Canon & Culture: An Introduction

January 28, 2014

As managing editor, I’d like to welcome you to Canon and Culture, one of the many new initiatives coming from The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

What is Canon & Culture?

Canon & Culture is a project of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Our desire is for the ERLC to be a leading source in educating and cultivating the evangelical mind on the great public issues of our day. Like the title of our project suggests, all of culture and the public square is to be measured and judged according to a “canon”—a rule, a standard, or a precept, which for Christians is Christ and His Kingdom.

Canon & Culture’s purpose is to help build and strengthen the church’s social, ethical, and moral witness by providing thoughtful content from leading thinkers that inspires a rising generation of evangelicals to think Christianly about the public square.

Canon & Culture will serve as an online forum for Christian thinking on a wide range of issues—topics such as art, vocation, politics, education, philosophy, ethics, technology, culture, and the common good.

Who do we hope will write for us? Scholars, public intellectuals, policy experts, think tank employees, seminary and college presidents, and aspiring scholars.

Why Another Blog?

In many ways, we’re not trying to be cutting edge. We’re merely leaning in—leaning in and confronting a culture that we believe shouldn’t slouch toward Gomorrah, because God sent His Son to redeem it through Him, not condemn it (John 3:17). What we’re interested in is adding our voice to the great and growing cacophony of Christian public square engagement. Like great sites or publications such as Touchstone, Public Discourse, Mere Orthodoxy, First Things, or Fare Forward, we’re interested in developing and plumbing the intellectual contours of the Christian social tradition. To that end, Canon & Culture desires to be an avenue that helps evangelicals discern and navigate the times we find ourselves in—in a culture where religious nominalism is dropping out even as vibrant and orthodox belief continues to move forward.

The Specifics

Everyone loathes sound-bite culture, so we’re being intentional about creating an atmosphere that welcomes depth, but with an emphasis on clarity and depth. Ideally, essays will be 1,200-1,700 words. Some essays may be a bit shorter, while others may be a little longer. We plan to publish essays on Tuesday and Thursday of each week.

In addition, there will be an accompanying podcast published at least monthly with interesting thinkers on similar subjects you’d see written about. My colleague, Matthew Hawkins, will host the podcast with Daniel Darling and myself as accompanying hosts.

We look forward to this project and hope that you’ll join us as a regular reader as we explore how Christ and His Kingdom interact with culture.

You can also connect with us on twitter: @canonandculture.


Andrew Walker
Andrew Walker is the managing editor of Canon and Culture. He also serves as the Director of Policy Studies for The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the denomination’s entity tasked with addressing moral, social, and ethical issues. In his role, he researches and writes about human dignity, family stability, religious liberty, and the moral principles that support civil society. He is a PhD student in Christian Ethics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Andrew lives in Franklin, TN with his wife and daughter and is a member of Redemption City Church. You can find him on twitter at @andrewtwalk.