Category Archives: Theological Thinking

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 ››

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 ››