Tag "Philip Rieff"

Expressive Individualism: Our Twenty-First Century American Ba’al

During the middle of the twentieth century, the great German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote that the Western world was a “world come of age,” by which he did not intend a compliment; he meant that Westerners had learned to manage life without reference to God and that life without God is deeply unhealthy for individuals [ Read More ]

America’s Rotten Elite (What They’ve Done and How We Can Resist Them)

These days, many Americans reject strong forms of religion. Christianity, in particular, is often embraced only in weak forms or as a mere tool for social and cultural transformation; the more muscular and biblical forms of Christianity are often ignored or rejected. Additionally, individuals are more attentive to images than to words and are addicted [ Read More ]

Fifteen Exemplary Conservatives

Recently, I undertook a rereading of The Essential Russell Kirk. Among the many treasures I rediscovered was his essay, “Ten Exemplary Conservatives,” a sketch of ten conservatives Kirk admired. By “conservative,” he did not mean committed to some ideology but rather persons who exhibited a “longing for order and permanence, in the person and in [ Read More ]

A Theological Sickness unto Death: Philip Rieff’s Prophetic Analysis of our Secular Age

The great American sociologist Philip Rieff (1922–2006) stands as one of the 20th century’s keenest intellectuals and cultural commentators. Rieff did sociology on a grand scale—sociology as prophecy—diagnosing the ills of Western society and offering a prognosis and prescription for the future. Although he was not a Christian, his work remains a great gift—even if [ Read More ]

Powerful Witness from a Position of Weakness

The past decade in American politics has caused evangelical Christians to realize the extent to which we have been decentered socially, culturally, and politically. While we have seen some incremental progress in our advocacy for the pro-life position, we are experiencing consistent regression on other significant issues, such as religious liberty, human dignity, race relations, [ Read More ]