When most people think of free markets, their first inclinations do not usually fall to their recent trip to the grocery store or to a conversation they had at the farmers market. Many instead characterize free enterprise as an engine of exploitation and inequality for the middle class and believe the system is fueled by greed. However, this caricature of free markets overlooks that the driver of free enterprise is not greed, but relationships of trust.
The decline of church attendance among millennials is a framing issue of the modern world, reflective of the changing structure for our society. To understand the drop in church affiliation among millennials, which is viewed as a symptom of the increasing secularization of America, most research has focused on personal barriers or the internal reasons 18- to 29-year-olds choose not to attend church. Yet the decay of the church in America is a two-sided issue.
The recently concluded impeachment proceedings involving President Donald J. Trump have prompted many opinions and observations, some less valid or less accurate than others. Americans, and indeed all of humanity, display a continual willingness to believe that their own circumstances are the most extraordinary or unique in history. This accounts for the many references plastered across social media and the internet characterizing President Trump’s impeachment as the “ugliest,” “least fair,” or “most political” in United States history. Such characterizations are consistent with other political rhetoric demonizing President Trump (or President Barack Obama, during his tenure) as the “worst” or “most corrupt” president of all 45 to date.
The disarray of post-graduate life left me in existential and theological angst. Why was transitioning to working full time in a city of opportunity at my dream first job so difficult and spattered with discontentment? Why were all of my friends, also working jobs that they had long desired, in the same boat? I had read a series of books, poems, blogs, etc. to piece together a grounded theological understanding of work. But I continued to flounder in tensions without the language for why the post-graduate transition is hard, and work is hard, yet both are good.
According to a prominent 2010 study, almost 20 million people in America have been convicted of a felony and a third of them have served time in prison. Thus, with such a large number of Americans that have been through the prison system, it is puzzling that there is not more discussion within the church about how to help support those affected by crime and incarceration.
“When we fight you, we make sure you can’t get away.” This is the message then-revolutionary leader Mao Tse-tung wanted his enemies to hear. Yet Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of the Chinese Nationalists, found this rival of his to be a fool. A military man with rigid, formulaic strategy proven to succeed, Chaing’s forces found Mao’s scattered troops comical. And yet, we all know Mao’s name today as China’s “Great Chairman” and the founder of the great power we observe today.
It comes as no surprise that the development of germline gene editing (GGE) strains the issue of individual choice almost beyond conception. Should we permanently program our descendant’s genes to be HIV/AIDS, cystic fibrosis, or Huntington’s resistant? Should we become masters of evolution and liberate the human race from acute forms of suffering? Generations can answer ‘no’ until the end of time, but a ‘yes’ is needed to grant permanence.
What is the goal of Christian public life? How should Christians engage in societies, political systems, and cultures that are, in some cases, antagonistic to the core principles of our faith? Do we set ourselves apart? Do we assimilate? Do we actively engage and seek to transform?
Grant Seiter was a 2018-2019 Young Scholar Awards Program recipient. He is currently a senior at Baylor University, majoring in economics and finance. An increasing number of American pastors such as Ed Young, Rick Warren, and Joel Osteen have amassed sizeable incomes...