Category Archives: Book Review

Democracy: Embrace or Re-think?

I recently finished a book by Jason Brennan entitled Against Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2015) that I found intriguing.  It might not sound glamorous but I think the topic is timely in light of our American love of democracy in its various forms, whether direct or representative.  I don’t want to leave the impression that Brennan is some sort of either anarchist on the one hand or totalitarian or monarchist on the other.  Rather what he does is pose a… Continue Reading ››

Michael Novak: The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

On February 17, 2017 Michael Novak, champion of capitalism, died at the age of 83. Arguably Novak had a more significant impact than any other scholar of his generation who wrote on political economy from a distinctive Christian perspective. I picked up my copy of his 1982 classic: The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism (still a best seller at Amazon). I skimmed  through the book reading some of the passages I highlighted the first time I read the book in the late 1980s. I would like… Continue Reading ››

Christian Worldview: A Request and a Tentative Work

I think what I am doing in this blog is a bit out of the ordinary. And I offer it with an attitude of trepidation.  But nevertheless, I have included in this blog a link to the first chapter of what I envision as an entire book on Christian Worldview.  The tentative title is The Integration of Christian Worldview:  Substance and Method.  I am offering it for public view because I am also requesting any comments readers may have about… Continue Reading ››

Just Trying to Compete with the Movies

As many of you know my Bereans colleague Mark Smith likes movies and likes to write movie reviews.  I am not so cool so I like books.  And on occasions I like to highlight some I like really well.  This time I have three.  And I apologize that you can’t go see the movie versions of these—I don’t think anyone would go at any rate. If you like economic methodology (who doesn’t), you’ll love this book.  It is a bit… Continue Reading ››

How Did “I” Become an “I”? A New Historical Work on Liberalism

It’s time for another book review.  I am reading several books but just finished one by Larry Siedentop, entitled Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism (Penguin, 2014, 434 pages).  The author has a fascinating and somewhat counterintuitive thesis that what we call “Liberalism” ( I will capitalize the word) was really “created” by Christianity and arose over a long period of time from the 3rd or 4th century AD to the later Middle Ages.  Contrary to many scholars… Continue Reading ››

Book Review: Religion, Politics and European Perceptions

I just finished reading another interesting book, at least to me it was interesting.  And I think I can convince you that you should consider reading it too.  The book, authored by Thomas Albert Howard, is entitled God and the Atlantic: America, Europe and the Religious Divide (Oxford, 2011).  It runs to 256 pages, including bibliography and index, a very manageable length for an academic book.  The subject of the book is a historical exploration of the European attitude toward… Continue Reading ››

Higher Education and its Challenges, Another Book and Proposal

There is an interesting new book on higher education, William G. Bowen and Eugene M. Tobin, Locus of Authority, in which the authors argue that more authority must be given to presidents and administrators, given the new environment in which universities operate.  The argument runs that faculty tend to be “conservative” about change, that is, resistant to it, but that the higher education landscape necessitates changes and flexibility.  Hence their proposal.  George Leef at the Pope Center for Higher Education… Continue Reading ››

The Gospel at Work

As reported at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics website, the New York Times published a very interesting editorial piece: Donald Trump and the Rise of the Moral Minority on September 26th. Using the somewhat surprising fact (to me anyway) that Donald Trump is currently the Republican candidate of choice amongst evangelical voters (Washington Post, Boston Globe), Molly Worthen described a rift in the evangelical voting bloc. The divide is between evangelicals who would support a “moral majority” political strategy and those in favor of a very… Continue Reading ››

Constrained / Unconstrained: Human Nature and Political Economy

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned – Romans 5:12 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave… Continue Reading ››

Carl Henry Rediscovered (For the World and Cedarville University): A Book Review

I just finished another book I would commend to our readers.  Gregory Alan Thornbury has published Recovering Classic Evangelicalism:  Applying the Wisdom and Vision of Carl F. H. Henry.  Crossway, 2013.  As the title indicates, the author, current president of King’s College in New York City, and erstwhile “geek” (more below), the book represents both a summary of Carl Henry’s ideas and a recommendation to evangelical Christians that the work of Henry be resurrected and newly appreciated and appropriated.  Thornbury… Continue Reading ››