Why Romney Wins Primaries But No Victories

by Matthew Raley With Mitt Romney's wins in Michigan and Arizona last night, the race for the GOP nomination may become more stable. But the diminishing political options for Romney's competitors will not change the attitudes of GOP voters. The candidates reflect America's deepening division without giving the leadership Americans need to reunite. Republicans will... Continue Reading →

Gingrich and Social Conservatives

by Matthew Raley The victory of Newt Gingrich in South Carolina puts evangelicals and other social conservatives at a crossroads. Gingrich by any measure is morally equal to Bill Clinton, upon whom social conservatives released so much rhetorical lava in the 1990s. Yet one of the GOP's most traditionalist states has just told its delegates... Continue Reading →

Santorum’s Rise in Iowa

by Matthew Raley When I watched Rick Santorum's debate performances over the last several months, I was struck by two things. First, his answers were unusually direct and fluent. He didn't waste time trying to be charming (like Rick Perry) or delivering scripted zingers (like Michelle Bachmann). He seemed to have no use for evasion.... Continue Reading →

Conservatives’ Rising Expectations

by Matthew Raley The generic Congressional polls now predict a Republican thumper in November, recalling the sweep of 1994. When the Republicans took the House and Senate that year, the spread in similar polls had reached 5 points. Today, the RCP average shows a Republican lead of 6.7 points. Last week, the Gallup poll found... Continue Reading →

The Political Role of Churches

by Matthew Raley The religious right asserts that America must be turned back to biblical values through legislation and judicial decisions. It assumes that correcting the laws will free a godly citizenry to restore American culture. Thus, today's social conservatism tends to be defined by what politicians will do. Over a series of posts (starting... Continue Reading →

The Colossians 1.28 Plan, Concluded

by Matthew Raley The tired line on ministry is that it's not our job to produce results, only to be faithful. Unfortunately, I hear this most often from people who agree with me theologically. I am convinced that God alone produces spiritual life. I hold and teach the reformed understanding of salvation, that Jesus Christ... Continue Reading →

The Colossians 1.28 Plan, Continued

by Matthew Raley I believe churches need to have a business plan to reverse their decline, a plan that directs resources toward the New Testament goal of moving people to maturity in Christ (Colossians 1.28-29). The reason local churches are in decline is that they have confused goals, and incoherent business plans. They direct resources... Continue Reading →

What T. S. Eliot Would Say to the Religious Right

by Matthew Raley Dr. Gil Stieglitz, western district superintendent of the Evangelical Free Churches of America, says, “The older pastor tends to think about electing a Christian president and being only one or two Supreme Court justices away from ‘winning.’ The most common point of view among younger pastors is that the culture war is... Continue Reading →

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