The recent events in Baltimore and Ferguson, along with the killings of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Eric Garner and John Crawford III, have thrust the issue of race back into our public discourse. It is a discussion that needs to take place. It is a talk we must have. Unfortunately, discussions on race relations often devolve into shouting matches, tired cliches, and playing the “blame game.” Here, I would like to outline 5
Back in January, I wrote an article about the dangers of individualism, warning that the dignity and agency of human beings is at risk in a society where we are required by law to treat others as black boxes and consider sacrosanct the freedom to close ourselves off from people and ideas. The recent controversy over the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act brought these thoughts back to my mind. Since then, I’ve again been wondering
“It is foolish, generally speaking, for a philosopher to set fire to another philosopher in Smithfield Market because they do not agree in their theory of the universe. That was done very frequently in the last decadence of the Middle Ages, and it failed altogether in its object. But there is one thing that is infinitely more absurd and [impractical] than burning a man for his philosophy. This is the habit of saying that his
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
“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
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,
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
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.
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
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
Is “free” community college education for everyone? Jacob Prahlow reflects on the cost, need, and implications for such a proposal.
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.
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
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.