28 Oct 2016

Squirrel Life

A pair of squirrels is playing tag in the autumn sun: around the fir, across my porch, over my roof. They flirt their tails and chirrup, they thunder boldly through the day, through life. Perhaps I envy them their simple lives—unworried about elections or the future. Yet, the squirrel can’t think about the fact that it is a squirrel. It can’t wonder what the purpose of its life is or if it matters in the

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19 Oct 2016

We Don’t Belong in the Woods

This poem was mostly written on the Appalachian Trail between Max Patch and Hot Springs, NC, where I was walking for two days with my son Andy last week. You can see our hike in photos here: Ken & Andy Hike the AT I suppose my attitude may morph with remembrance rather than endurance, but I think my final conclusion still holds true.   God put nature out where we Can ignore it except on

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 3
13 Oct 2016

The Intricacies of Porn Addiction: Necessary Knowledge to Overcome

The Intricacies of Porn Addiction  The slogan “fight the new drug” has become increasingly popular, for which I am incredibly thankful. Yet, I also know that awareness and a list full of porn’s consequences is simply not enough to save people from this addiction. I also personally know how this “drug” can seemingly feel like an unconquerable enemy. So, I write this piece because after years of fighting, I believe that I have found the

Micah McMeans 8
29 Sep 2016

Loving My (Anonymous, Online) Neighbors

I recently wrapped up a major academic research project exploring how online communities comprised of anonymous members—in particular, the notoriously noxious League of Legends gaming world—attempt to police digital harassment. Most games have some sort of complaint or moderation function that triggers disciplinary action in the event of severe verbal abuse (in the case of League of Legends, disciplinary reports trigger a “judicial” review process by other players, who generally do a good job of

John Ehrett 1
27 Sep 2016

In Defense of My Opponents

I once heard the tale of a dark and dangerous place which often goes by the name of Internet! If the rumors are true, then that place overflows with angry attacks, countermoves, and insults without measure. Many an innocent child or a virtuous thinker has entered her realm and returned (if they return at all) with the scars and the soiled countenances of wars which should never have been fought. Brothers turn against brothers in

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26 Sep 2016

What Can Statistics Teach Us About Tradition?

It seems that the headnote over my last piece was more judicious than I realized at the time. Several responses—one from Ben Winter and another from Jacob Prahlow (both of whom are authors on this site)—have taken exception to one part or another of my article, with generous asides that they might have interpreted my article incorrectly. In my opinion, this is precisely what happened; I utterly agree with the theological assertions made by both of

Christian McGuire 3
19 Sep 2016

Is Christian Existentialism Unbiblical?

What is existentialism? It has connections with both famous Christians and atheists. So, is it biblical? Could there be a genuinely Christian existentialism, or should we stay away?

Micah Tillman 2
18 Aug 2016

The Value and Danger of Loving Your Enemies

Have you ever experienced a conversion? Have you gone from hating something to loving it—but then had to listen to critics who just don’t get it? You used to be in their shoes, of course, so you see exactly what they mean. But you also see how their problems aren’t real problems, are peripheral, or can be resolved. What is going on here? The obvious answer is that you used to be blind and the

Micah Tillman 3
14 Jul 2016

Sports, Virtue, and the Human Person

Perhaps I am simply a hopeless Luddite, but I find myself troubled by the recent push (by ESPN and others) toward competitive video gaming—“eSports”—as existing on a level playing field with traditional sports like football and baseball. This trend seems to violate some quintessence of sport, a set of characteristics that is compromised by massive expansion of one’s definitional boundaries. I suggest that our intuitive definitions of sport—definitions which would exclude professional video gaming—are bound

John Ehrett 1
24 Jun 2016

Conflicting Vocations and Professional Ethics — A Response to the “Buried Bodies Case”

I recently asked John Ehrett—our resident legal expert—about a fascinating podcast that discussed the ins and outs of what is known as the “Buried Bodies Case.” What follows is his response…   -Ben Winter Conflicting Vocations and Professional Ethics Among legal ethicists, few situations have received as much attention as the “buried bodies case,” a disquieting story in which the specter of a serial killer’s crimes lingered even after his conviction. The murderer in question

John Ehrett 2
26 May 2016

On the Virtue of Classical Happiness

The recent article “Why Happiness is Not a Choice” here at Conciliar Post sparked guest author, Andrew Shustov, to pen a rebuttal in hopes of clarifying the meaning of happiness and its place in our lives. —CP Editors   “The earth teaches us…because it resists us. Man discovers himself when he measures himself against the obstacle.”1 “Something, I know not what, lent this night a savor of Christmas. We told stories, we joked, we sang

Guest Author 3
25 May 2016

The Resurrection and Nietzsche’s Wager

Your view of the afterlife affects how you live now. That’s something we can learn from Nietzsche. So, do you believe in heaven, or the resurrection?

Micah Tillman 4
23 May 2016

The Blur in the Brushstrokes

Particulars matter. Of course, so do Universals and Forms. I hold to a healthy mix of Aristotle and Plato, tempered by Jesus and his word. I find it interesting that the particulars make up the whole, even if the universal was set into place first. For example, God said, Let there be light, and there was; then he went on to make the sun, moon, and stars. The universal preceded the particulars. However, we live

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29 Apr 2016

Does Apophatic Theology Denature Christianity? Part II

Does Apophatic Theology Denature Christianity Part I. I. The Reality of Sin in Apophatic Theology Viewing God as the ultimate embodiment of moral rightness means that moral action, and the moral life, is intrinsically oriented away from the self: one ought to sublimate one’s own will and desires when those sentiments impel toward self-aggrandizement or self-centeredness. Moral evil, then, is a self-oriented derogation from the moral perfection God epitomizes. Spong correctly (and in line with

John Ehrett 3
15 Apr 2016

Does Apophatic Theology Denature Christianity? Part I

Introduction: Tracing the Implications of Metaphysical Theology The branch of philosophical theology known as classical theism has long written of a God who is the Ground and Source of Being, both wholly transcendent and wholly immanent (Eastern Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart’s brilliant exposition and defense of this concept, The Experience of God, is still one of the most influential and thought-provoking books I’ve ever read). This concept, implicit in Eastern Orthodox and much Catholic

John Ehrett 0
29 Mar 2016

Thus Spoke Pontius

What do we know, and how do we know it? These are fundamental philosophical questions, and whether we realize it or not, how we answer these questions informs the very way we think about the world. In science, we rely on empirical thought; we know what can be tested. In history, we rely on corroboration of independent sources. Not every method of knowing can be applied in every circumstance. We cannot put five Julius Ceasars

Chris Casberg 16
24 Mar 2016

The Body Politic and the Body of Christ

A former US presidential candidate recently said that a current US presidential candidate had “coddl[ed] . . . repugnant bigotry,” and that doing so “is not in the character of America.”1 If you would, please consider with me what in the world this could mean. In and Out of Character When we say that doing something is not in a person’s character, we mean that that person is not the kind of person who would

Micah Tillman 8
19 Jan 2016

On Choosing Our Stories

For whatever reason, God made human beings inside of time. We are creatures of linearity, of cause and effect. We experience events in single direction. There is no going backwards, not even in memory; for when we remember things, we are creating a new story in our minds, one that becomes hazier and more indefinite the further removed we are from the events in question. Even if we were to somehow invent a machine to

Chris Casberg 2
09 Dec 2015

“Star Wars” and the Immanence of Myth

As a longtime fan of the “Star Wars” saga (yes, I even have a soft spot for the dysfunctional prequels), I eagerly anticipate the release of the long-awaited seventh installment. And like countless other nerds, I’ve watched the few snippets of promotional material more times than I care to admit. (After all, one can never watch enough lightsaber duels). Perhaps the most striking moment of the most recent trailer for me, however, was the short

John Ehrett 2
02 Sep 2015

Homoousios and the Dignity of Children

In the days of the Nicean Council, during the Arian Christological controversy that rocked the early church, the absence of a single Greek letter made a great deal of difference. Per the formulation that later became the Nicene Creed, God the Father was understood to be of the same (homoousios) essence as God the Son, not merely similar (homoiousios). This doctrine continues to govern Christological thought today, and forms an essential component of a proper

John Ehrett 2