Archives For Editorial


Love, Truth, and Conversation:
The Way Forward


C. Christopher Smith


The following is an editorial that will appear in the
Advent 2017 issue of our quarterly magazine.

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“The US is experiencing a deep epistemic breach, a split not just in what we value or want, but in who we trust, how we come to know things, and what we believe we know — what we believe exists, is true, has happened and is happening.”
– David Roberts, America is Facing An Epistemic Crisis,


One of the most unsettling realities of Donald Trump’s presidency is his apparent assault on the institutions by which American society has traditionally measured and assessed truthfulness – particularly the institutions of science and freedom of the press. A cynic might posit that these institutions, and the truths that they uncover in the course of their work, might be taken as a threat to the interests of global corporations. Climate change, for instance, poses a threat to the coal and petroleum industries, and perhaps to a lesser extent the automotive industry and all its ancillaries. Undermine a society’s tools for discerning truth, the logic goes, and darkness prevails, along with all those who profit from darkness.

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The new Lent 2017 ERB print issue has been mailed recently…

Featuring interviews with Dorothy Day’s granddaughter Kate Hennessy and author Tish Harrison Warren, reviews and articles by Andy Whitman, C. Christopher Smith, David Wright, and Elizabeth Dark, two new poems by Marci Rae Johnson, reviews of new books by Makoto Fujimura, George Saunders, Roxane Gay, and MORE.
Click the cover image above to view a larger version.



I’ve had several people go out of their way to say that they appreciated my editorial for this issue, so I thought I’d reprint it here…


I write this editorial mere days before the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. I’m less than excited about the prospect of a president so impetuous and unprepared to take the helm of our nation. Who knows what will happen? Will the Trump presidency rapidly implode from one of the many scandals that seem to follow in his wake? Will he finish off the American nation that is already deeply fragmented and on the verge of collapse? And, of course, there are many other, less dramatic, ways in which this presidency might play out.

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[ This is not something that we have done before, but given the boldness of John Piper’s recent remarks that Christianity must have “a masculine feel,” (LGT: Scot’s McKnight’s summary) I felt compelled to post my editorial for our forthcoming print issue here, as it is a response to Piper that states in no uncertain terms that we do not share his vision of the Kingdom of God. ]

As I sit down to write this editorial,

the internet has been abuzz for the last couple of weeks over John Piper’s recent comments that Christianity must necessarily have “a masculine feel.” I do not want to demonize John Piper, and even here at Englewood Christian Church, we bear the baggage of a long history of thinking and abiding in a masculine-dominated fashion similar to that described by Piper.  However, we must be clear, this sort of patriarchy is a part of the old older of things that is passing away.  The Kingdom of God is a new order in which there is no Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female (Gal. 3:28).  Paul’s point in this passage, as he makes clear in the latter part of the same verse, is not that we should deny these characteristics, but that in Christ’s new creation, they no longer serve to divide us.  Jesus put it more directly, his way was not one of domination (Matt. 20:25-28).

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