Samuel D. James

Being Constantly Online Has Changed Us More than We Think

Written by Samuel D. James |
Saturday, November 18, 2023
We tend to think that everything should be immediately available because that’s how things are online. And so we kind of develop this impatience with regular life, which tends to be delayed and not as instantly gratifying as we might wish. We tend to view things through the lens of convenience and efficiency rather than the difficulty of maybe making a phone call or having a face-to-face conversation. As we are immersing ourselves in online technology, it becomes very difficult to imagine the world in a different way.

A Mental World vs. Physical Reality
When we think about being online a lot—and the average person is online a lot—there are statistics that say that we’re checking email for anywhere from three to four hours per day. And we’re on social media for about that same length of time every day. So that is a solid eight hours or so of online consumption.
And so when you ask, How could that be shaping us? Well, the real answer is, How could it not be shaping us? This is where we are putting our attention. This is where we’re doing most of our reading, most of our work, most of our communication, and even things like digitally mediated worship.
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God Thought, and Thought, and Thought

Written by Samuel D. James |
Thursday, June 29, 2023
When God thought and made me a boy, he gave me a gift: the gift of a male body, and a male brain, and male feelings. These aren’t obstacles to overcome; they are gifts to be sanctified. Can they sin? Absolutely. There have been many times where I wish my particular impulses were different, or that I didn’t have to worry about the things I worry about. This is not a sign of a mistake. It’s the sign of imperfection, of a body that is waiting to be glorified, not emasculated.

When I was growing up, Mom would tell me sometimes:
God thought, and thought, and thought, and he made you a boy.
This is a beautiful thought to me. It used to conjure up images of God sitting carefully, deep in thought, deciding with unhurried precision whether my mother’s second child should be a boy or a girl. As I grew, so did my theology, and I no longer think that the moment of my divinely bestowed gender identity looked like the famous Thinking Man sculpture. But that’s not the point. I understand now what Mom was saying. The body that grew inside my mother was given to me, on purpose, by a Creator who decided to give it. It’s the opposite of a fluke, incompatible with impulse. God doesn’t think fast and slow; everything he does has an incomprehensible eternity’s worth of intention. God thought, and thought, and thought, and he made me a boy.
I wonder if this short thought might be a blessing in your own life and in the life of your home. We live in an era of near-unprecedented despair over the meaning of a life. Gender dysphoria is illness, and in the parched search for something to tell us what we are, many in our age have clutched at an illness to bestow some kind of direction to their lives. What Mom gave me those years ago was an antidote to despair. Unpack it:
The doctors didn’t, and don’t, decide who I am. Not even my parents engineered my maleness.
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Chests Without Men

Written by Samuel D. James |
Thursday, June 22, 2023
It does not seem to me that the current condition in Western eduction is one of emotional suppression and psychological reductionism. Instead, the entire legitimacy of educational insitutions themselves is now up for grabs. Why? Because those institutions are no longer presumed to have a right to cut across the emotional autonomy of their students. 

C.S. Lewis’s line about how moderns “make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise” is famous. It’s become an eminently meme-able quote, and you can find it used in all kinds of diatribes and debates, from transgenderism to pop music. If I had to guess, I would bet that fewer than 30% of the people who quote this line have read the entire essay, and even fewer would be able to correctly answer the question, “What does Lewis mean here by the word ‘chest’?” The answer is not courage or boldness. In the context of the essay, Lewis is saying that a spirit in modern education encourages students to not feel anything at all. Here is an illuminating quote from the essay:
In the second place, I think Gaius and Titius may have honestly misunderstood the pressing educational need of the moment. They see the world around them swayed by emotional propaganda — they have learned from tradition that youth is sentimental — and they conclude that the best thing they can do is to fortify the minds of young people against emotion. My own experience as a teacher tells an opposite tale. For every one pupil who needs to be guarded from a weak excess of sensibility there are three who need to be awakened from the slumber of cold vulgarity. The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. The right defence against false sentiments is to inculcate just sentiments. By starving the sensibility of our pupils we only make them easier prey to the propagandist when he comes.
I want to draw your attention to the reference in the first sentence to “the pressing educational need of the moment.” Lewis’s argument is certainly prescient and evergreen, but its also deeply contextual. The rationalism that had become ascendant in the first half of the 20th century is what Lewis is talking about here, especially the kind of rationalism that instrumentalized literature into little more than an experiment of self-realization. Lewis is interrogating the same intellectual tradition from which he emerged (which is one reason why he speaks so incisively about it) and which still held sway, thanks in large part to Freudianism.
Let’s think alongside Lewis for a moment. Could it be that what Lewis perceived as the “pressing educational need of the moment” has changed, at least somewhat? Let me offer a few brief points about how I am thinking we should apply Lewis’s warnings here in our own day.
It seems apparent to me that Lewis’s description of a “cold vulgarity” that was dominant in his experience of education is likely tied to the religious and philosophical context of his day.
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Parenting and the Digital Liturgies

Written by Samuel D. James |
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
You and I are not going to be able to exhaustively know everything and everyone that our kids are encountering through digital tech. Even strong guardrails are not going to fully account for every minute with this technology. That needs to be accepted rather than protested. But there is encouraging news: The next generation of parents, and children too, are going to be far more aware of how this technology is shaping them than previous generations.

I’ve had the opportunity to speak to a few different groups of people now about some of the ideas in my forthcoming book. Two things stand out to me so far. First, the idea that the digital age is having a serious spiritual effect on us is resonating with a lot of Christians. The problem is not awareness; what most people lack is the language to name what they can see and feel is happening.
Second, the first thing many people think about after hearing what I have to say is parenting. They want to know how these ideas would shape their households. They’re eager for this, by the way. I’ve been struck by how little “keep your nose out of my family’s business” I’ve encountered thus far. It’s amazing how many people want to open up about their family habits, their parenting strategies, and get real feedback and counsel. The sense that we’re in this together, that we cannot navigate this era while clutching onto our autonomy, is palpable.
Alas, the problem for me when I get these questions is that my oldest child is six years old. The Christian world does not need one more guy with very young children dispensing parenting advice that will probably make him look like a fool or a failure within a decade. Truthfully, I’m not always sure what to say when people ask to talk about this. I have no moral authority on which to stand and say, “Do this, and you will be glad you did.” What I try to do instead is offer some big picture perspectives on my own experience growing up, the challenge that digital tech presents to entire households, and a general sense of what the future looks like.
I’ve had the opportunity to speak to a few different groups of people now about some of the ideas in my forthcoming book. Two things stand out to me so far. First, the idea that the digital age is having a serious spiritual effect on us is resonating with a lot of Christians. The problem is not awareness; what most people lack is the language to name what they can see and feel is happening.
Second, the first thing many people think about after hearing what I have to say is parenting. They want to know how these ideas would shape their households. They’re eager for this, by the way. I’ve been struck by how little “keep your nose out of my family’s business” I’ve encountered thus far. It’s amazing how many people want to open up about their family habits, their parenting strategies, and get real feedback and counsel. The sense that we’re in this together, that we cannot navigate this era while clutching onto our autonomy, is palpable.
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Cancel Culture Is Not Speaking Truth to Power. It’s Just Speaking Power.

Written by Samuel D. James |
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Online cancellation mobs are instruments of injustice. They don’t protect victims, they create them. They don’t create change. They stay in their digital plot. And they don’t just harm the targets. They harm the participants. They poison the imagination, they dehumanize, and they reinforce a self-righteous sense that such a fate must be deserved.

I want to make one more brief comment about the kerfuffle du jour in online evangelicalism this past week, although the point really goes beyond it. The following has been said repeatedly, by many people, in a wide variety of circumstances:
A) There is no such thing as “cancel culture.”
B) Even if there was, it’s an important part of keeping powerful people accountable.
My suspicion is that people who say A don’t actually believe it. I don’t know how anybody could spend time online and come away genuinely convinced there is no such thing as outrage mobs or cancellation campaigns. And in fact, I think just about everyone knows these things exist. The question is whether they are good or bad. So people who claim there is no such thing as cancel culture are often defining “cancel culture” to mean, “A way for innocent people to get harmed by social media,” and the way they deny its existence is to presume that anybody who gets canceled is not innocent.
So the really relevant point of contention is B. Allow me a brief space to explain why I think B is mistaken, both in its premise and its conclusion.
Cancel culture does not keep people “accountable.” It does punish them. It does trigger bad consequences for them. It can make them go away and not say or do anything online anymore. But this is not accountability; it’s just erasure. A mechanism for accountability, whether in government, church, business, or personal relationships rests on a foundation of mutual agreement. Government accountability to voters is part of what it means to participate in the U.S. political system; if you dislike this accountability, you can opt out of running for office, and you don’t have to ever experience it. Church accountability (I’m thinking especially for pastors and leaders) assumes a shared moral framework that is presented to the pastor before he is hired or ordained. If you don’t think you want to be accountable in that way, you can decline to be in pastoral ministry (and in fact, the Bible assumes that most Christians won’t be in that position).
The point is that in any meaningful accountability relationship, the parties being held accountable and the parties holding accountable have some shared sense of what’s expected, what’s being enforced. And the reason this is important is that it establishes a kind of mutual accountability between the parties. The pastor knows what he is accountable for, the congregation knows what they obligated to hold him accountable to, and both the pastor and the congregation know each other’s particular obligations.
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Facts Don’t Care About Your Healings

Written by Samuel D. James |
Thursday, March 2, 2023
Feelings are what are leading a lot of people away from the presuppositions and certainties of progressivism. The notion that secular philosophies will always appeal better to people’s emotions than historic Christianity is just dead wrong. I am convinced that the coming years are going to be marked by people finding a meaningful peace and catharsis through Christianity and through traditional value systems: the ideas of human purpose, divine image-bearing, the importance of place, and the givennesss of truth. The mental health crisis in the West is ideologically coded precisely because it is ideological. And in the coming years, the most effective form of Christian or conservative argumentation will simply be the display of stability and compassion.

I would like to pioneer a new genre of personal essay. I call it: “My Parents Did Their Best Raising Me and Of Course They Got Some Things Wrong But I Don’t Blame My Problems on Them Because I Don’t Want My Kids to Blame All Their Problems on the Mistakes I Will Inevitably Make.” Basically this kind of essay would follow all the familiar patterns of a typical piece wherein the author awakens from the cruel hypnosis inflicted upon them by their strict/overbearing/religious/nosy parents. But instead of ending with the author being enlightened and the family being exposed, it would end with a terrifying realization: that even my parents’ mistakes were valuable, that my grown-up problems were not reducible to them, and that the most mentally and spiritually healthy attitude I could have toward my childhood is gratitude for the many good things, and forgiveness for the bad.
Even writing a sentence like that one is enough to elicit a near unbearable wave of anger and critique. If a thousand people read that opening paragraph, I promise that at least 100 will believe I have somehow suggested that abusive, traumatic experiences are irrelevant and trivial. There is no suggestion of the sort within a country mile of what I wrote, but the context of contemporary #discourse is so loaded that even talking about forgiveness can and will appear to some listeners as a kind of experience-negation.
Negating someone’s experience is a social sin that has become so totemic of the times that you have to go out of your way—and often say the opposite of what you mean—in order to avoid even giving the appearance of having committed it. But I’ve noticed that in many situations this dynamic only works one way. Negating someone’s experience may not be a sin if their experience is deemed to be the wrong kind. The opening paragraph of this post hints at one category of personal experience that often goes negated with impunity: the experience of realizing you don’t know as much as you thought and that the people around you actually don’t have as much ultimate power over your well-being as you might have been tempted to believe. In digital culture especially, this kind of memoir just feels backward, like a screenplay in which the Bad Guy actually wins. You’re not supposed to feel more outward-facing gratitude and less inward-facing certainty as you age. You’re supposed to see your enemies all the more clearly. This strikes me as a recipe for pathological mental anguish.
The tragic irony for many people my age is that the kind of mental health that we desperately need is almost always predicated on decentering the self, which is precisely the very thing we have been educated not to do in the interest of mental health. Our windows to the world are mirrors. Many of the most popular “self-care” techniques are really just analog-era recreations, which suggests what we really need is just one hour where we’re not staring at our own psychological state. Decentering the self is not just implausible in the Age of the Mirror, it’s actually condemned as immoral through the way we articulate which personal narratives matter and which ones don’t. The narratives that don’t matter include:

I realized how much I’d been given and how evil only living for myself would be.
I was miserable trying to curate my own identity and this was cured when I gave myself completely to this spouse and these children.
I thought me and my desires were the same thing, but then I realized that denying those desires gave me more joy.
I was convinced people who disagreed with my core convictions were wicked, but I was wrong.

These are personal narratives that happen every day! They’re true stories of genuine transformation. Yet they are far less likely to be published, promoted, or celebrated than stories of learning how to “care for myself” or of “throwing off” the stuff I was taught. The narratives that carry the most cultural weight all go in the same direction, outward → inward: “I thought X because other people told me X, but when I looked inside myself I realized Y, and now I’m free, both from X and from the people who told me X.”

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“He Gets Us” Isn’t Offensive. It’s Just More of the Same.

Written by Samuel D. James |
Saturday, February 25, 2023
I won’t lose sleep over “He Gets Us.” I hope a multitude of people hear the ad and follow the gospel breadcrumbs all the way to the Lamb’s table. But there are reasons to not do stuff like this, too. And in a cultural context like ours, there are levels of discipleship and spiritual formation that might come harder for those whose first encounter with Jesus was based on a roundabout self-actualization.

If you’ve watched any televised football over the past 6 months, there’s a good chance you’ve seen one of these ads. It would be tiresome to “dissect” any one of these. The premise of all of them is the same: Jesus is more like us than unlike us, despite the church-ified picture you may have gotten of him. Of course, it’s one thing to piously say this. It’s another thing to show a picture of a tattooed Hell’s Angel, or a refugee family, or homeless people on the screen, and narrate how Jesus lived this kind of life too. It’s effective in its element of surprise. The average American probably thinks of Jesus as either a ghost or a priest, not the downtrodden or outcast a few doors down. The phrase “He gets us” summarizes an entire evangelistic invitation. You can trust Jesus. He won’t judge where you come from, cause you and him come from the same kind of place.
There’s nothing aggressively wrong with the ads. They’re not overtly theological in nature; they’re too short to really confuse anybody; and all in all, their premise is true. Jesus “knows what is in man” (John 2:24) and he is sympathetic to the struggles and sins of his people (Heb. 4:14). Further, the idea that Jesus has more in common with a person we’d rather not look at than one we would is entirely biblical (Is. 53:2). The ads can be a bit glib, overstating the continuity between, for example, Jesus’ indictment of the unbelief and hypocrisy of the Pharisees, and a leather-wearing counterculture. But that’s a distinctly American Christian mistake to make, and in the end, they do reflect a reverence and affection for Jesus.
But I get why some people are uncomfortable with them. Personally, I could do without a mass media campaign like this. I think the bottom line is that these ads are inoffensive, but that’s mostly because they’re forgettable. They don’t do anything more than put the name “Jesus” into living rooms. What’s more, they seem to establish Jesus’ goodness as a measure of how “seen” by him we feel.
Scripturally, you can’t divide Jesus’ sympathy for us from our plight as sinners. He “gets us” not because we ourselves are close to what he’s like, but because we are far away. That Jesus gets us is a profound act of mercy, not coolness.
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Has Church Abuse Activism Taken a Wrong Turn?

Written by Samuel D. James |
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
The whole reason to call out church abuse wherever it happens is because the church is beautiful and valuable and immortal, and Satan, the master abuser, wants church to look more like him instead. To the degree that abuse awareness hands people a mirror and tells them they can only be truly safe at home, it surrenders the whole game to the enemy himself.

My review of When Narcissism Comes to Church generated some of the more pointed pushback I’ve ever received from those I would consider generally in my theological/political tribe. My friend John Starke thought I mis-characterized the book. Mike Cosper agreed with this, and went further to explain why the book is valuable even at those points where my description might hold up. In one interesting section, Cosper offers a scenario where Chuck DeGroat’s framework could be helpfully applied:
If you confront a narcissist and say, “You’re prideful, abusive, and manipulative of others,” you’ll likely get one of two responses. You might hear them say, “That’s simply not true — I’m deeply insecure and I’m surrounded by people who tell me they don’t think I’m abusive and confront me when they think I’m wrong.” In this case, that’s likely all true! The confrontation fails to consider the way the individual’s pathology makes them profoundly blind to their own sins and motivations, and it fails to account for the way modern society incentivizes others to attach themselves to narcissists. The outcome is often a mealy-mouthed, “I’m sorry for the way my behavior made you feel” apology.
On the other hand, you might hear them address the accusation directly, saying, “I struggle deeply with pride, tell me who I’ve sinned against and I’ll apologize.” In this case if there is a kind of narcissistic pathology at work, they can easily perform these tasks again and again. Critics might continue to say, “They’re abusive,” but co-leaders can point to the acts of repentance and attempts at reconciliation as evidence of a malleable heart. That’s all the more likely within a system that’s benefitting from a narcissist’s charisma and energy.
DeGroat’s framework challenges us to consider the more complex interaction between sin and suffering at the heart of the behavior. By understanding narcissism as a psychological defense, a built-in response to internalized trauma and grief, we see a different kind of inroad for caring for the soul of a narcissist. They can be confronted with their sin and its impact on a community while also being shown connections between that behavior and their deeper wounds. It does nothing to diminish the power of sin and the need for the cross to do so. In fact, it expands the way we can see its power — addressing not only the sins that we might have committed, but the power of sin to malform us.
Now, what I think is particularly instructive about what Cosper writes here is that he’s offered a mini-case study of confronting an abusive leader, and in this case study, there is no question that the accusation of narcissism and abuse is valid. Cosper’s case study envisions two endings to such a confrontation: either the leader will blame-shift, or they will try to pacify the accuser by appearing to “repent.” In either case, Cosper’s illustration presumes that the person being confronted really is a genuine narcissist, and with this assurance and using DeGroat’s ideas, the accuser can be equipped to see through even an apparent confession and apology. In other words, Cosper is saying that we need DeGroat’s book in order to really hold narcissistic leaders accountable, because otherwise we might be fooled by their apologies and their apparent contrition. Without doing the thick psychoanalytical work—identifying past traumas, naming one’s insecurities, perhaps even taking the Enneagram—we are at the mercy of having to take a narcissist at his word.
In the very beginning of my review, however, I offered a much different hypothetical scenario:
You are approached by two people in your church, both people that you know, love, and trust with equal measure. Person A needs to tell you something about Person B. Person B, according to Person A, has been spiritually abusing them. Person B has been using their leadership and influence to convince other people that Person A’s beliefs and opinions are wrong. Moreover, according to A, Person B has persisted in a pattern of manipulation toward A: saying things to belittle, minimize, or ignore A. Person A feels incredibly victimized by Person B, and does not know how they can persevere at this church while Person B remains.
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Tossing Out Beliefs When They Don’t Spark Joy

Written by Samuel D. James |
Thursday, February 16, 2023
In the life of a Christian and of a church, the absence of doctrine is often the presence of pragmatism. We can struggle to see the relevance of doctrine for everyday life because we measure our everyday lives in terms of efficiency, ease, and minimizing stress. But the Bible calls us to a much richer perspective: it calls us to know the truth. What we believe matters because we were created by a real, triune God who revealed the truth about himself and about us. To not know the truth that our Creator reveals is to be less than fully human.

Over the past few years, millions of people have tuned in to a Netflix show about cleaning up. Tidying Up has become a massive hit, and its Japanese star Marie Kondo has ascended to the heights of influencer culture. In addition to a feverishly popular Netflix program, Kondo now boasts a bestselling book, a highly sought-after online course, and a huge social media following of millions. What’s all the rage?
The secret to Kondo’s fame is her “KonMari” method, which is all about organizing one’s possessions and getting rid of lots of stuff. Kondo’s exhortation to those who feel overwhelmed by clutter is simple: Get rid of anything that does not “spark joy.” For Kondo, this is not a flippant or casual standard. Over the course of her show, she urges her clients to be ruthless in only keeping what actively provides happiness. Beloved but unworn clothes must be tossed. Books should only be kept to a strict minimum. Sentimental items? Only keep whatever provokes the strongest continual emotional reaction. Everything else needs to go, everything that does not “spark joy.”
It’s not hard to imagine why such a message might be appealing to many who feel messy or disorganized. Thousands of people have found Kondo’s message liberating. Who among us does not need the occasional reminder that material possessions should serve a greater good than mere existence? Down with clutter!

In this addition to the Church Questions series, Samuel James addresses how doctrine influences every area of life, shaping how believers feel, think, and act.

What’s fascinating (and saddening) is that there seem to be many Christians, particularly in the affluent West, who think of theology, or doctrine, the way Marie Kondo thinks of clutter. It’s not uncommon to hear people in the church talk about the discipline of theology like a pair of shoes or stack of paperbacks taking up too much room. “It’s just not helpful,” they say, “to talk about election, or justification, or the inerrancy of Scripture. Sure, these things might be good for preachers or scholars to think about, but they just cause arguments among everyone else.” This attitude is reflected many places, like sermons that spend two minutes talking about a passage of Scripture and twenty minutes about finances, marriage, or self-esteem or like small group Bible studies where hard questions about Scripture are quickly brushed aside in favor of asking everyone present, “What does this verse mean to you?”
To be sure, it’s pretty rare for someone in a church to actually come out and say that talking about or studying theology is bad (though this does happen!). What seems to be the case is not that many American Christians actively think of doctrine as bad or harmful but that many believe it is unnecessary. In other words, for many evangelicals, biblical doctrine—the teaching of all Scripture in its fullness, beyond the bare essentials for salvation—is not like poison but like clutter. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, but it does not “spark joy.”
And what do we do with things that don’t spark joy?
Which Beliefs Matter
The truth is that we know that what we believe matters. Our instincts may downplay the importance of doctrine, but how often do we turn around and fill up our Facebook and Twitter profiles with all kinds of beliefs about politics, news, etc.?
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We Are Not Disposable

Written by Samuel D. James |
Saturday, September 24, 2022
The Internet age is one in which God’s providence is questioned at an emotional level every second. Every time we log on, we are seeking in some ways to escape the embodied realties that our Creator has placed us in. Owing much to this, ours is a culture in which people feel that they and everyone else is disposable. What an opportunity for the gospel! Forget what you’ve heard about militant secularism winning the day. What good is a sexual revolution if everyone is too depressed and anxious to have sex? The culture of disposability is doing a number on us. For Christians, do we know our gospel well enough to engage it? Or we are too swept up in our own digital demolitions to see the pain and emptiness and meaningless on the faces of people around us?

One of the most disorienting things about being a sports fan is how often, in order to continue being a fan, you have to adopt a pretty ruthless outlook about your fellow human beings. If you came up to me and said, “There’s a guy I know who really needs a job to feed his family; he’s better at this job than 99% of other humans but sometimes makes the occasional mistake,” I would immediately feel almost total solidarity with this unnamed, family-providing, exceptional worker. But if you clarified that this unnamed person was actually the guy who fumbled the ball twice in the playoffs or dropped a touchdown in the fourth quarter, I would probably say it’s a tough business but we gotta get somebody who can make those plays. Sports has a way of slithering beneath even a rock-solid worldview of altruism and imago dei, and making people feel disposable.
When I think about my contemporary culture, the disposability of people stands out as one of the chief values of the day. What Alan Jacobs so artfully called “the trade-in society” is a very real thing. And it has taken control of so much of our conversation, decision making, even relationships. In the last few years, for example, I’ve seen my corner of evangelicalism throb with the ethos of disposability, as friendships forged over gospel ministry are rent asunder due to political or even social media strife. If you made me, I could name probably a half-dozen people with whom I at one point felt a great solidarity and partnership with in life and work, whom I would have to admit now (again, if you made me) I hope I don’t run into at any point in the future.
I’ve never had many “enemies” in my life. But I used to not have many “opponents” either, and it seems like that latter category has expanded. Based on conversation with others and observation about the general malaise we find ourselves in these days, I think this is true for many people. I’ve written before about Facebook, and how the Facebook of my freshman year of college seems almost like a dream that I had one time. The idea of a website whose only ethic was friendship and only currency was neighborliness seems too ridiculous now to say out loud. But that was really how it was back then. Today, places like Facebook and Twitter are so often the places you go to combat other people, not know them. And as so much of our life takes on the values and structure of the Internet, it seems to me that we are far more likely to dispose of another person—relationally, or at least in our private imagination—than we used to be.
One thing I’ve noticed is how, according to the language of “justice” or “orthodoxy” (the word depends on whether your membership is in a progressive tribe or a conservative one), you have a moral obligation to be willing to turn on your friends and colleagues at a moment’s notice if they are found to possess unacceptable views or a sinful past. The latter situation is a little more tricky and I won’t say much about it, except to note that many of us have testimonies of grace that wouldn’t exist except that someone in our lives took a risk to their own comfort or reputation in reaching out for us.
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