What Our Cultural Artifacts Say to Us and About Us

Cultural artifacts are particularly effective in making ideas seem normal. Huge advertisements at cosmetics stores like Sephora portray young men dressed provocatively in women’s clothing and covered in makeup. Boarding most Delta flights requires walking past an image of a same-sex couple cuddled up in premium economy.

Without using a single word, cultural artifacts can communicate ideas not merely about what counts as normal behavior but about what it means to be human. In essence, Sephora is telling our sons and daughters that “the way we know a boy is a girl is that he is dressed provocatively and covered in makeup.” What message does that send if not to be a woman is to be like this

Putting Men in Women’s Prisons: A Social Experiment That Should Never Have Happened

Making prison safer for everyone, including people who identify as transgender, is a goal worthy of any civilized society, one of the great causes in the life and ministry of Chuck Colson, and grounded only in Christian history. At the same time, the safety of some should never come at the expense of others, especially the most vulnerable. Just yesterday, that was common sense.

No matter our ideals, reality remains. Biology is not a social construct. Rather, it is hardwired into reality. Reality does not disappear because some alter their appearance or claim new pronouns, nor does the tendency of lawless men to victimize women change because we’ve committed ourselves to made-up new virtues such as “inclusion.” This should be especially obvious.

Earth Crammed with Heaven: God's Glorious Works

There’s more to the world around us than its material stuff. Much more. Meaning, revelation, and mind are behind everything we see because it was all made by God for His glory. There are no “ordinary things”—certainly not in the sense that materialists imagine.

What the President Said About Millions of Americans

By linking opposition to the Respect for Marriage Act to (rightly) ostracized ideas like racism, advocates, like the president, are setting the stage for leveraging hate crime legislation and other cultural tools to criminalize dissent. For those who assured us otherwise, this is a step beyond what Obergefell v. Hodges imposed. In that opinion, Justice Kennedy assured us that good people could disagree. On Tuesday, the president assured us that no good person could disagree.

Who Knows Best? The Push to Replace Parents

In internet lingo, to “say the quiet part out loud” means to reveal one’s true intentions or motives that were supposed to remain publicly unsaid. Recently, a couple of prominent organizations that deal with children have “said the quiet part out loud” when talking about parental rights.

What it Means to Be on the Front Lines

A feature of life today is how quickly culture changes. That can leave many Christians, even those with a strong personal faith, struggling to make the connections between what is true, real, and good and how to think about all the issues that seem to barrage us. What Christians need is a strong public faith, one that provides clarity and meaning.

Mary's Magnificat: The Wait Is Over

Today, we do not wait for the Messiah to bring salvation. We wait for the Messiah to return, when He will reveal Himself fully as King and restorer of all creation. Like Mary’s understanding of His first coming was shaped by the larger story of God’s promises, so too our Advent disciplines and Christmas celebrations can only be properly understood in light of a bigger story. Soon enough, like Mary, we’ll burst into song at the news of Christ invading this world.  

What's the Surprise? A Fashion Brand Sexualizes Children

The world of high fashion is strange. Turning heads and calling it “art” is nothing new, but there are lines that even the edgiest refuse to cross. In November, the Paris-based fashion brand Balenciaga released back-to-back ad campaigns featuring blatant references to child pornography, violence, and sadomasochism. One featured a toddler holding a stuffed animal dressed in sexual clothing. In another, a child lies on a couch surrounded by wine glasses. To remove all doubt about Balenciaga’s intentions, a final photo featured a purse partially covering a printed Supreme Court opinion from United States v. Williams, a case that dealt with child pornography and the First Amendment.

George MacDonald and the Christian Imagination

Tomorrow, December 10, is the anniversary of the birth of a man regarded as the father of modern fantasy literature, someone who profoundly influenced writers such as G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis. Though the writing of pastor and author George MacDonald often lacked theological precision, his legacy includes inspiring some of the most important Christian fiction of all time. Like Tertullian and Origen, fathers of the faith whose theology veered away, at times, from orthodoxy, the bulk of MacDonald’s work has served to enliven the Christian faith of future generations.

Is Social Justice Killing Science? Why We Need to Define "Truth"

Today, the pursuit of truth in the natural sciences is increasingly eclipsed by the tyranny of political correctness, and some frustrated scientists are crying foul. In early November, in fact, over 150 professors and scholars gathered at Stanford University to talk about the growing threats to the scientific enterprise and to academic freedom.