Piety & Popularity by Thomas S. Buchanan

Piety & Popularity

And Peter said, “I do not know the man!”
—Matthew 26:74

Peter’s denial of Christ was his Bathsheba—the fall from grace of a great saint that took many tears to bring about complete restoration. His denial, like most things the big fisherman did, was bold, brash, and emphatic. Most people, however, aren’t quite so ardent, either for good or for evil.

While many of us would be loathe to completely disown our Redeemer, we may be, shall we say, less inclined to let others know our position on abortion or special rights for homosexuals or any other politically incorrect stance that we might hold based on our understanding as Christians. In this sense, the outward denial of our faith is a much more subtle thing for us than it was for Peter.

While it could be argued that this is a reflection of the political climate, the real problem is much more basic. In short, it is this: most of us are afraid of being thought of as pious. We don’t want to be seen by our non-Christian friends and colleagues as people who would spend hours praying. We do not want to be thought of as someone who would take the Sermon on the Mount seriously. We don’t want to be labeled “religious” or, even worse, “fundamentalist.” We do not want to be thought of first and foremost as virginal or devout.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Thomas S. Buchanan is the George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. He has studied at UCSD, Northwestern University, and MIT, and has held visiting professorships at the University of Western Australia and the University of Aix-Marseille. He has served as department chairman, deputy dean, and institute director, president of the American Society of Biomechanics, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Biomechanics. He is on the Board of Trustees of Saint Katherine College, the editorial board of Touchstone, and the board of The Fellowship of St. James.

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Online
Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more from the online archives

23.6—November/December 2010

Darwin, Design & Thomas Aquinas

The Mythical Conflict Between Thomism & Intelligent Design by Logan Paul Gage

31.4—July/August 2018

Right Before Our Eyes

Life & Love Are Real Despite Theatrical Illusions by Anthony Esolen

33.2—March/April 2020

Glory to Be Revealed

on How Bodily Resurrection Informs Social Justice by W. Ross Blackburn

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

00