COMMENTARY

Clapham Institute Blog

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The Problem with Passion

If you believe the political pundits, in a matter of days half the country will think the sky is falling and the other half will act as if it’s The Second Coming. The good news is that neither winner nor loser is likely to take to the streets and rant for revolution — though some…

The Good of Affluence

When was the last time you heard a sermon praising the virtues of getting rich?  I’ll bet it’s been quite a while!  According to one survey, 99% of sermons reflect negatively on wealth accumulation, affluence, and success at work.  Why?

Two Types of Trees

If you stand on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building and look two miles due west, you can see the Lincoln Memorial.  Two miles is the same distance the Gobi Desert in central China creeps toward Beijing every year (it is now less than 200 miles away).  Sandstorms now buffet the city every summer,…

Sudan and Schools

Over 50,000 Sudanese have been killed over the last few months in the latest round of genocide.  While the United Nations (typically) dithers, Darfurian rebel groups continue the ethnic cleansing that arises from “Balkanization.”  What is Balkanization?  With the collapse of Yugoslavia in the late 20th century, small-scale independence movements (formed along ethnic, cultural and…

Rights and Wrongs

This past Tuesday, nearly three out of four Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.  The vote was the first in the nation since the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized same-sex weddings in that state.  But it will not be the last. To be fair, many in Missouri felt this issue had been thrust…

Two Shelves, One World

Two shelves. Even though I had only met Allan that evening, I had heard the storythousands of times before.  He had come to faith at the age of twenty-two.  Raised in a nominally Catholic home, a friend led Allan to faith and he has become an increasingly committed evangelical ever since.  He reads the Bible…

School's Out

In 1991, John Taylor Gatto received the New York State Public Teacher of the Year award.  Most of you are unfamiliar with his name; yet many of you have probably heard of his book, Dumbing Us Down.  Ever since its publication; writers and public officials have repeatedly lamented the “dumbing down” of education, citizenship, media…

Winning in Third Place

Starbucks coffee has repeatedly said they aren’t in the business of selling coffee. Instead, they are winning by coming in ‘Third Place.’ If people of Christian faith understood what is meant by ‘Third Place,’ they might rethink where they put some of their time and energy.