It's difficult to believe that it's already the third month of 2023. Spring is in the air—somewhere. Just not here for the moment. Despite the winter weather, I did manage to travel twice in the past month. I reported on my trip to the Pittsburgh area in February's newsletter. Last week I flew to Boston to visit family, including my 91-year-old mother who is in a nursing home north of the city. I had hoped to see her last May but was prevented from doing so by my lengthy illness. I am grateful to God that I was able finally to visit with her.
These days most of my work is on my next book, provisionally titled, "Citizenship Without Illusions." Two months ago, I posted an outline of the book with a chapter-by-chapter description of its contents. However, in the process of writing, the outline has changed from what I had anticipated, and I suppose more changes will come as I continue to write. I have completed first drafts of the first four chapters. I have completed most of chapter 5, with the remaining material coming from interviews I hope to conduct in the near future. I am currently writing chapter 6, and thus far I expect there to be nine chapters in total, one less than in my proposal. I am keeping an eye on the word count, which is not to exceed 80,000. Please pray for me as I continue this project, which is due at the end of the calendar year.
In connection with my next book, I have been reviewing an article I posted several years ago for First Things, titled, The End of Democracy? Social Media's Usurpation of Politics. While social media have given us access to huge stores of information, they have a negative side as well:
After nearly a decade of observing political behavior on such sites, it appears to me that the traditions of civility extolled by Walter Lippmann six decades ago have fallen on hard times. Social media tend to magnify the expansive self, encouraging participants to stake out a virtual identity within the ethereal territory of the world wide web: “This is who I am, like it or not!” “My political beliefs are part of my identity; to call them into question is to call my very identity into question.” Rather than discussing the issues in an intelligent way that might make us open to opposing viewpoints, we are now backing each other into corners, holding up to ridicule those stupid enough to find merit in, well, you fill in the blank.
I take up this issue in chapter 5 of my manuscript.
At the beginning of last month, I participated in a discussion that took place at a board meeting of the Center for Public Justice, an organization with which I have been associated for more than forty years. Other participants included Jim Skillen with Calvin University's Tracy Kuperus moderating. The conversation was recorded and can be found here.
My year-long series for the Politics Network of UCCF: The Christian Unions continues with my latest contribution on conservatism: Conservatism: tradition as norm. The next instalment will be on nationalism, and that will appear in early April.
Last month saw reports of a revival coming out of Asbury University, a Christian university in the Wesleyan tradition located in Wilmore, Kentucky. Not having personally witnessed the event, I am inclined to reserve judgement as to its genuineness, but I decided to post a brief comment on it: Asbury's aftermath: weighing revival.
Finally, I recently received a copy of Psalms of Grace, a new metrical psalter produced by Grace Community Church in Los Angeles. My review can be found here. My overall judgement is that it is an excellent collection of professional quality, even if it uses an in-house Bible translation not widely known or read elsewhere. It is unusual for a single congregation to produce a metrical psalter, but Grace Church pulled it off rather well, in my estimation.
Last year's fundraising efforts went well, and I am grateful to so many of you who contributed financially to my work. However, the results did not quite measure up to those of 2021. Accordingly, I would like to renew my appeal for your support, especially as I am preparing my third book for publication. Not everyone is in a position to help in this way, but for those of you who are, I would be grateful if you would consider making a monthly donation, which helps Global Scholars to set a budget, including the small salary I receive.
GSC's page for giving can be found here. Once you are in the page, scroll down to the heading marked DONATION DETAILS, and then choose one of the options under FUND. Americans may donate through our sister organization in the US. Thank you so much!
Yours in God's service,
David Koyzis, Global Scholar