Articles by Bethel McGrew

Bethel McGrew is an American freelance writer whose work has been spotted in outlets on both sides of the pond, including Spectator UK and USA, The Critic, First Things, Plough, American Conservative, and more. She maintains a Substack, Further Up, blogs at Patheos under Young Fogey, and tweets compulsively @EstherOfReilly. She attends a dramatically tiny ACC church in an undisclosed Midwestern location, where the prayers of the 1928 BCP are still spoken and the songs of the 1940 hymnal are still sung.


Retro Book Review: The Returns of Love, Part II

Today we continue examining The Returns of Love, a forgotten but noteworthy anonymous chronicle of homosexual temptation in Christian perspective. In Part I, I put this fifty-year-old work in historical context and introduced its unique authorial voice, which defies simplistic contemporary categorization. Through the literary device of “letters” to a best friend, we are quickly…

Retro Book Review: The Returns of Love, Part I

In May 1971, the American Psychiatric Association was bracing for trouble. They were preparing to hold their annual convention in Washington, D. C. The previous year’s convention in San Francisco had been disrupted by a militant band of gay activists. Strategically planting themselves in breakout sessions on sexuality, the protestors had successfully turned the academic…

A Tempest Observed: Reflections on Sexuality and the ACNA

Last week, noted Calvin College philosopher James K. A. Smith caused a stir on Twitter when he posted a picture of himself wearing a pink “You Are Loved” T-shirt, captioned “At @Calvin Uni, ALL students are welcomed, affirmed, and loved. To our LGBTQ students always, but today especially: #YouAreLoved.” Further context for the pic was…

A Prayer for Split Men

Almighty God, To whom all restless hearts are open All old desires known And from whom no guilty secrets are hid Of thy great mercy, Regard the split men. Regard the man Who still dreams Christian dreams, Who cannot pass a chapel Except he enters in, Who cannot hear a carol Except he joins the…

Pro-Life in the Time of COVID

It can be tempting to exaggerate the darkness of our current cultural moment. The word “unprecedented” has become a cliché, generally pressed into the service of political point-scoring. One wants to resist over-inflation, appearing to be ignorant of seasons in our country’s past that were no less grim than the present. And yet, as American…

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