Dear Ed: Thank you for your book addressed to a “Southern Baptist pastor.” As a Baptist pastor on the western edge of the South (and a Southern Baptist until a few years ago), let me say that it was good to hear from you. I appreciate your southern civility and good manners, as you put it.
There is much to celebrate in this important new book by one of the finest moral theologians writing today. Gilbert Meilaender of Valparaiso University gives us a fine example of “thinking with Augustine” about such crucial topics as desire, duty, sex and grief.
Your fundamentalist grandmother is unwittingly abetting a tyrannical conspiracy. That neighbor down the street with his bumper stickers and ichthus accessories may not be a Nazi-style ideologue, but he could be a theocrat on the sly.
Great works in the Western literary tradition are incomprehensible apart from Christianity. One cannot understand Dante, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Coleridge, Dostoevsky or Dickinson without understanding the Christian faith that these writers assumed, professed or resisted.
Where are the men on Sunday morning? The men are out seeking adventure, risk and challenge, while the women rule the pews within a dull but safe feminized church. So argues David Murrow, director of Church for Men, an organization aimed at “restoring a healthy masculine spirit in Christian congregations.” What of 2,000 years of male dominance in church leadership, from the first disciples to today’s clergy?