Category Archives: Theological Thinking

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 ››

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 ››

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 ››

A Tribute to Jane Jacobs and a Christian View of Life in Cities

I realized only this week that last year was the centennial of the birth of Jane Jacobs, who was born in 1916 and died in 2006.  Now some or all of my readers might not recognize the name, but among city planners, architectural scholars, urban historians, urban economists and political scientists of an urban bent, she was (and is) legendary.  So my tribute here also gives me an opportunity to once again write about cities, their successes and failures.  It… Continue Reading ››

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 ››