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5 Responses to “Take What the Defense Gives You”

  1. Peter Floyd says:


    Excellent article! This is particularly true of the Church. We somehow think that the culture owes us something, rather than that the culture has moved on. If we are smart, we will take what the defense gives us, and use it to our advantage. After all, we know how the game ends.

  2. Tim says:

    Good thoughts, Mike. Thanks.

  3. Mark Elson says:

    I am a little confused Mike… is your thesis or part of your thesis saying that the second culture is ornery toward the people of other ideas and should learn to be more respectful – or – ornery of their ideas and should be more unobjectionable to their religious belief system?

    I am also a little lost of your use of “mysticism or mystical” can you clarify a little?


  4. Mike Metzger says:


    Ask Tim.

    Just kidding. I’m saying many faith communities assume we’re still in what Rieff called the second culture. Hence, when a holiday is reframed inside the reality of a third culture, they get ornery, as though they have lost Thanksgiving. To be fair, there’s a fair amount of truth in that – but it is highly unlikely that we’re ever going back to an earlier era. Better to take modest gains that make a fuss that Thanksgiving ain’t what the Puritans celebrated. This is what Chesterton meant by mysticism and the mystical. It simply means something – anything – beyond mere naturalism is better than mere naturalism. As I said, if this isn’t clear, ask Tim!

  5. Chris Harness says:

    “There is no going back to the second culture.”

    I wish we all pondered that assertion a little more thoroughly.

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