Technology, the Body, and the Church

When God made the heavens and earth, he reached into the dust to form, mold, and create a body, and then breathed life into its nostrils through his Spirit (Gen. 2:7; compare with John 20:22). When he created man, male and female, he declared a judicial verdict over them: “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). The Goodness of Embodied Existence The fact that God pronounced his creation very good means that man, in both body and soul, is a good thing. But ever since the Fall, sinful human beings have sought to disassociate, disconnect, and divide the holistic connection between body and soul. Plato, the philosopher, claimed that the body was the prison house of the soul. A common Greek philosophical idea was that it was unthinkable for the gods to assume flesh because the body was evil and the spirit was good and the only way to overcome the limitations of the body was to free the soul. This is why the incarnation was so shocking to many people in ... Read more

The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: An Interview with Carl R. Trueman

On November 24, Crossway released The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution by Carl Trueman, OP minister and professor at Grove City College. New Horizons editor Danny E. Olinger interviews Trueman here. NH: How did the book come about? Rod Dreher of the American Conservative and Justin Taylor of Crossway asked me if I would write an introduction to the thought of Philip Rieff, the great analyst of modern therapeutic culture. At the same time, as a historian I was becoming interested in how the statement “I am a woman trapped in a man’s body” had suddenly become so important and so plausible in our culture. And as I started to research the former, it became clear that I could actually expand the project into an application of Rieff’s thinking in a manner that would help me explain the latter. NH: Who was Rieff and why is his cultural analysis helpful? He was a scholar at the University of ... Read more

Review: Tara Burton’s Strange Rites

Tara Burton’s Strange Rites (PublicAffairs, 2020) is not an easy book for a confessional Reformed Christian to read. The language is vulgar and graphic at points. She seems to have little interest in an orthodox view of special revelation or why a defense of “the” faith might be important when compared to a defense of Christian theism. Her one mention of John Calvin is to make a joke about the mantra of wellness culture being equal parts Ayn Rand and Calvin: “you’re not just allowed but in fact obligated to focus on yourself—but, no matter how much you do, it will never be good enough” (98). And each chapter describing the religious landscape of America, including the growth of institutional paganism, seems more discouraging than the previous chapter. It is not an easy book for a confessional Reformed Christian to read, but it is an important one. Particularly illuminating are Burton’s insights on why so many millennials have abandoned institutional Christianity. Her thesis is that ... Read more

The Saint’s Great Desire in the Song of Simeon

In the beginning of my current pastorate, I would regularly visit the eldest member of my church, Helen. She was the last of our founding members, who, in 1941, petitioned the OPC to start our church, Faith OPC in Long Beach, California. When she became housebound, I would sit with her for hours listening to her stories of the church. As her health deteriorated, she would continually tell me how much she wanted to depart and go home to be with the Lord. She echoed the apostle Paul’s words when he said, “my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Phil. 1:23). This is the great desire of every true believer in Christ, and it is the same desire we see in Luke’s account of Simeon in Luke 2:25–32. As Simeon holds the baby Jesus in his arms, he sings that he can depart in peace, celebrating the coming of Christ. A Song of Faith Simeon’s song is first a song of faith celebrating the fulfillment of God’s promises in Christ. On the eighth day after Jesus’s birth, ... Read more


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