Category Archives: Moral Philosophy and Ethics

Celebrating Martin Luther and lessons for today’s Christian Political Economy

Whatever your brand of protestant faith, I think that in this coming month of October–in a very important sense–we are all Lutherans: here we stand.  The monk from Wittenberg was the spark that roared to an unquenchable fire, hitting the dry wood of people yearning for the true word of God.  As Michael Reeves says, The Reformation was not principally a negative movement about moving away from Rome and its corruption; it was a positive movement, about moving toward the… Continue Reading ››

Compassion in Houston: Altruism or Selfishness?

On a Fox News group show this morning (Saturday, Sept 2 on “Bulls and Bears”) I heard one person say that businesses in Houston had opened their buildings for individuals and even were giving merchandise away to those in need.  The pundit then added that the owners of these businesses probably acted as they did for self-interested reasons, believing that it would be good for sales in the future.  I’m sure he wasn’t trying to be cynical, but his comment… Continue Reading ››

Deconstructing the “De-growth” Movement

Tom Rogan in the Washington Examiner wrote a very interesting piece on the new expression of an old idea–”degrowth.”  (see http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/the-far-left-has-an-idiotic-new-craze-reduce-economic-growth/article/2631274).  He leads with these words: “Even the Soviets sought to maximize economic output. But today’s contemporary far-left are far bolder: they believe that economics itself is wrong.”  He writes further, “From their perspective, government shouldn’t simply control the means of economic production (socialism), it should actively work to reduce gross domestic product (GDP).”  Yes, you read that correctly.  The… Continue Reading ››

The Christian and Cultural Engagement

Cultural engagement.  What is it and how should Christians be “doing” it, assuming they should?  And perhaps I shouldn’t even assume that.  At any rate, I would like to explore the Christian in relation to his or her potential or real involvement in the political or cultural realms physically outside the church and apart from what the church “does” as its primary calling by the Word of God. First let’s look at what the “anti-engagement” side says.  Now basically these… Continue Reading ››

Conservatism and Religion: The Inseparable Tie Broken?

I read a very intriguing article yesterday in the National Review Online by Eliott Kaufman, with the title of “Are Conservatives Really Just Liberals?”  By the title you might think the author is about to criticize conservatives in Congress or in the Federal bureaucracy who aren’t acting like conservatives.  However the article actually poses a serious question about definition, and even further, about how conservatives and liberals (of a certain kind) ought to define themselves. But the article also draws… Continue Reading ››

What Do We Do with “Experts”? Human Nature is the Key to the Answer

I happened to catch a couple of minutes of the Rush Limbaugh program, in which he was playing some snippets from an interview of Kurt Anderson and Charlie Rose on PBS, on the subject of Anderson’s new book, Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire.  The theme of the books seems to center on how conservative talk radio has mislead so many people in the United States, but I want to focus on a sub-theme, mentioned in the interview, in which Anderson… Continue Reading ››

Bigger government means less tolerance

Many Americans of all political stripes consider the heated level of political rhetoric to be harmful to our country, and the recognition that we’re very divided is not generally seen as a good thing.  Yet I think we often fail to see the reason why there is seemingly more division.  We blame the 24 hour news cycle, increased partisanship by those evil Republicans/Democrats (take your pick), or loss of cultural civility.  Certainly all of those factors weigh into what is… Continue Reading ››

Yes, political economy can even come up in spiritual mentoring discussions!

Dick Armey, the former majority leader of the House of Representatives during the 90s, used to say something to the effect of “Republicans are always afraid you won’t understand the issue; Democrats are always afraid you will”  Democrats seemingly could care less about reams of data, but live and die by the anecdote–they just need one real face with a stirring heart story to put in front of the camera.  While this is not universally true, it is true that… Continue Reading ››

Sharia Law Protests: The Truth About Sharia

It has been reported that today (June 19m 2017) has been set aside for protests around the nation against Sharia law, the legal system used in most Muslim countries to a greater or lesser extent.  The principles for Sharia are derived from both the Quran and Hadith, the alleged sayings of Muhammed and have been more or less systematized into various schools of legal thought (five to be precise), all having significant overlap.  There are a number of groups today… Continue Reading ››

Predicting socialist policies lead to disaster is like shooting fish in a barrel

In a response to a recent post on the need for us to pray for the poor people of Venezuela, one poster suggested the problems weren’t socialism, but over-dependence on one export–oil.  And since the price of oil has dropped so dramatically, that has caused the problems.  While that is a superficial reason, one has to look at deeper reasons as to why they were overly dependent upon oil, and we also must examine why the oil industry in Venezuela was… Continue Reading ››