The Dispatch Monthly Mailbag with Michael Reneau

Thanks so much for the thoughtful questions. I appreciate both the serious wrestling on issues such as faith and news consumption, and also for some of you indulging my love for Tennessee athletics and the Atlanta Braves. And hey—there are more East Tenneseans than I realized hanging around these (Dispatch) parts. We may have to organize a mini-meetup.

I probably wrote way too much below, so how about we just get to your questions? 

Kevren22: As a fellow evangelical, what are some of your favorite books/resources/thinkers for how your faith impacts your view of news, politics, and the public sphere as a whole? And what advice do you have on training your kids to think deeply and Biblically about matters of societal importance without forcing your beliefs on them in a way that encourages them in terms of how to think instead of just what to think?

In terms of books/resources/thinkers: One of my favorite books of the past few years is Reading the Times by Jeffrey Bilbro. At The Dispatch, we’re harping all the time on the need to slow the news cycle down, to put less weight on the micro-scoops so many news outlets (especially in Washington) chase, and instead seek to understand the big picture and why it all matters. Bibro encourages this too, while examining how our news consumption can draw us closer to God. It’s a great read. Lots of other writers have influenced me over the years and still do: my good friend and former boss Marvin Olasky, Mindy Belz (also a good friend and former colleague), Trevin Wax, Jake Meador and other writers at Mere Orthodoxy, Daniel Darling, Jon Ward, John Stonestreet—lots of others I could name.

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