Matthew Lee Anderson Profile picture
I founded @mereorthodoxy and work at @baylorisr. I write about theology, ethics, and politics. Quit Netflix.
7 Apr
Evangelicals routinely oscillate between reifying doubt as a mode of Christian living and rejecting it as "sinful."

The former is a reaction against unhealthy communal practices that the latter simply reinforces.
An anxious faith will invariably a brittle one.

At some point, we have to consider the possibility that people shaped by evangelical contexts routinely capitalize on "deconstructing" what they have received is an indicator that not all is well.
I say "routinely" advisedly. Folks might say they're "deconstructing" now, but it's the same process that people have been exploiting for the past twenty years or so (at least).
Read 11 tweets
6 Apr
The odds of me experiencing a heart-attack during the #NationalChampionship are higher than I'd like.

If you don't hear from me by tomorrow, it's been real, Twitter.

Go Baylor.
Update: there was no heart-attack. That was a fun, fun ride. I was cautiously optimistic before the game, but that was far more decisive than I could have hoped for.
I said to friends earlier in the year that this Baylor team, pre-Covid-break, was one of the best college basketball teams I'd ever seen.

Tonight vindicated that in a big, big way.
Read 6 tweets
5 Apr
I was an early mask defender. But Fauci's missteps made that position a harder sell to the American public, not easier.

Ignoring Fauci's very real, very unacknowledged (so far) mistakes only emboldens MAGA.…
Even at this juncture, our public health establishment seems bent on doing everything it can to undermine its own credibility.

Even if there *is* a fourth wave, using the language of 'impending doom' is grossly irresponsible.…
Is there a fourth wave? Experts *disagree!*…
Read 5 tweets
26 Jan
Evangelicalism's "social vision is fragmentary, often lacks substance and strategy, and focuses mainly on a one-issue or single-candidate approach." -- Carl Henry, 1980
In 1980, evangelicals were surging into politics. Henry: "Yet some observers fear--and with good reason--that this involvement may eventually become as politically misguided as was the activism of liberal Christianity earlier this century."
Henry: "If evangelicals settle only for single-issue or fragmentary [political] involvement, evangelicals will treat public concerns as but a marginal appendage to evangelism, and remain highly vulnerable to more comprehensive political strategies of nonevangelical groups."
Read 6 tweets
23 Oct 20
This is an admirable piece by @JohnPiper. But I'll confess I'm perplexed by the argument that pride is killing people equivalently to abortion, and that we should include that as part of our *political* reasoning.…
One question is simply empirical: *does* a "culture-saturating, pro-self pride" actually kill people in the sense relevant that we could even compare it to abortion?

It certainly kills the soul, and we should fear that worse than the death of the body (Mt. 10:28).
While pride's effects on the polity may be considerable, they also seem indirect. Whether and how the government constrains the evils that arise from pride would therefore seem like an extraordinarily difficult matter of prudential judgment.
Read 7 tweets
28 Aug 20
I suspect many evangelicals have discounted the importance of the 'marginally committed' to our communities.
Those who are 'marginally committed' to a church might only show up once a month. They might even only show up on Christmas and Easter.

Yet when there are enough of them, they give a community a sense of energy and vitality that it otherwise would lack.
Because evangelicalism has its roots as a renewal movement within existing institutions--think Wesley as an Anglican--there are deep pressures to make everyone "fully committed."

That doesn't just mean church attendance: it means daily devotionals, Christian music, etc.
Read 18 tweets
24 Aug 20
The scandal the Religious Right has brought upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ by protecting such degeneracy breaks my heart.…
This is false. The reason the media is fascinated is because they hate people who demand traditional moral values *for others* while flagrantly violating them *ourselves.*
A confident Christian witness depends upon the integrity of the church.

There is no circumventing the demand for holiness in our communities if we want to proclaim the Gospel with beauty and with power.
Read 8 tweets
10 Aug 20
Evangelicals who spend their time opposing the 'false teachings' that are infiltrating the church so often miss the real task, namely, creatively rearticulating the faith so that the needs those 'false teachings' are responding to fall to the ground.
Discerning how the faith we have received addresses the needs of the hour can only be done by carefully hearing our critics, rather than reactionarily dismissing them.
This applies widely, I think, but seems especially pertinent to matters of ethics these days--namely, race and sex.
Read 6 tweets
2 Aug 19
If conservatives had adopted the standard of evidence for policy that @DavidAFrench assumes here, they would have never opposed gay marriage.…
@DavidAFrench I suspect the best way to think about @HawleyMO's bill is to treat it as supply-side regulation: it's not *opposed* to 'personal responsibility,' or individual freedom, but is aimed at altering the marketplace conditions in which those are expressed.
@DavidAFrench @HawleyMO Whether this sort of approach is justified hangs, I suspect, on whether you adopt the prior commitment that big tech and social media companies are *predatory* in the way pharmaceutical companies were in spreading opiods.
Read 8 tweets
7 Jun 19
This is a good thread by @DouthatNYT, though I think conflating 'integralism' with an interest in preserving a soft establishment of religion is conceptually confusing given the way the former is explicitly grounded in RC doctrine.
I think it also lends credence to my suspicion that beneath the French/Ahmari debate lies specific differences in how evangelicals and Catholics are interpreting the failure of the 1980-2008 attempt to forge a socon consensus.
Evangelical politics between 1980-2008 were, on one level, indisputably 'integralist.' Yet they were also deeply unhealthy, and indisputably corrosive to the evangelical churches' witness.
Read 18 tweets
1 Jun 19
I've had a few more thoughts since writing yesterday's newsletter about civility, decency, and political discourse among conservatives right now.
If you sat down LGBT activists and asked whether "too much civility" was why conservatives are losing that cultural battle, I suspect they'd enjoy a very hearty laugh.
I suspect today's progressive anti-liberalism on that issue is still shaped more by narratives about how social conservative activists--not legal minds, but activists--conducted themselves in California around Prop 8, and (more importantly) in Colorado around Romer vs. Evans.
Read 11 tweets