Observations, Religion.

To the power of love

Pope Francis, recently elected, has my attention and admiration.  I must admit to having been uninterested in those men who have occupied the papacy during my lifetime; I am not a Catholic, nor particularly religious for that matter.   But Francis seems different: He has humbly eschewed the pomp of the office, worries aloud and often about the poor, opens the door to all, emphasizes a loving attitude towards homosexuals (contrary to so many fundamentalists of various religions), openly questions the excesses of the marketplace, has recently taken steps to deal more honestly with the pedophilia issues within his Church, and emphasizes much more the mystery of God rather than the rigid confines of orthodoxy and doctrine.

Essays, Religion, Science.

Can religion and science be reconciled?

"Adherents of religion and science too often want to own the unknown"

Victor Stenger, a physicist who has written extensively about religion and science, asserts emphatically that science and religion cannot be reconciled, and at best merely coexist in parallel thought universes. His primary argument is that faith requires no evidence and science does. Alfred North Whitehead, in his essay Religion and Science, emphasizes the commonality of change in both science and religion, and that both are more plastic than the controversialists from either camp would acknowledge. Is Stenger one of those controversialists? Can religion and science be reconciled?

History, Politics-Government, Religion.

The ghost of Schaeffer past

Book Book Review, Title How Now Shall We Live?, Author Charles Colson, Rating 2.0,

How Now Shall We Live?

Charles Colson

Book Review

By the time Charles Colson got out of prison in the mid-70's, having been convicted for acts of political skullduggery during the Watergate scandal, he had converted to Evangelical Christianity. How Now Shall We Live was his best-seller, an homage to Francis Schaeffer's view of Western history. Schaeffer was a presuppositional millennialist who in the 1970's left the quiet life of a Christian intellectual to help lead the evangelicals to the heights of political activism we see today in the U.S.

History, Politics-Government, Religion.

Hearts and minds

Book Book Review, Title Born Again, Author Charles W. Colson, Rating 2.5,

Born Again

Charles W. Colson

Book Review

During his years as a Republican political operative, Charles Colson prominently displayed an old Marine Corp saying in his home: 'When you’ve got ’em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.' Colson described those years and the hard crash that followed in his book Born Again as a mid-life autobiography precipitated by a mid-life crisis. After his role as a self-described 'hatchet man' for Nixon White House was slowly exposed during the Watergate scandal, he converted to Evangelical Christianity, and after being convicted of obstruction of justice, he spent some time in prison.

Essays, Philosophy, Religion, Science.

What to believe?

Confusion is the only rational outcome of the questions raised by religion.  How can one be certain that God exists or certain that God does not exist, or if God exists, what form God takes?  To insist that any religion has the unequivocal answers to these questions is to be blinded by the fear of uncertainty and the fear of death.  That is not to say that the religious impulse is a false one.  What is the purpose of life?  How do we live a good life, a meaningful life, a fulfilled life?