The City Podcast: Deadly Romance

by Timothy Motte on February 16, 2015

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Sheldon Vanauken may very well have saved Dr. Reynolds’ life.

They were both susceptible to a kind of excess of romance. Eventually Vanauken’s life was transformed through pain as told in his book, A Severe Mercy. The lessons he learned from that experience he passed via correspondence directly to Dr. Reynolds, in order to keep him from making the same mistakes.

That’s what we’re talking about on this episode, and more. There are some critiques of Vanauken, the shining barrier, and total sharing. Unhealthy relationships are explored, in which the stronger of the two personalities becomes tyrannical. And we discuss what to do when we know something is wrong but we wish it weren’t, and what to do when we find out our heroes are flawed.

Featuring: Dr. John Mark Reynolds, Dr. Holly Ordway, Cate MacDonald

The City Podcast. Smart. Sane. Spiritual.


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Advice to My Son 11: The Opposite Sex

by Lou Markos on November 7, 2013

If you want to spare yourself a future filled with headaches and frustrations, my son, then listen carefully and do not forget what I am about to say. Men and women are different. We think differently, we react differently, and we interact with ourselves and the world differently.

In college, many of your professors will try to teach you that men and women are essentially the same and that the so-called differences between us are a mere product of socialization. There is no such thing, they will tell you, as masculinity and femininity. It’s only because we give boys trucks to play with and girls dolls to play with that we seem to be different.

This, of course, is pure balderdash. [click to continue…]

The City: Summer 2013

by Benjamin Domenech on June 25, 2013

The Summer 2013 edition of The City has arrived. This week will bring the Supreme Court’s ruling in two major cases concerning the definition of marriage in the United States, and this issue is focused on the challenges to marriage, the post-modern view of sex, and the importance of religious liberty.


Contents include:

Ryan T. Anderson on Twelve Theses About Marriage
Susan McWilliams on the Missing Debate About Marriage
Fred Sanders on Wendell Berry Wavering on Marriage
Paul D. Miller on Sex & Modesty in the Modern World
Andrew Walker on Why Neutrality is Not an Option
A Conversation with Eric Metaxas on Bonhoeffer and Religious Liberty

In our Books & Culture section, you’ll find pieces by:

John Wilson on Ross MacDonald
Geoffrey Fulkerson on Carl F.H. Henry
Wesley Gant on Purpose & Prosperity
Christopher Hammons on the Forgotten Founder

You’ll also find Louis Markos finishing his run through A-Z with C.S. Lewis, as well as the latest Republic of Letters by Hunter Baker, Poetry by Robert Rehder, and The Word by William Tyndale.

We hope you enjoy the issue!

To be Invisible, but to Joyfully Endure

by John Mark Reynolds on March 26, 2013

Recently, Reed Galen, deputy campaign manager for the McCain camp gave some political advice. While this might be compared to asking coaches of the Minnesota Vikings how to win a Super Bowl, this particular advice has become conventional wisdom amongst most people with graduate education in the Republican Party.
He opines:

Regardless of party affiliation, young voters view gay marriage as utterly uncontroversial. With all of the other problems the country has to solve, the freedom of individuals to live their lives as they see fit seems a foregone conclusion.

Opinions are unlikely to change over the course of two days this week. The high court will take its time to decide the merits of the cases. Whatever the justices decide, we should look in our collective national mirror and ask ourselves : Are we a country, and a party, of more freedom or less.

We are told that people strongly homosexual are roughly six percent of the population. It is interesting to observe that the young adults who view homosexuality as a sin and support traditional marriage are at least three times their number. Evidently, however, these young adults are to be forced into a political closet and told to pretend to agree or Mr. Galen merely pretends they don’t exist.

Such young adults should start wearing shirts that proclaim they are “one in five,” that they too are children and grandchildren made as invisible in the media as the millions who still pray before their meals.

In fact, even those young Americans who, with great moral difficulty, are able to concede civil marriage rights, though they wish they did not have to do so, do not exist. All the Americans who favor “gay marriage” view the right to vice as utterly uncontroversial!

This is false, but it is the sort of falsehood that a segment of the educated class use to comfort themselves. If they only act now, opposition to their view will vanish just as abortion became merely a medical procedure once old people in the 1970’s died out.

If one points out the opposite happened, then after a painful silence, one is told that these remnants of young people are confused by other old people and corrupted by outside influences. In the world of American higher education, there are always old traditionalists confusing a segment of the young, just as in the Soviet Union for seventy years the rulers comforted themselves that only “grandmothers” went to Church.

After seventy years these were very, very old grandmothers, but still the future was with communism. And once it was. There was a day when all the youth saw the future in what were then new ideas and knew this social experiment would work.

People who questioned this were mocked as being behind the curve of history.

Of course, gay marriage is not nearly so sweeping a social program and is not likely to be as harmful and certainly not harmful in the same way. Unless our assent is demanded by the state, then gay marriage is a move to social decadence not to tyranny. More serious in that regard are easy divorce, adultery, and fornication. Pop culture now often assumes that first comes attraction, then sex (safe of course!), then love, then moving in together, then (maybe) marriage. We face America-become-Vegas more than America-become-North Korea and for that we can be thankful.

If you are a poor person, then good luck to that. The best thing about gay marriage is that at least someone is wanting to get married.

I would rather live in Vanity Faire than Mordor.

Nor should we panic about the future. We are declaring a vice a right, a sin a virtue, but then Americans have often done this. Slavery was after all a “property right” and we survived this morally depraved judgment.

This intellectual fad, despite all dangers, will fade just as other fads labeled “science” or “progress” have done many times in the history of the Christian church. I am not likely to see it, but it will happen.

Still we live in very ethically incoherent times. Where will most people get their morality? On basis should Americans decide what “should be?” The traditional Christian consensus is vanishing for the moment, but it is being replaced by hedonism.

Americans, perhaps a majority of Americans, are adverse to any check, public or private, on their pleasure. As long as “it doesn’t hurt anyone” with harm made very individual, measured over the short term, and mostly physical. The degradation of the soul doesn’t show up on a CAT scan and so we can ignore it.

One can see this “consistency” of ethical hedonism in polls. Any question to check or moderate desire is unpopular. When the left attacks gluttony or the right promiscuity, both are mocked. That we are too gluttonous or too promiscuous is not considered . . . or mostly (almost entirely) in terms of the health of the human animal.

Eventually such simple hedonism, still undergirded by remnants of the jolly parts of Christianity, must perish by its sheer incoherence and its destructive havoc on the poor.

Then from the Pope to the Southern Baptists today’s righteous remnant of young people, grown battle tested by time will introduce again the Christian alternative.

Our distant future, if we are to remain free, will look more like our Christian past.

The City Podcast: Love, Marriage, Singleness… and Cheesecake

by Benjamin Domenech on February 14, 2013

The City, a podcast of Houston Baptist University: Smart. Sane. Spiritual.

Featuring: Cate MacDonald, Dr. John Mark Reynolds, Dr. Holly Ordway

Love, Marriage, Singleness… and Cheesecake.

Our culture says if you’re not having sex, you’re not happy. The church buys into that by saying if you’re not married, you’re not happy. But is that really the case? Is erotic love necessary for a happy marriage? Dr. Reynolds shares from his experience, and Holly and Cate weigh the merits of a friendship and sex in marriage. And cheesecake. You can’t forget the cheesecake.

Books referenced in this podcast:
La Vita Nuova by Dante Alighieri
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


The City Podcast: Why is HBU Suing the Federal Government?

by Benjamin Domenech on January 25, 2013

The City, a podcast of Houston Baptist University: Smart. Sane. Spiritual.

Featuring: Cate MacDonald, Dr. John Mark Reynolds, President Robert Sloan

Houston Baptist University is suing the federal government. Find out why.

Dr. Reynolds and President Sloan discuss the lawsuit that Houston Baptist University has filed against the federal government over the mandate included in Obamacare that religious institutions are required to provide health insurance that covers health services that violate their religious teachings. HBU joins a number of other faith-based universities that have also filed lawsuits about this issue. But this conversation covers more than information or announcements. Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Sloan really get at the heart of the culture wars and what religious liberty really means, how Christianity is not merely an internal experience, and the role of Christian universities in this situation.