Category Archives: Theological Thinking

Speech: Its Value and Its Limits

Several incidents have occurred recently at American colleges and universities that raise the question of where freedom of speech is headed today.  Now let’s be clear.  Not all speech is morally acceptable if we are serious about our Biblical commitments.  Private Christian universities have good reason sometimes to create conditions for edifying and pure expression of faculty and students.  In addition private schools also have the legal right to restrict the opposite kind of expression–I daresay, even the obligation.  However… Continue Reading ››

Democracy: Is It Over-hyped? Or Overdone?

I noticed a poll taken the other day in connection with Fox News (unfortunately I did not catch the purveyor of that poll, perhaps Fox itself).  Whether the methodology was right or not, I don’t know but it found that 50% of people polled opposed the elimination of the Obamacare insurance mandate, while 48% supported its elimination.  If that reflects the public opinion generally, then we may have reached Alexis de Tocqueville’s “tipping point” in relation to democracy.  In a… Continue Reading ››

The Examined Life–With Some Help

Why do people still read Plato?  Aristotle?  The Bible?  Augustine?  Thomas Aquinas?  John Locke?  Immanuel Kant (well, maybe not so much)?  What unifies them?  It isn’t religion.  Plato and Aristotle were most certainly not Christians.  Augustine and Aquinas would have disagreed on the extent of man’s capacity to know and to will the good.  The Bible seems so different from the more philosophical treatises of those mentioned along with it above. The common element is that they all addressed the… Continue Reading ››

Immigration: A Partial Response

My colleague Bert Wheeler wrote a recent piece on Bereans addressing more than one issue related to President Trump.  The one that caught my attention was immigration policy.  Bert expressed his concern (rightly) about Trump’s policies on that front.  I assume from his use of the word “concerns” meant that he might or did have disagreements with Trump’s immigration policies.  And he followed that with this sentence: “But the root of the concerns are based in the shift away from… Continue Reading ››

The Liberal Arts in the Christian Context

Leland Ryken, Professor of English Emeritus at Wheaton College, has a fine track record of scholarship over a career that began in 1968.  He has written thoughtfully about integration in his field, among other topics, but in particular I encourage you to focus on his well known essay entitled “The Student’s Calling.”  In it he provides a biblical understanding of the call on students during their college years.  He also erases the lines we too often draw between those vocations… Continue Reading ››

The City of Man

I am sitting in the San Antonio airport, waiting for my flight back home, reflecting on an excellent Values and Capitalism retreat here and–the subject of this blog–my walk yesterday.  My goal was to walk to a bookstore about two miles from my downtown hotel.  I had mapped it out using Googlemaps and set out for what I thought would be about a 20 minute trip one way.  37 minutes later I realized I had gone too far and had… Continue Reading ››

Ethics and Economics: A New Frontier in the Twenty-First Century

This blog is generally about current policies or issues in the news or that are still current to a degree in the realm of political economy, politics, and economics.  I have been reading a really interesting book by Jonathan Wight, entitled Ethics in Economics: An Introduction to Moral Frameworks (Stanford University Press, 2015).  Wight addresses in detail one of the hottest issues among economic thinkers–it has been pretty hot among political philosophers for centuries and was once current among those… Continue Reading ››

Fake News: Hint, this blog is not fake news

Well, it appears that at least some people have now found a new pet peeve, so-called “fake news,” to be useful in attacking news stories they don’t like.  The term of course is new, but the fact is not new at all.  Various media throughout the centuries have engaged in propagandistic writing in various forms, from pamphlets and broadsides to today’s social media.  And to be completely fair, a lot of what we might call news is factually unverified and… Continue Reading ››

The Election and the Sovereignty of God: Can We Find Unity in That?

I have made some scattered comments in recent months in relation to this past election cycle and the candidates for president.  I think I made it clear that neither was anywhere close to an ideal.  Especially was this true for Christians looking honestly at each candidate.  I am sure we can all point to severe ethical deficiencies in both and also in candidates for other offices.  But now the election is over.  God has in His sovereignty allowed (or caused)… Continue Reading ››

The Real Battle

The revelation about Donald Trump’s vulgar and pretty ugly statements about women has certainly generated heated discussion.  I am not here to either defend his statements or to persuade anyone to vote for him.  I will merely state the obvious:  Christian voters find themselves in quite a quandary.  On the one hand, I am convinced we have a duty to participate in our government as God has sovereignly allowed us, including voting.  It is a part of our vocation as… Continue Reading ››