03 Apr 2015

The Gayest Wedding Cake

A Response to “An Open Letter to Christian Bakers in Indiana” I recently read “An Open Letter to Christian Bakers in Indiana” by Russell Johnson. I appreciated it for several reasons, not least of which was its emphasis on showing Christ’s love to our gay friends, neighbors, and relatives. Christ did not shy away from engaging sinners in conversation, sharing meals with them, and allowing them personal access. I have seen signs in the past

Amanda Hill 4
31 Mar 2015

Chocolate Cake and the Death of Meaning

Recently my wife and I spent a weekend in Portland. Yes, that Portland: the Pacific Northwest hipster haven popularized by the sketch comedy show of Portlandia. The city where tattoos and body piercings are so ubiquitous one feels like a rebellious teenage outcast by not making permanent etches or punctures in their skin. I would have truly felt less out of place if I had worn my hair in an electric pink samurai topknot. Still, it’s

Chris Casberg 3
30 Mar 2015

An Open Letter to Christian Bakers in Indiana

Dear Bakers, You have been getting a lot of attention recently, especially since the new law passed that would likely allow you to refuse to make cakes for gay weddings. It’s certainly worth asking how to interpret the First Amendment on this issue, but perhaps first we should ask what the gospels say. As you may remember, Jesus’s first miracle was at a wedding party. He provided wine for a bunch of people who were

Guest Author 14
02 Mar 2015

A Defense of Nagel, Part IV

The Problem of Consciousness for the Corpuscular Cosmos The biologist Kenneth Miller gives a charitable response to Nagel by interpreting him to say there are fundamental issues, like consciousness, which makes the materialist program in biology face obstacles it will not overcome in the near future. Nagel’s book today, Miller says, parallels Erwin Schrödinger’s book, What is Life? in 1956. According to Miller, Schrodinger said “that our then-current understanding of physics was incapable of explaining

Ryan Shinkel 0
26 Feb 2015

Houston, We Have a [Muslim] Problem

As someone who has spent the last six years of my life studying the history and culture of Muslim societies, I find myself increasingly troubled by the way in which Americans, and particularly Christians, speak about Islam and Muslims. When Christians, especially those with a conservative worldview, write or speak about Islam, you typically find the same problematic sources and anti-Muslim activists being utilized over and over. It is rare to see a Christian engaging

Chris Smith 22
19 Feb 2015

To Prove a Point

In one sense, Conciliar Post exists because people disagree, and they disagree about really important stuff. If everyone were on the same page theologically and confessed all of the same things, this website would either be nonexistent or serving a very different purpose. You don’t have to look any further than the round table portions of Conciliar Post to see that there are actually very significant and fundamental differences among the beliefs of our community.

Nicholai Stuckwisch 4
12 Feb 2015

A little less Friedman, a little more Hayek

Milton Friedman and Friedrich August von Hayek are two of the most prominent economic thinkers of the twentieth century. Both men are also deeply influential among those with conservative and/or libertarian philosophical leanings and the ideas of both have shaped global capitalism. Over the past year, I finally sat down and read two of the foundational works written by these men, Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom and Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom and came to the

Chris Smith 3
06 Feb 2015

Brutality or Beatitude?

“So this is where we are. Ashes, ashes, all fall down. How could I have forgotten? Didn’t I see the heavens wiped shut just yesterday, on the road walking? Didn’t I fall from the dark of the stars to these senselit and noisome days? The great ridged granite millstone of time is illusion, for only the good is real; the great ridged granite millstone of space is illusion, for God is spirit and worlds his

Benjamin Winter 2
03 Feb 2015

The Future of Christianity in America, Part III

In case you missed them, here are the first and second parts of this series. In this third and final installment, I explore what we Christians in America are to make of our current situation. What is this situation? It’s a comfortable one, I think. As we saw in the first article, most of America considers itself Christian, even if the majority might not understand, or even care, exactly what that entails. In any case,

Chris Casberg 0
22 Jan 2015

A Defense of Nagel, Part III

The Corpuscular Cosmos of the Early Modern Philosophers Now the “strictly mathematical and materialist conception of the natural order the early moderns bequeathed to us,” that Edward Feser mentioned in my first paper, refers to the mechanical philosophers. Take the case of Rene Descartes: in his mechanics, he argues that if a person knew enough, he should be able to reduce chemistry and biology to mechanics. The process of how a seed develops into an

Ryan Shinkel 1
20 Jan 2015

The Religious Atheists: Community, Ritual, and Dogma in a Secular Age

The Sunday Assembly is an odd bird, exhibiting something of a contradiction in its very existence-”free thinking,” and yet congregational, “scientific” and yet worshipful, “non-doctrinal” yet “We are born from nothing.” The Sunday Assembly represents an attempt to plunder the goods of institutionalized religion while still attempting to stay outside of it. Despite its best efforts, this article will argue that the Sunday Assembly does indeed represent institutionalized religion within the three points of community, ritual, and dogma. Unfortunately, the “celebration” of the Sunday Assembly appears empty, resulting in an unfortunate parody of the riches of the real Body of Christ. Reflecting on the existence of the Sunday Assembly, like eating tofu and yearning for filet mignon, should have Christians rejoice in the good news in the true assembly.

George Aldhizer 9
20 Jan 2015

The Future of Christianity in America, Part II

In the first part of this series, I briefly examined the demographic reality of Christianity in America. I concluded that the majority of America is at least nominally Christian, though perhaps only a minority have a committed relationship to the divine Jesus Christ. In any case, both Christianity and Judaism are viewed warmly by the majority of the country, while atheism and Islam do not share such favor. I called America a “Christian-friendly nation,” and

Chris Casberg 5
19 Jan 2015

American Sniper | Movie Review

Clint Eastwood’s biographical study of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle – a sniper credited with over 160 confirmed kills, the most in U.S. military history – will likely be remembered as the “Saving Private Ryan” of the Iraq War. This will undoubtedly seem high praise for a film which just opened in wide release: “American Sniper,” however, not only offers an exceptional character study, but brilliantly captures the conflicted cultural ethos surrounding a war to which

John Ehrett 2
13 Jan 2015

A (Free) College Education for Everyone?

Is “free” community college education for everyone? Jacob Prahlow reflects on the cost, need, and implications for such a proposal.

Jacob Prahlow 2
08 Jan 2015

Christian Pornography Addiction: A Study In Personhood

Why are so many Christian men addicted to Pornography? What does Pornography do you a person? It is my purpose to talk about what Pornography–and more broadly, sin in general–does to our personhood. I believe that pornography addiction among Christian men is only one of the most obvious areas affected by a deeper lie that we have been buying for quite some time.

Benjamin Cabe 6
06 Jan 2015

The Future of Christianity in America, Part I

In previous articles for Conciliar Post—and in related discussions—I’ve cautioned that Christians should avoid both the language and perception of persecution, as well as refrain from interpreting shifts in culture and politics as an attack on the faith. I’ve written much on what we shouldn’t believe, but the question remains: “What should we believe?” I freely admit that much of my writing to this point could be summarized as: complaining about complainers—and that an acknowledgement

Chris Casberg 3
26 Dec 2014

A Defense of Nagel, Part II

Author Ryan Shinkel offers the second part of his defense of Nagel, considering the philosophical role of the evolutionary biologist and Nagel’s understanding of the subjective life.

Ryan Shinkel 0
25 Dec 2014

Keeping Love in Christmas

I have heard distant rumblings of war. According to my Facebook feed, there are a number of wars going on—the war on women, the war on marijuana, and the war on Christmas. In fact, it would seem that every time an ideological disagreement pops up, it gets couched in terms of war. The problem with this, of course, is that when everything is a war nothing is a war. So when a really big problem

Amanda Hill 3
23 Dec 2014

Why Professor Gushee is Wrong About How to Handle Same-Sex Marriage

Guest Author Deion Kathawa responds to Professor David P. Gushee’s recent article in the Washington Post and offers a critique of evangelical positions in favor of Same-Sex Marriage.

Deion Kathawa 5
23 Dec 2014

On Torture

This is not the piece I wanted to produce the same week I celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Yet, as Martin Luther King Jr. said in his 1967 speech at Riverside Church, I must address the recent U.S. Senate report on state-directed torture “because my conscience leaves me no other choice.”1 The barbaric and dehumanizing treatment of suspects in U.S. custody is one of the great moral issues of our generation, yet despite the

Chris Casberg 13