1. Very good article. And thank you for the reference to the Daily Wire movie. Had not heard of it. I agree that this is what we should be doing — engaging the culture on our own terms. I am constantly inspired and chastened by the examples of Christians in countries where they truly experience persecution. They just become bolder, if more cautious. They don’t cave in. They don’t give up. And they pray for their persecutors.

  2. tt_perry says:

    It occurs to me that media being produced in certain other countries, such as in South Korea or in Latin America, is as now not onboard with the entire agenda so popular in Europe and North America.

    Perhaps, the future will see Christians from the USA, Canada, Europe, and perhaps other “First World” countries as well fleeing to nations in East Asia or to places part of the so-called “Third World.”

    This option has some similarity with what this article says, but in practice could be quite different from merely hunkering down in enclaves in nations like the USA.

  3. Charles E. says:

    Regarding “ ideological descent”, I am reminded of my 7th grade Social Studies teacher. One comment was before a group of people is really accepted in American society, it is the target of jokes for a number of years. This was back in the 1970’s.
    A thought provoking article, illustrating that a”long game” is being played in this worlds culture/subculture. In the past couple years, I have seen numerous creative people challenging fellow creatives to use their skills and influence for social change, through storytelling via video. (My interests have been in videos & audio dramas). After reading this article, the next email I read was from “Seed & Spark”. But the point is a team is raising funds to produce an audio drama called Dawn of Hope”. Their Mission Statement is:
    The Dawn of Hope is a podcast created by audio-inspired writers, producers, and sound designers. Our story demonstrates an ability to fight for one’s basic human rights despite an overpowering government. Set in 2243 it is too late to change however there is hope if we begin the revolution in 2021.

    I am not advertising for them, but it feels like their mission statement and others parts of their website are good examples of people “playing the long game” to change others.

    Your third point may have another example, (disclosure:which I support) SUPERSONIC Pod Comics.
    An audio drama from people with experience in comic books.

  4. Tiribulus says:

    Not that you have any particular reason to care Mike, but you are somebody I wrote off a long time ago. I saw you as far too thoroughly pickled in the world and the things therein to take seriously.

    This article gives me the great hope that maybe I was wrong. A thing I would joyously celebrate.

    You are still fighting a war that scripture never commands us to fight, with weapons we are never commanded to wield, in the name of a victory we are never promised we’ll see in this age.

    However, this piece evinces a foundation in you (I hope) that I didn’t think was there.

    “Either way, simply staying the course is to invite persecution or, worse, assimilation.”

    Indeed. Assimilation would be far worse. Never have the true worshipers of the one true and living God been more powerful as a testimony to and instrument of new life in Christ than when she has been most fiercely persecuted.

    That’s all I’ll say for now. If you continue veering in the direction this article appears to demonstrate, there will be biblical realities down that road you are not going to like.

  5. I agree with everything except the use of the word “ineffective.”

    In the Christian subculture we have an omnipotent God bringing about his own purposes in this world. He is not blind. He is not impotent. His word is JUST as powerful as it has ever been. Rather, I think this is the great sifting that is spoken about in Scripture. The pitchforks are sorting wheat from chaff. God is not silent nor does he sleep. Here is a verse about this: “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.” Ezekiel 9:4

    We find in Exodus, that Joshua and Caleb had grown up in Egypt, and yet had a vibrant, trusting, hopeful faith though we read a few chapters earlier that it seemed God was silent to their plight. There is nothing ineffective about sheep and goats proving what they love the most. There is nothing ineffective about the Church being the Church. BUT…there are ineffective “churches” and these are the ones who do not hold HIGH their fear of God, their hatred of sin, their love of their enemy and neighbor.

    We do need a place to all band together, which is supposed to be physically, regularly, for the purpose of worship. Churches are upping their internet presence because of the virus. And I believe many Christian visionaries are even now working on alternative Open Source, conservative networking sites as a reaction to this expulsion from Egypt.

    But even as the Church is kicked out into a desert, we want to be the ones who don’t long for the leeks of Egypt. We want to use the models in Scripture to learn how to BE light in the darkness. As you, @MikeDuran, have a vision for being cross-over, to persuade the secular market as a god-fearing author, others likewise must not be caught “IDLE” when He returns. We creatives will continue to dig our new river, though it looks dammed up.

    We are not ineffective. We are doing what we are supposed to be doing, and people are coming to faith. In light of this, a good book to get historical context would be by D. James Kennedy.

    Thank you for this very helpful article.

  6. Liam Corley says:

    Mike, a little pleasure reading for you–The Captive Mind, by Czeslaw Milosz. It will give you some more perspective on the communist ideological purges in art that you cite here. Also, the conflation of Christian witness and Christian consumption is precisely the sort of thing I think you want to critique. Finally, I don’t see how today’s “cancel culture” is better or worse than ideological regimes that have held sway in various times/places. “Militant secularism” is a label with a long history, and I’m afraid using it contributes to the narcissism of contemporary evangelicals who elevate themselves above the saints and martyrs of the past. The fight of discipleship in art and witness remains the same, and greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your long career of exploring the relationship between Christ and Culture, a la Niebuhr.

  7. A.K. Preston says:

    One thing I’m personally looking into as a result of all these trends is a Christian classical education. I’ve barely scratched the surface of this concept, but as a speculative writer, it looks very much like the type of learning I’ve yearned for my whole life. I think that this could very well be a pathway to genuine cultural renewal and rebuilding. Here’s a good website for whoever’s interested: https://www.circeinstitute.org/resources/what-classical-education

  8. Have you watched The Chosen? Largest crowd-funding project in history, beautifully acted and filmed, with high production values. It’s biblically sound, and yet is tapping into the current zeitgeist with tremendous impact. The number of viewers worldwide is staggering, and growing. All without one cent from one secular production company, and it’s free to watch through their app and YouTube. It’s not an exaggeration to say that The Chosen is changing lives. You just have to read the comments on their Facebook page to see that. I would also point to the popularity of music like Hillsong United, Elevation, and For King and Country. They are incredibly popular and I think do have crossover appeal. So, although I agree with your main points (I read The Benedict Option), I think there are a few, faint hopeful signs of pushback.

  9. John Weaver says:


    I am an Anglican and only recently moved from Broad Church neoconservatism to something approaching an evangelical, albeit Anglican way of seeing the world (Anglicans tend to see these issues a little differently). In Christian classical education, you may want to check out New St. Andrews, Hillsdale, or Grove City College. I had bad experiences attending the last one, but the classical education they offer is exceptional and the affordable price tag - even without federal aid - would shock a lot of people. At least it did when I went there. If you are looking to expand it on your own time, just find St. Johns University's reading lists and go from there (though I would skip some of the older scientific readings there, as I'm not sure they help much). You might want to consult Jagi Wright or John C. Wright on this.
    As an academic, I can tell you that there are a few programs that tend to lean in a conservative direction. Economics still tends to be populated by conservatives, moderates, and liberals, with no one group predominating (mainly because Marxist economics is seen as junk as are extreme libertarian views. From what I've seen, 95% of economists just mix Chicago School and Keynesianism nowadays). Classics departments are still conservative, but that's eroding. The last hold out for conservatism - although this may come as something of a shock - is comparative religion departments that specialize in the study of Western esotericism (what is termed occultism in evangelicalism, though not all aspects of Western esotericism would be seen as occult by evangelicals). There was a lot of hard right people who got into Western esotericism studies in the 70's and 80's and so a certain amount of conservatism persists there. I think if evangelicals want their own classical education, they could easily get it. It just means trusting the Reformed branch of evangelicalism a little bit more when it comes to designing evangelical education.


    P.S. Personally, I would advise against supporting New St. Andrews classical education program because of Doug Wilson’s quasi-Confederate views. Grove City is not without controversy when it comes to civil rights either, but I do not think GCC supports the nonsense that Wilson published in “Southern Slavery as It Was”. In any case, the student body at GCC has a fairly independent streak that one will not see at New St. Andrews. Calvin College is also another possibility for people.

What say you?