Tag Archives: conservatism

The Lord is God (still)

The Lord is God (still)

As conservatives, it can be easy to grow discouraged. There are very few of us. It seems that all of American Christianity (sorry, David de Bruyn) is abandoning the way of worship that we understand to be reverent. The good, the  true, and the beautiful rarely brings in an audience. Our churches are shrinking. Fundamentalism… Continue Reading

Why do we think new is better?

Why do we think new is better?

New and improved! Fresh! The latest! Exciting! You don’t have to go far in our society today to witness claims of having the newest, latest product. One would not think of buying something old, stale, and “so yesterday.” This applies to commercial products that are marketed by clever advertisers, but, unfortunately, it also often applies… Continue Reading

The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk

The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk

This entry is part 9 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“In the United States at this time Liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition,” Lionel Trilling famously declared in 1950. There was truth in what Trilling said, but not the whole truth. Three years later a young professor from Michigan State University conceded, “For a century and a half, conservatives… Continue Reading

Cultural skepticism, the opposite of worldliness

Cultural skepticism, the opposite of worldliness

Conservatism will have little attraction for those who fail to be skeptical of their own culture. The skepticism of which I speak must run deep; there is a sort of piecemeal skepticism that is insufficient for the task. A pack of these two-bit skeptics is currently busy occupying various cities. It is comparatively unusual for… Continue Reading

On being elitist

On being elitist

Those who advocate conservatism in worship become accustomed to accusations of elitism. This comparison is employed for several reasons. We are elitists, it is alleged, because we advocate styles of worship that are associated with Western high culture: the music we would use in worship is more commonly played at symphony hall than anywhere else,… Continue Reading

The conservatism of the normative principle

The conservatism of the normative principle

At this year’s Conference on Conservative Christianity (which concluded Tuesday), Steve Thomas of Huron Baptist Church made a point in one of his sessions that I found remarkably insightful. Most of those attending the conference would either embrace the regulative principle of worship outright, or would advocate something very much like the regulative principle. The… Continue Reading

The Relationship between Cultural Conservatism and Theological Conservatism

The Relationship between Cultural Conservatism and Theological Conservatism

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Preserving the Truth in our Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

What I have described in this series is nothing more than historic conservative Christianity—Christianity that aims at conserving God’s truth both doctrinally and aesthetically. It is popular today to speak deridingly about “cultural conservatism” vs. “theological conservatism.” Most evangelicals and increasing numbers of fundamentalists claim that cultural conservatism is at best unnecessary and at worst legalistic. For example, Mark… Continue Reading

Knowing and Loving God

Knowing and Loving God

The free course being offered this June at Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis should be of particular interest to readers of this blog. It is true that space in the course is limited, and that enrollment priority will be given to those who want to take the course for credit. Because of this, we’re… Continue Reading

Conservative Christians will be committed to worship forms that have been nurtured within the community of faith

Conservative Christians will be committed to worship forms that have been nurtured within the community of faith

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Defining Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In order to conserve transcendent ideas about God, conservatives are committed to worship regulated by God’s Word, and they are also committed to discerning between true religious affections and mere physical appetites in worship. Such discernment is difficult, however, because all of us are products of our culture. If a distinction between religious affections and… Continue Reading

Conservative Christians will be committed to worship regulated by the Word of God

Conservative Christians will be committed to worship regulated by the Word of God

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Defining Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

If, as I have suggested, Christian conservatism stands upon two primary pillars (a commitment to align one’s ideas with transcendent absolutes that are rooted in God himself and a commitment to preserve those traditions that have best expressed those transcendent ideas), then we may draw at least four very important implications for Christian worship. If you’ve wondered… Continue Reading

Conservative Pillar II: Nurturing Tradition

Conservative Pillar II: Nurturing Tradition

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Defining Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Christian conservatism stands upon two primary pillars: 1) a commitment to align one’s ideas with transcendent absolutes that are rooted in God himself; and, 2) a commitment to preserve those traditions that have best expressed those transcendent ideas. In this essay I will explore the second of these twin pillars. In order to understand the… Continue Reading

Conservative Pillar I: Transcendent Absolutes

Conservative Pillar I: Transcendent Absolutes

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Defining Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I have suggested that the twin pillars of conservatism are 1) an affirmation of transcendent absolute principles of truth, goodness, and beauty; and 2) a commitment to conserve those institutions and forms that best reflect a recognition and respect for this transcendent order. In this post I will examine the first of these pillars. A… Continue Reading

Sola Scriptura and Form: Introduction

Sola Scriptura and Form: Introduction

This entry is part of 4 in the series Sola Scriptura and Form You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Dr. Matt Olson, president of Northland International University, opened a recent sermon on music thus: “What about the music? You know, it’s interesting, as we dive into this discussion: I don’t find one verse in the entire New Testament that addresses the style of music, and that’s usually where our controversy is.” I highlight Dr.… Continue Reading

What does it mean to be “conservative”?

What does it mean to be “conservative”?

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Defining Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The term “conservative” gets thrown around a lot, but do people really know what it means? We’ve progressed to the point, even among those who have a heritage in fundamentalism, where “conservative” is considered a bad word; something extra-biblical, un-biblical, and even anti-biblical. For example, a pastor from Arizona wrote the following on September 26,… Continue Reading

New authors will begin regularly posting on this site

New authors will begin regularly posting on this site

I’m excited to announce that beginning next Monday, October 25, this site will be adding four additional regular authors to our article lineup. Up until now, I have written most of the articles published regularly on this site, with occasional guest contributors. Beginning next week however, we are adding four more regular authors: On Mondays,… Continue Reading

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 7

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 7

This entry is part of 7 in the series A Theology of Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

If God does indeed imbue creation with his own value judgments, we are obligated to order our loves in analogy to his. If what I’m arguing is true, we are blameworthy, not only when we believe mistakenly (and thereby do not conform to God’s knowledge of himself or of his creation), but also when we… Continue Reading

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 6

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 6

This entry is part of 7 in the series A Theology of Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In this series, we are establishing a theological foundation for conservatism, specifically the objective nature of aesthetic judgments. See part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here, and part 5 here. In the same way, the aseity of God is the ground for meaningful aesthetic judgment. We are now in position to draw parallels… Continue Reading

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 5

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 5

This entry is part of 7 in the series A Theology of Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In this series, we are establishing a theological foundation for conservatism, specifically the objective nature of aesthetic judgments. See part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, and part 4 here. The aseity of God is the ground for knowledge. The narrative of the Fall demonstrates that attempted neutrality denies, at the outset, the possibility that the Christian… Continue Reading

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 4

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 4

This entry is part of 7 in the series A Theology of Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In this series, we are establishing a theological foundation for conservatism, specifically the objective nature of aesthetic judgments. See part 1 here, part 2 here, and part 3 here. Sin is a rejection of the aseity of God. The theology of the aseity of God may well seem utterly abstract; to combat that misperception, I’d like… Continue Reading

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 3

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 3

This entry is part of 7 in the series A Theology of Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In this series, we are establishing a theological foundation for conservatism, specifically the objective nature of aesthetic judgments. See part 1 here and part 2 here. Implications of God’s aseity The world derives its meaning by virtue of its being revealed by God. Before the beginning, God alone was. And God created all things, and everything… Continue Reading