|I cannot live without books. -Thomas Jefferson||Reading Lists|
|From so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. -Charles Darwin||Quotes|
Calvinist philosophy professor Theodore Plantinga suggests that 'post-Enlightenment' Protestants, so as to act progressively or correctly in support of individual liberties, should embrace the Protestant faith, building their responses to the world on the foundation of Calvin and Luther, rather than embrace 'short-sighted' Enlightenment ideas. How does Plantinga justify his view that the societal direction of Western civilization can be improved by eschewing the Enlightenment influence and replacing it with the Reformational Christian outlook of the 16th century?
Donald Trump's latest international provocation, the decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, marches Trump-backing evangelicals a step closer to their deeply held desire for the fulfillment of Biblical end-times prophecies. A recent CNN article by Diana Bass suggests that, for many evangelicals, Jerusalem is about prophecy, not politics. I would partially agree: It is about prophecy, but it is also explicitly about politics.
Are evolutionary biology, intelligent design and the existence of God compatible? A reasonable case can be made for it, particularly if one relaxes their culture warrior muscles for a moment, and considers the argument that: science offers little tangible evidence of abiogenesis, the spontaneous creation of life from inanimate material, leaving room for God as the creator of the initial life forms; that God could just as well have created the remainder of life via the slow mechanism of biological evolution. This is not a new argument, and finds a much larger audience than the shouters like to acknowledge.
Book Book Review, Title The Global Public Square, Author Os Guinness, Rating 2.5,
The Global Public Square
Os Guiness' The Global Public Square oscillates between a Utopian call for a universal human rights and a sectarian application of those rights, as if the author was of two minds, wrestling with the views of Roger Williams and James Dobson.
Book Book Review, Title When I Was a Child I Read Books, Author Marilynne Robinson, Rating 4.0,
When I Was a Child I Read Books
Every few odd years Marilynne Robinson has produced a book of essays, notably Absence of Mind and The Death of Adam. The latest arrival is When I was a Child I Read Books: Essays. The best of Robinson shines in these latest essays: In them she lays out her vision of the American Dream, celebrating the strengths of the American way of life, marked by its liberality (individual freedom), sense of community, and generosity, each informed by a non-sectarian respect for the soul.
Book Book Review, Title What Paul Meant, Author Garry Wills, Rating 4.0,
What Paul Meant
In What Paul Meant, Garry Wills translates the authentic Pauline letters himself, and combines a careful translation of the koiné Greek with modern scholarship to suggest that Paul, who is the modern intellectual's favorite whipping boy as the man who distorted Jesus' message, is in fact a faithful interpreter of the Jesus of the Gospels.
Book Book Review, Title Protestantism And Progress, Author Ernst Troeltsch, Rating 4.0,
Protestantism And Progress
Ernst Troeltsch was a fin de siècle Protestant theologian who wrote Protestantism and Progress: A Historical Study of Protestantism and the Modern World. This work, along with his friend Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, both written just before World War I, are reasoned historical treatments of the influence of Protestantism on the perceived and potential progress of Western society. They provide effective contrast to the often simplistic and one-sided efforts by Protestant Evangelicals to do the same, such as Francis Schaeffer's How Should We Then Live?