Friday, March 08, 2019

Battle for the future

There's currently a debate going on inside and outside evangelicalism. One group includes SJWs like Thabiti, Kyle Howard, Anthony Bradley, and Jemar Tisby.

On the opposing side, there's a group consisting of church leaders like John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, James White, and Tom Ascol. 

Straddling these two groups are some major players in the SBC and PCA, viz. Russell Moore, Albert Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Daniel Akin, JD Greear, David Platt, Matt Chandler, Wade Burleson. Darrell Bock is another fence-straddler. 

That's complemented by some figures in TGC, viz.

However, that's offset by culture warriors Joe Carter as well. 

There are folks like Beth Moore who have their own coterie. And there's some overlap among the fence-straddlers. 

On the outside, there are ordinary Americans who generally support the Trump administration as a bulwark against the secular progressives.   

There are pundits at NRO. 

There are Jewish culture warriors like Michael Brown, Ben Shapiro, Ben Stein, Jay Sekulow, John Feinberg, Mark Levin, Michael Medved, Dennis Prager, David Horowitz, and even Alan Dershowitz on a good day.  

There are freelance culture warriors like Robert Gagnon. 

Somewhere in the motley crew is Jordan Peterson and Steven Crowder, not to mention the old-guard (Rush Limbaugh). 

There's a Catholic contingent, viz. Robert George, Ryan Anderson, and Ross Douthat on a good day. 

It even includes homosexuals like Dave Rubin and Milo Yiannopoulos.

There are public intellectuals like Roger Scruton and Thomas Sowell. 

Less well-known are rising stars like Neil Shenvi, Tim Dukeman, Berny Belvedere, and Tim Hsiao.

These diverse groups form rotating coalitions. I should hasten to add that some of these I watch or read, but others I've read about. I know some of them by reputation, so I don't claim that my classifications are equally well-informed in every instance. 

The concern of many laymen is the spectacle of conservative denominations becoming infiltrated by the progressive body-snatchers. For instance, Russell Moore is an excellent candidate for a pod person. Would a genetic test turn up alien DNA? 

There are unbridgeable chasms between some of these groups. There is, however, a potential albeit partial alliance between two disparate groups. One the one hand, many blacks are deeply suspicious of the law enforcement culture. On the other hand, it's my impression that many young white guys share that suspicion. Now, there are different grounds for that suspicion. In the case of some blacks, it's based on a Black Lives Matter narrative. In the case of some whites, it's based on libertarian ideology. Both groups feel the system is against them. And this includes Tech giants a well as government.

In addition, the emerging scandal of Ivy League colleges that systematically discriminate against Asian applicants may galvanize some politically apathetic Asian-Americans or turn them against the liberal establishment. 


  1. Now that the Democrats are making excuses for out-and-out antisemitism, we may start to see more jewish liberals jumping ship. Not that they'll necessarily go running into the arms of conservatives or libertarians - but now that I'm seeing Dershowitz show up on more and more conservative platforms, who knows?

    1. I'm not so sure. Antisemitimism transcends party politics, and there are likeminded morons on the right too. And not just the extreme right. Antisemitism might as well be as old as prostitution. It's here to stay. Why should an avowed Democrat abandon *their* principles because of stupid/unthinking morons with the ranks?

      I can understand Jews *within* the Democratic Party abandoning their position *in the party*. But abandoning one's political principles is not so straightforward.

  2. There are other odd alliances starting to form. For example, some gays, lesbians, and feminists are siding with more conservative elements against the transsexual pressure against gender distinctions.

    What I think we are witnessing is the start of the realignment of the ideological systems by breaking them down, re-prioritizing them, and realigning them based on the newer priorities. This can be seen in the diverse array of persuasive ideological forces. Also witness how the two traditional big tents of liberals and conservatives are at odds internally. Among "liberals" progressives and socialists are at odds. Serious tensions between Muslims and Jews are rising. It's not like Islam is in any way compatible with moral libralism anyway. The old-school conservatives that have been putting up with RINOs in the Republican ranks over a sense of party propriety for the sake of a unified vote on at least the big issues are at odds with the Trump populists. Religious conservatives and atheist conservatives are starting to have a distaste for each other since each one comes to political conservatism for completely different reasons and those reasons are being tested against the challenges of liberal moral activism in each branch of government.

  3. Some female pro athletes are beginning to rise up.

  4. It's a strange world we live in. One constantly feels the urge to pinch oneself. Is what is happening really happening?

    The following thoughts are going to appear random and disconnected, much like your post appears, Steve. (That's not a criticism. As far as I can tell, apart from one query I have which I'll come to, your short summary is very accurate.) It is utterly impossible not to represent the ridiculously jumbled current political atmosphere in a way that does not appear random and disconnected (to old school conservative and labour/democratic party types). Our former selves of perhaps no less than 15-20 years ago would read our current evaluations of the contemporary political climate and think we have lost the plot.

    1. People like MacArthur, Johnson and White are to my mind heroes in the current climate, where the 'progessive' narrative has infiltrated what ought to be sensible Christian institutions. This sort of thing should *not* make them heroes, but given their sensible/orthodox views are so unpopular among professing Christians, and given the demonisation of them from *within* Christianity, where the outside/worldly lunatic culture has entered the church, then yes, they are bloody heroes.

    2. It is striking that on both sides of the drink there is a tension between the 'progressive left' and the old, socialist left. In Britain there still exists many, many old school socialist people (I have a good few such friends) who remain extremely patriotic, are bewildered by the current 'progressive' lunacy, and utterly detest the EU... I could expand on the contrasts, but it highlights what we are faced with. I now have more in common with them politically (given the current climate) than I do with so-called conservatives ('progressives' within the ranks who no nothing about proper conservatism). It's topsy-turvy. I used to enjoy arguing with my misguided socialist pals, and vice versa. The lunatics have taken away our enjoyment. No more robust political debate; we're now joined in battling 'progressives' from inside both our camps. I need a ton of aspirin.

    3. Within conservatism we have somewhat disparate figures. More disparate than ever. But I find that to be a largely positive thing (contrasted with the stuffy old British conservative types who used to make up the norm), and is in no significant way divisive to political and philosophical conservatism, unless you are a snob.

    Scruton, whose conservatism largely mirrors my own (in fact, technically/pedantically, my conservatism largely mirrors his, since much of my conservatism owes itself to this giant of a conservative thinker) and Milo (providing he is behaving himself!) on the same platform would make for a feast of intellectual and philosophical conversation.

    4. Finally, Steve, I have to ask, what makes you think Bkack Lives Matter would potentially ally with disenchanted white libertarians/conservatives? Ironically, it is the whites who can truly point to intimidation and suppression of views (deplatforming, etc.), yet do you think for one minute that BLM would grant/acknowledge this? Surely such a suppression is an impossibility, right? :)

    Well, I said this would be random/disconnected!

  5. Steve, this is a great overview.