say there aren't that many of them are around? You could have everyreformed Presbyterian takeover and it's not very many of them comparatively. SoI think the threats of that are overblown, but if that's the TDEVISION, I have problemswith that theologically more sociologically, and this is getting towhat you sit about identity. I do fear that Christian nationalism, if thatembraces a grievance culture victimization, that's that this isabout our identity, as the aggrieved party at in many of those people wouldbe critical about minorities for doing that, and viceversa. So there's a race. Sometimes I mean like iy foot race to find thehighest aggrieved status and to the degree that Christian nationalism is aform of expressing were the ones who are put upon we're the ones who arepersecuted. I don't think that's helpful, even ifit were demonstrably too true and it's not demonstrbibly. True, we've talkedabout before one of the things that you get living in in country, that's Almostfif, fiftypolitically or maybe Fort Fort Twenty is some people say or forty five. Fortyfive ten is that you have vast lasts of people who are convinced that they areone step away from mortal extinction and that those opposite them pose andexistential threat. So everyone can feel like they're losing at the sametime, and I think, movements on the right or the left thatare motivated by those sort of identity, politics and grievance now don't say, aboutl legitimate. Yes,we protest against injustice for suffering, but to make that youridentity, I think, is going to be problematic and then I'll, just bangthe drum on this one more time and that's inappropriate. Here's what Ithink we need. We need in appropriate appraisal and use of the spiritualityof the church. Now that is for Boatan in some circles, because it was used in the nineteen century by some todefense, slavery to say: Hey the church is spiritual institution. We don't needto take a stance on slavery, but Charles Hodge and others said No. TheBible does speak directly to some issues, but it doesn't speak directlyto others, and so when, when I see that the political sphere and theecclesiastical sphere seemed to be having almost completely overlappingcircles and one is using the symbolism of the other and vice versa- thenthat's very problematic. I mean there's almost nothing in the gospels, morefrequently misunderstood than the nature of Christ, kingdom, that it isan not an earthly political kingdom. It may have earthly and politicalramifications to say Jesus's Lord, but it is a heavenly kingdom one that'scoming and one that has already come and constantly they're wanting to makeJesus king by force. The violen try to take the kingdom by forse and JesusSays No, that that's not the sort of kingdom that we're about here. So I dothink at root. There are often theological issues and I wouldencourage any pastors or other Christian leaders out there to try toget at some of these issues theologically rather than just politicallysociologically. So when I hear much consternation about Christiannationalism- and this will wrap up this...

...conversation on this point- I just wantto both encourage and caution people. I guess the caution is: Let's make surewe know what we're talking about and provide some definition, and thenthe encouragement is yea. There are real dangers out there for those of us who, for lack of abetter term, are conservative folks to sense, and we need to be honest thatit's not always just the bad guys out there, but sometimes we have realthings in our camp and we need to try to be thoughtful about them. So I hopethat thethere, there is more that is written on this. That has a good historical,philosophical, Theological Lens, either to agree or disagree with, becausethat's one of the real benefits of having things in writing is it's mucheasier to do analysis and say what you agree and disagree with where atpresent it feels like Christian nationalism is either a very genuinethreat that we ought to be concerned about, or it's a slur to just put over.Anybody who voted a different way or doesn't thinkexactly as we do all right. Let's end on a cheery note and talk about some books. What books have you been reading in thepast week week month, two months over since lasttime we met, give some books and if you have a book, whether you've beenreading it or not, but if you have a book either on race, especially mlk Wowe're, recordingthis on the mlk holiday and or abortion. Of course, those two things usuallyfall in the same week: Sanctity of life and the Rovi weigt anniversary, so some books you've been reading in thelast month or so, and in addition to that, you have any greatrecommendations on those two perennial topics: Justin Yeah, so on maybe disstart withthe second one. First on abortion. If any listeners are out there, Scott CLUSENDWARF THAs name starts witha K. Cluson Dorf, I wont try to spell the whole thing, but his book thatcrossway publishes on making a case for life, I think, is the bestintroduction like if you don't know where to begin you've, never reallystudied it. Want some tactics to use whan to clarify what you think in yourown mind, I think that's the best entry level book and then Francis Beck with defending life is a sophisticated sortof college to graduate level study onabortion. That, I think, is just it's a sort of writing that just will make you abetter thinker, making more logical, making more clear, Makeyou moreinformed on race. Georgeagance's book, I think, is, is even handed and thoughtful he's anAfricanamerican evengiical sociologist n Bean Raca Ga looking forward to IsaacAdams Book that will be coming out in two thousand and twenty one which Ihaven't read s I've seen a preview of such iland Lans as well yeah, I didn'tknow about Shilen Wrot, a book for Moody Press, but that looks like it'scoming out within the next month or so. But I would encourage people to readagain king's letter from Birmingham jail,writine thousand nine hundred and sixty three draws heavily upon the CRIChristian tradition and the atural law, and I think it's just such a beautifuland important document, not only historically, but it continues to speakto us today in terms of what I'm reading my parents for Christmas gave me athousand page biography of Abraham, Lincoln called am by David Reynolds and sometime is Abraham Lincoln in histimes, and he points out that there have been sixteen thousand biographiesstudies of wlowing him that have been written. Some more books can exist thanany other thing ere in history other than Jesus, and his is the first of thesixteenhsand. That's a cultural biography, so he's into culturalbography has written ones of Walt Whitmen and others johb Brown, Ibelieve, but he's seeking to put Lincoln in his time so three hundredpages into that and plouing through that, slowly and learning a lot and andenjoying it in terms of Christian books, Gerald Brae, the attributes of God just trying to try to make my way through books likethat. Just very slowslowly just read an...

...attropue to day and ATCARG novels book. Forty questionsabout the end times has been on my shelf for many years and ascatology. Ithink I've wrinte one book all the way through the Bible in the future bytAnthony Hocam on escatolog and is just one that I end up avoiding you knowwhat is what is the thunder of the earthquakeand the seals and the bowls and all those things represent and it'sthat's a topic. That's just easyfor me to put off. So I really like the forty question series that Krego pooksputs out, because you can read just one section at a time, a few pages and learn something and just make my waythrough it. Slowly so there's big books where I'm trying to plough through alarger book and then there's books where I'm just taking a page or two ata time when I've got a break, or you know, sitting in traffic that thosesort of things all right, I'll mention some books I'll start with a book that I doubt very many peoplehave heard of. But I read it several years ago and found it helpful by IsmalHernandez. It's called not tragically colored freedom, personhood in therenewal of black America and it was published, I think, by ACTON OT, agrand rapid so that it has more of a conservative vent. But I found it to be a helpful different.Look at some of the questions that continue to be devil us here on race,and I also mentioned tha. I just assumedone of you would the Taylor branch volumes on Mlk and- and you can get thethe one slim single volume- a couple hundred pages on the king years, andthat would be his good history to read on abortion, one I've written on mythis on my blog years ago, but I think it's helpful to just think about. I wasto mentioned Clusen Dort. But if you want to just know more about the rowdecision, Clark, foresightsbook abuse of discretion explores many of themyths surrounding the road decision. So that's a helpful book and what I'mreading? I have four books that I've finished in two thousand and twenty oneso far and very different kind of books, Russell Kerks, concise, guide toconservatism. I may write about this on my blog, so if you want just a hundredpages on a thinker from the twentieth century, on conservatism,that's good the myth of the lost cause by EdwardLone Kemper, the third. So if you want to some, it is the name why the Saut,the south, fought the civil war and why the North on so this is definitelyagainst the lost cause. I've read some books from the Los Cause side of things,but if you want just a clear it's very laid out in you knowseveral chapters, what slavery about to die out wasslavery. The primary cause of sucession was Robert elee, one of the greatestgenerals in history. I'm not saying that you will agree with everything inhere and I would have to read more history to see if I agreed witheverything but t very clearly laid out in an interesting book. I also read thebiography of Ger Hardis Voss by Danny Ollinger, sorry Danny. If Imisspronounce your last name, always loves, read biographies of some of ourreformed, Orpresen r Mahe's, a big listener of LB, is he podcast? No, I noprobably not. I don't know ysays an OPC pastor. He might be. I haven't him. Yes,H is give us a shoutout, okay, your hardest foss, so that was enjoyable andthen these are sort of my my fun reading. Wellall of them are fun, but Iam I've read through so many kind of productivity books, and I got this oneColin from one of the TGC end of yeur lists. I forgot who mentioned it butmake time how to focus on what matters every day, Jake NAPP and John Zeratsky.It's a very quick, easy reed. It has littlepictures simple book and you're not going to put into into your daily rhythm. All the youknow, sxy seventy suggestions here, but if you read abook like that and you get three or four that stick with you yeah, I thinkit's worth reading. So that's what I've been doing and I'm on to some other bigger historybooks now Colin well. My reading has changed in two thosandand twenty one and it'll be changed for the foreseeable future. I havesomeyou're going through touritin. That would be a change yeah. It would be aatic change, see if I can drop hints throughout theyear. I've embarked on the most ambitioussort of writing project of my career to...

...this point, and so a lot of my readingis concentrated on that, and I mean I do have a bunch of otherbooks going but they're you know th, I'm there I'mtheres going to be slow,so I'll save those for a fewture PSOS. So I have something to talk about so myfirst two weeks so far heralds of the King Christ, centered sermons in thetradition of Edmund P, clowny edited by Dennit Johnson, also ve been working myway through for Christ ind the university, the story of EnniversityChristian Fellowship the USA, one thousand nine hunded, nd R, onethousandnine hundred and ninety Keith and Gladis Hunt. Let that not be the onlybook on University that I'm reading C safety, woods and the emagelicalrediscovery at the university by a Denald mccloud and then also I' beenworking my way through actually wrapp this up moral, believing animals, humanpersonhood and culture by Christian Smith. So if you can use those puzzlepieces, you can begin to guess as to what I'm working on. I do, though, alsowith because of my gospel bound podcast. Ido have an opportunity to be talking with a bunch of different authors andso a couple that I'm that I'm interested in and that I wrapped up twothousand and twenty reading Thaddeus Williams book confronting in justicewithout compromising truth. Twelve questions Christian should ask aboutsocial justice, I'm talking to him soon and then this it 's a little bit off the beaten path,but mines wid to shut how the new fundamentalisms divide us by Gary Sau,Morson and Mordi Shapiro Old College, Professor and University President F, my Almamater,I'm pretty sure they would consider us all to be the fundamentalists that theywrite against in the book, which is part of why. I want to interview themand yet nevertheless I was pretty astounded by how much they attacked theleft, and I thought that's not easy these days for university president toreally attack the left for its increasing fundamentalism and to usethat terminology to refer to socialists and communists and all kindof left, dist activists and and a robust defense of the free market- andI just didn't think, didn't think President Shipero had it in him to dothat, so I'm hopingly I'll get to talk to themfor Gospel, bound, we'll see it's great. I also read the new biography of RCsproll by our friends, Steve Nichols which crossway is publishing coming outin the next couple of months and Steve's, going to be a guest on thepodcast. I'm really looking forward to that. That was, that was really fun. Toread. Justin Colin good to see your glistening faces here, good to be withyou all and grateful for our listeners, and if you have questions topics thingsyou are interested in us talking about, certainly feel free to send an email orcommunicate through one of the channels. We do take a look at that and try to we.We want to give what the people want within reason, but good to be with youand thanks for listening. So until next time or if I got enjoy him forever andread a good book.

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