22 Jun 2016

The Ethics of Funny

Many moons ago, I wrote an article titled The Divine Art of Funny, wherein I described the nature and purpose of humor from a Christian perspective. In short, humor is the study of incongruities in life and the world, and those incongruities which elicit a pleasure response like laughter and smiles are what we call “funny.” Whereas materialists are only able to describe humor in terms of evolutionary and psychological causation, I suggest that there

Chris Casberg 2
16 Jun 2016

Two Years and Counting…

           Today marks the second anniversary of Conciliar Post. Our editorial team would like to take this moment to commemorate all of the excellent work done by each and every member of this community. We want to thank you for growing with us, for journeying with us in faith over our second year. Perhaps most precious are the moments of earnest dialogue: comments sections filled with charitable questions and serious soul-searching; the welcoming of new authors and contributors

Conciliar Post News 1
10 Jun 2016

What the Benedict Option Gets Wrong

Though you may never have heard of it, the Benedict Option is an increasingly influential idea within theologically conservative circles. For more backdrop, see this article by Conciliar Post author Chris Casberg. Inspired by the closing pages of Alasdair MacIntyre’s influential 1989 book After Virtue, the modern Benedict Option proposes a strategic withdrawal from the project of secular governance, and a reorientation towards localism and community. In the view of its proponents, mass culture has

John Ehrett 1
08 Jun 2016

The One About Donald Trump

The world lost its mind while I was on vacation. I don’t believe this is my fault. However, I fully acknowledge this is not a very good excuse. If push comes to shove, I will take the blame—if for no other reason than to avoid the inevitable avalanche of tiresome op-eds about who is to blame for the world’s mind and the losing thereof. This will save time and, presumably, money for the publications who

Chris Casberg 6
05 Mar 2016

Weekly Reads {MARCH 05}

Conciliar Post: GEORGE ALDHIZER: REFLECTIONS ON THE CHURCH FATHERS: 1 CLEMENT CHRIS CASBERG: A SONNET ON THE OCCASION OF SUPER TUESDAY JOSEPH GREEN: THE PERVASIVE STRUGGLE OF LONELINESS JOHN EHRETT: NO LONGER SCANDALIZED? MATTHEW BRYAN: IS SOLA SCRIPTURA REALLY A DISAGREEMENT? From Our Authors: JOHANNA BYRKETT: EDGES DREW MCINTYRE: FEBRUARY 2016 BIBLICAL STUDIES CARNIVAL Across the Web (Super Tuesday Edition): Jamelle Bouie : They’re With Donald — Slate William Saletan: Obama Didn’t Create Drumpf — Slate — JESSICA SHORTALL :

Conciliar Post Weekly Reads 0
03 Mar 2016

No Longer Scandalized?

Revisiting Mark Noll in 2016 Though it’s had an outsize impact on evangelical intellectual culture, I’d never actually sat down with Mark Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind until this past week. Centrally, Noll (himself a Reformed evangelical) argues that the rise of fundamentalism drove a lasting wedge between mainstream academic inquiry and American Protestant communities. In Noll’s telling, this cleavage led to previously fringe theological positions (six-day creationism, flood geology, strict biblical literalism)

John Ehrett 7
18 Feb 2016

Mercy, Justice Scalia, and the Price of Self-Government

The passing of Justice Antonin Scalia has set off a flurry of political debate and public controversy over the judicial titan’s legacy. While most media attention has breathlessly fixated on the congressional gamesmanship to come, critical consideration has also been paid to Scalia’s approach to judicial life. Some have glibly crowed over perceived inconsistencies in Scalia’s opinions, but more courageous critics have turned instead to a simple frontal attack: rigid application of an archaic document,

John Ehrett 2
31 Dec 2015

The Problem of Persuasion in Politically Polarized America

In today’s internet and social media culture, opinions are flared behind the impersonal protection of the computer screen, creating the appearance of debate and dialogue where no such reality exists. America’s increasing political polarization exploits and exacerbates this problem, resulting in an environment in which we often cling to our ideological enclaves, though sometimes peering out to have heated exchanges with those with whom we disagree. These sparring matches often serve simply to justify the

George Aldhizer 0
19 Dec 2015

Weekly Reads {19 December}

The people who walked in darkness     have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,     on them has light shone. You have multiplied the nation;     you have increased its joy… {Isaiah 9:2-3a} Hello faithful CP readers, a blesséd third week of Advent to you all! This week is “Joy” week in the celebration of Advent… Some of the posts below reflect that in very different ways; some are related to current events

Johanna Byrkett 0
26 Nov 2015

In a Land with Much for Which to Be Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving, dear American readers! Today marks the day when we pause to take time away from our busy schedules to spend time with family, stuff ourselves with choice foods and rich drinks, watch copious amounts of football, and offer thanks to our Creator for His bountiful gifts. Meister Eckhart once said that “if the only prayer you ever say is thank you, it will be enough,” and today we stop to offer thanksgiving for

Jacob Prahlow 1
23 Nov 2015

Dark Nights End in Dawn

Serpentine sorrows weave their way through my thoughts tonight. It has been one of those days where things go well, but one person after another lets a little bit of ache show through. I see the hurt-yet-trying-to-be-vulnerable so the heart won’t harden. I see broken bodies and broken hearts. Sick bodies and sick souls. I see carnage and horror in the streets of Paris and Beirut. The pain piles high; the daily struggles of how

Johanna Byrkett 0
20 Nov 2015

Citizenship in Heaven

“[Christians] live in their respective countries, but only as resident aliens; they participate in all things as citizens, and they endure all things as foreigners…They live on earth but participate in the life of heaven” ~Epistle to Diognetus 6.5, 9. As a former resident of Paris and its suburbs, I have shared the grief and pain of the attacks on that beautiful city.  I have always loved Ernest Hemingway’s, now almost cliché quote, “If you

Chad Kim 2
12 Nov 2015

Conscience for Me, But Not for Thee

As a current law student at Yale, I was intrigued to read Ben Weingarten’s recent piece in The Federalist, “Allah and Man at Yale,” decrying Yale Law School’s decision to accept a significant gift for the creation of a new “Center for Islamic Law and Civilization.” My disagreements with Weingarten’s piece run deep. Not only do I strongly dispute Weingarten’s characterization of the new Islamic law center as a specter of “Islamic supremacism,” but the

John Ehrett 2
28 Sep 2015

Pope Francis Speaks to Congress

Last week the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Francis, delivered a speech to the U.S. Congress. For my friends who are too busy to read the whole speech but who might be interested to know the gist of it, I have prepared this summary. None of this should be considered a quotation – just the gist of what was said. Thanks for letting me speak here. It’s good to be in the Western Hemisphere

Guest Author 0
21 Sep 2015

On Syria and the Virtues of Hope and Charity

Images of drowned children, news of chemical bombs, and devastating stories about refugees flood our media with news of the Syrian civil war. Many Christians have vocalized the same repeated response: surely these are the end times.   I do not know if these are the end times of not; none of us know, only the Father. However, I firmly believe the admission that these clearly must be the end times is a cop-out to

Laura Norris 1
17 Sep 2015

Billy Budd and the Lesser Magistrates

A Counter-Narrative In the unfolding controversy over Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis’ refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, an old Calvinist doctrine appears to have entered the public debate. This “doctrine of the lesser magistrates” suggests that public servants ought not comply with laws that violate their consciences, stemming from the general adage that “an unjust law is no law at all.” Other thinkers have critiqued the inherent epistemic fragmentation in this doctrine

John Ehrett 3
01 Sep 2015

Saints Spitting Fire

In my previous post, I attempted to describe writer Rod Dreher’s “Benedict Option,” a nebulous ideology Dreher himself unhelpfully described as “an inchoate phenomenon in which Christians adopt a more consciously countercultural stance towards our post-Christian mainstream culture”1—a definition one could be forgiven for dismissing as a curmudgeonly grumble. Still, I believe Dreher’s nascent philosophy is one worth pursuing, despite its half-formed state and its numerous critics. Before we go further, I’d like to add

Chris Casberg 2
18 Aug 2015

What is “The Benedict Option”?

Over the past couple years, there’s been an increasing discussion in the Christian blogosphere over the “The Benedict Option,” an idea proposed by The American Conservative editor Rod Dreher as a response to the perceived end of Christianity as a Western cultural force. What is the Benedict Option, and why do we need it?  In today’s post, I’ll explore answers to these questions. While I have my own opinion on the matter, my aim here

Chris Casberg 9
27 Jul 2015

Women and the LCMS Church

First off, I wish to preface this article by stating that this is not a diatribe against the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. I have the utmost respect for the LCMS Church; while I do not agree with them on all issues, such as evolution, my husband, mother, and sister are all members of the LCMS Church, and I spent thirteen spiritually-enriching years in the LCMS Church before becoming Catholic. The focal point of this article, rather,

Laura Norris 1
20 Jul 2015

Dogma and the Boy Scouts

I read recently that the executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America voted in favor of a resolution allowing openly gay adult leaders, and that the longstanding ban could be repealed as early as July 27. As an Eagle Scout, member of the Order of the Arrow, and a longtime Assistant Scoutmaster, my feelings are (to say the least) complex. Up front, it is worth noting that there is a material difference between the

John Ehrett 1