If Twitter Is the Public Square, Donald Trump is the Golden Idol in Its Middle

by John Ellis Twitter is all abuzz with the news that Elon Musk has allowed ex-president Donald Trump back on the social media site. It doesn’t appear to be a decision that elicits a shrug from many people. Based on the reactions, many people vocally love the decision, believing that it’s a harbinger of better … Continue reading If Twitter Is the Public Square, Donald Trump is the Golden Idol in Its Middle

Up Next at Bob Jones University: Casting Crowns Playing the FMA Stage?

by John Ellis It seems that Bob Jones University is likely going to make it to its 100th anniversary after all. After weeks of very real angst on the part of current students, faculty, staff, and concerned alumni, the university’s Board of Trustees has awarded current President and CEO Steve Pettit another three-year contract. Yesterday … Continue reading Up Next at Bob Jones University: Casting Crowns Playing the FMA Stage?

Our Definition of Patriotism Works Against the Bible’s Expectation of Community

by John Ellis Expressive (radical) individualism is a phenomenon that has long intrigued and saddened me. Our communities barely function as communities because our social imaginary is so littered with expressive individualism that the disparate parts rarely collate into an actual whole. As a result, our communities lack ontological realness. And the effects are obvious. … Continue reading Our Definition of Patriotism Works Against the Bible’s Expectation of Community

Church History: Sacerdotalism and Church As State

by John Ellis (This is the slightly edited manuscript for the class I taught this past Sunday at my church. It’s been edited for others to read instead of it being written for me to speak. Even with that, though, there may be places where it hits your “ear” funny because you’re reading something that … Continue reading Church History: Sacerdotalism and Church As State

The Prophetic Vocation of (Theatre) Artists

One of theatre's great prophets: Augusto Boal by John Ellis Are artists prophets? Specifically, are theatre artists prophets? Your answer, in large part, will depend on how you define prophet (and artist). For me, the controlling definition of prophet is found in the biblical distinction between prophet and priest: Prophets speak to the people on … Continue reading The Prophetic Vocation of (Theatre) Artists

A Brief Discourse on Imago Dei: What Makes Us Our Self?

by John Ellis (This article was originally intended to be a short Facebook post, but it got away from me.) I’m rereading Charles Taylor’s Sources of the Self and am struck again by the simple profundity of this statement: “We are selves only in that certain issues matter for us. What I am as a … Continue reading A Brief Discourse on Imago Dei: What Makes Us Our Self?

Discipling the Christian Nationalists in Our Churches

Donald Trump as the Promised Seed of Genesis 3:15 by John Ellis Yesterday, I saw a clip of pseudo-historian David Barton claiming that the US Constitution is based on God’s words. His point was that only true Christians can govern in ways that allow for the Christian nature of the Constitution to fulfill its purpose. … Continue reading Discipling the Christian Nationalists in Our Churches

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by John Ellis We’re one day closer to Putin launching his nukes. While it may not necessarily be inevitable, it’s probably inevitable. That’s a bold claim – a thuddingly dramatic opening sentence, I know – but if you haven’t heard, Putin has begun a “partial military mobilization.” The word “partial” is revealing but will go … Continue reading Untitled

Has J.R.R. Tolkien Been a Bad Influence on American Evangelicalism?

by John Ellis Okay. Hear me out. Well, don’t so much hear me out as prepare to interrupt me and provide counterpoints, because I’m not stating a thesis supported by well-crafted arguments. I’m sneaking a (possible) future thesis inside of a question. So, hear me out in the context that this article is like the … Continue reading Has J.R.R. Tolkien Been a Bad Influence on American Evangelicalism?

Kingdom Ethics: The Predatory Nature of Student Loans

by John Ellis Empathy is in short supply. As is the understanding of how profoundly image bearers were created to exist in community with and for each other in service to God. That lack of understanding blinds us to the ethics that derive from that ontic reality. Flourishing is found in Christ, but because of … Continue reading Kingdom Ethics: The Predatory Nature of Student Loans