The last few years have shown us how important political thinking is to our way of life. Politics affect everything—whether that means actual policy or simply the newest political topic that spills into social media.
I have found myself in the past as a political outsider, not seeing my own face in conservative nor liberal parties in North America. And yet I assume that I am a conservative. It turns out that by receiving a whole set of traditions, assumptions, and ideas as I did, I was being a conservative.
A number of books have helped me to understand what it means to be Conservative, and they showed me why I often did not see myself or my views within the current political parties in North America. Here are five: [Read more…] about Five Books Conservatives Should Read
One-hundred years ago, men customarily wrote each other letters, used words of affection for one another, and even slept in the same bed while travelling. No one would have even suggested anything by these actions but male friendship. In fact, in some churches, friends would publicly vow before the church to befriend one another. Now, however, most of these actions seem overly sexual and men avoid them. But in so doing, it seems that something has been lost, namely, the ability for intimate male friendship. David and Jonathan loved each other, hugged, and wept with each other. John laid upon the bosom of Jesus during the Last Supper. This is what friends did. Not so today.
Of course, the way in which we show friendship changes over time. I do not think we have to somehow go back to 18th century standards of friendship! Rather, here I want to discuss very briefly the effect of an overly-sexualized view of male affection. That is: men used to freely show love and kindness to one another because that is what friends did. Today, that openness seems utterly lost because it seems to mark a sexual advance. [Read more…] about What We’ve Lost by Over-sexualizing Male Friendship
Why reflect on creation? Answer: because God made everything to reflect himself—and he is our beatitude. So pursue medicine, arts, nature, and crafts for the sake of happiness, eudaimonia, makarios, or whatever term you prefer.
Human culture can cultivate the goodness of creation which itself shares in the goodness of God. Or it can vitiate what is good and descend into non-being.
One promises beatitude; the other non-being.
So build well. Love what you create. Enjoy God’s gifts.
John Piper’s recent explanation for why he chose to write-in his vote rather than choose one of the two main presidential candidates has resulted in a whole host of responses. Some partially seem to misunderstand Piper, while others have expressed well-reasoned counter-arguments.
In today’s politically charged climate, I think we can appreciate the differences of opinions. That said, I am not here interested in defining who Americans should vote for. I am entirely interested in pursuing the question of why Christians have agreed or disagreed with Piper. I think the answer to that question reveals quite a surprising set of undergirding differences.
The responses to John Piper’s article reveal deeper oppositions of:
1. Utilitarian consequentialism and virtue ethics (which one takes priority)
2. Pietism and theonomistic reasoning (of a sort)
3. Metaphysics/real natures and nominalism
In this article, I want to briefly explain what I mean and why it matters. [Read more…] about The Responses to John Piper’s Article Reveal Three Deeper Conflicts than Mere Politics
John Piper recently explained that he will not vote for an egregiously immoral leader. Of the two main political parties in the USA, he finds neither presidential candidate viable. So he has decided to write-in his vote.
Some however disagreed with his approach because they felt that the pro-choice actions of democrats amount to much greater evil than the arrogance and deceit of the republican president. The accusation amounts to this: Piper compares apples to oranges or equivocates on the seriousness of sin.
He does not. The objection betrays a misunderstanding of what sin is and does. It further implicitly undercuts the metaphysical reality of sin. If that sounds too abstract, it is not. Let me explain in order to make this response concrete. [Read more…] about Did John Piper Wrongly Compare the Sins of the Left with the Sins of the Right?