Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the VU University Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.

Posts by Jordan J. Ballor

Tocqueville Turns 200

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859) Alexis de Tocqueville, author of Democracy in America, was born on this date in 1805. Charles Colson, in his introduction to Carl F.H. Henry’s “Has Democracy Had Its Day?” writes that Tocqueville was a realist and recognized how fragile democracy is. Continue Reading...

Cuba and China

Here’s a great interview from the Marketplace Morning Report with Chris Farrell, in which he argues for the lifting of trade sanctions against dictatorial and oppressive regimes. He compares the cases of Cuba and China, in which two different strategies have been used, with vastly different results. Continue Reading...

You Catch More Bees with Honey

Following months of Zimbabwe’s brutal “Drive Out Trash” campaign, pleasantries exchanged between Mugabe and a UN delegation may have made some headway. The UN report on the situation, according to Claudia Rosett, began “with a delicacy over-zealously inappropriate in itself to dealings with the tyrant whose regime has been responsible for wreck of Zimbabwe” by describing Mugabe’s reception of the UN officials with a “warm welcome.” Despite the shortcomings of the UN report with respect to policy solutions (more aid!), the combination of a “stick and carrot” approach may be bearing some measure of success. Continue Reading...

SCOTU$

Slate features an article by Henry Blodget, a former securities analyst, which examines the investments of Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts. In an analysis that has more than you would ever need to know about a person’s finances (and perhaps reads a bit too much into the investments), Blodget writes of Roberts, “His fortune is self-made, which suggests a bias toward self-reliance rather than entitlements and subsidies.” That sounds promising. Continue Reading...

ExTORTion

S. T. Karnick over at The Reform Club comments on a recent suit filed against DuPont over Teflon, claiming that “DuPont lied in a massive attempt to continue selling their product.” Karnick observes that abuse of the tort system is rampant, in part because “it has been perverted into a proxy for the criminal justice system: a means of punishing supposed wrongdoers through the use of a weaker standard of proof—preponderance of the evidence instead of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.” Trial by Fury Law professor Ronald J. Continue Reading...

Great Debate

Foreign Policy hosts this exchange on environmental issues and economics. Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, gets the first word and Bjørn Lomborg, adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School, gets the last word. Continue Reading...

Animal Cruelty?

I’m not quite sure what to make of this local story: “Four people are charged for their alleged involvement in killing two bald eagles.” The details of the alleged crimes are as follows: “Prosecutors say two teenagers shot the eagles in the Muskegon State Game Area with a .22 caliber rifle in April 2004 and then chopped them up with a hatchet.” Since the bald eagle, one of the nation’s revered symbols, is an endangered animal, it is protected by both state and federal laws. Continue Reading...

The Hermeneutical Spiral

Mr. Phelps takes issue with my characterization of Stanley Fish’s position as amounting “to a philosophical denial of realism.” Let me first digress a bit and place this comment within the larger context of my post. Continue Reading...

Textual Interpretation

A week ago Stanley Fish, a law professor at Florida International University, wrote an op-ed in The New York Times about the principles of constitutional interpretation, especially as represented by Justice Antonin Scalia. Continue Reading...