Breaking the Law of Niceness

If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother (Matthew 18:15).   We’ve been discussing Christian rhetoric and theological discourse on the HB. This . . . Continue reading →

QIRE, Syncretism, Kingdom Confusion, and Evangelical Niceness

Andrée Seu of WORLD Magazine made a boo boo. She’s supposed to say that, as an evangelical, she disapproves of Mormonism but the temperature of Glen Beck’s religious fervor is so high that it wins the day. She writes:

When Community Isn’t

The contemporary use of the word “community” has troubled me for some time. I couldn’t put my finger on it until today. It came to me during a drive across the vast wasteland that is Nevada. Folk routinely speak about the “online” . . . Continue reading →

Challies Gets Niceness

Humans seem to be naturally drawn to niceness. Niceness is comfortable. To be nice is to be pleasant in manner, to be agreeable, to adhere to social conventions. We like to be around people who are nice at least in large part . . . Continue reading →

Machen: The Good Fight Of Faith

The Apostle Paul was a great fighter. His fighting was partly against external enemies—against hardships of all kinds. Five times he was scourged by the Jews, three times by the Romans; he suffered shipwreck four times; and was in perils of waters, . . . Continue reading →

Luther’s Rhetoric Versus Melanchthon’s

The little fellow is a godly man…his intention is not bad…but he hasn’t accomplished much by his method. I think…that my way is still the best. I speak right out and scold my opponents like schoolboys. For a knotty stump requires a . . . Continue reading →

Machen On Revival And Controversy

I do not know all the things that will happen when the great revival sweeps over the Church, the great revival for which we long. Certainly I do not know when that revival will come; its coming stands in the Spirit’s power. . . . Continue reading →

Disagreeing With You Isn’t Unloving

Have you ever noticed that when differences of opinion come up between the confessionalists and the “can’t we all get along” (hereafter abbreviated “cwaga”) folks, that incredibly shrill and unloving voices come from the latter group directed towards the former group, all . . . Continue reading →

Kuyper Wasn’t Nice

Abraham Kuyper was a great man but not a nice one. —James D. Bratt, Abraham Kuyper: Modern Calvinist, Christian Democrat (2013), xxii.

There’s A Reason It’s Called The Church Militant

In other words, to engage in controversy is not merely to be one of Machen’s warrior children. It is to belong to the church militant. —Jack Miller, “The Old Life Controversialist”

Of Virtues True And False: Niceness v Christian Virtue

Traditionally in Christian ethics there was said to have been seven virtues, the three theological virtues (faith, hope, and love from 1 Cor 13) and four cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance). Our word virtue is derived from Latin words for strength. . . . Continue reading →

Aimee Gets Niceness

There’s a difference between niceness and kindness. A nice person is agreeable, delicate and subtle. While this is very helpful behavior that is useful to society, these can also be very manipulative traits. A kind person is benevolent, compassionate, gracious and favorable. . . . Continue reading →

Heidelcast 42: Fiona’s Crisis


The Heidelcast considers the case of Fiona, who was raised in a broadly evangelical congregation. In that tradition, the emphasis was on unity over diversity. The congregation tolerated different approaches to the sacraments and to the doctrine of salvation. What bound them . . . Continue reading →

When Nice Is The Highest Virtue

In an age when being nice is the highest virtue, publicly confronting error from a well-known Christian is perhaps the last taboo in contemporary evangelicalism. I am a pastor. I write things that a very small number of people here and there . . . Continue reading →

Carl And Todd Are Not Nice

So far the best thing about the Mortification of Spin podcast has been the occasional appearances—an odd word for a aural medium—of Aimee Byrd. One of these days she might just roller-skate right over to Philadelphia and then whammo! Certainly they are proving . . . Continue reading →

Niceness: The Eddie Haskell Of Evangelicalism

I’ve recently said on a Mortification of Spin podcast that niceness is the Eddie Haskell of evangelicalism. It’s haskellmanipulating, but not really loving, manners without truth. Have we become more concerned with our expectations of politeness at the expense of truth? I . . . Continue reading →

Lewis: Living In A Society Of Possible Gods

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, and to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you . . . Continue reading →