The contemporary popular evaluation of Guy Fawkes is a great example of how iconic historical figures can become completely separated from their real-life inspiration.
Christian citizens benefit American society most when they understand that they must respect the right of other Americans to believe differently—or not believe at all—even as they earnestly contend to communicate their faith.
Dreher’s choice of the Rule of St. Benedict as the tool to frame his essay on Christian community seems to me a major reason for interpretive misunderstandings of how radically separated he intends this community to be. What he is actually proposing is no different from the basic strategies Christians have employed to create and influence local communities for centuries.
One emerging field of Reformation studies in particular focuses on the manner in which various Reformers made use of the popular media of the time, as a means of communicating their message to the masses.
These Reformation-age dilemmas illustrate how the tenuous relationships between Christians and their political leaders were no less complicated in the past than they are today.
The meaning someone is trying to express by using “evangelical” depends as much or more on context that any inherently accepted common definition of the term. The sheer flexibility of the term is both one secret of its lasting utility and at the same time its greatest weakness.