Oaths, Lies and Social Responsibility

The other day I was tracking down a quotation I heard repeated at a local gathering and came across an interesting book published in 1834. On the title page of the “Googled” Oaths; Their Origin, Nature and History someone had scribbled “full of information… a superior work.” The introductory paragraph reads: It is well observed by an ancient writer [Hilarius of Arles] that would men allow Christianity to carry its own designs into full effect; were all the world Christians, and were every Christian habitually under the influence of his Religion in principle and in conduct, no place on earth would be found for Oaths; every person would on all occasions, speak the very truth, and would be believed merely for his word’s sake; every promise would be made in good faith and no additional obligation would be required to ensure its performance.” A few years ago I was asked to help organize a “business ethics conference” for a Catholic diocese. Continue Reading...

Secularism and Poverty

A colleague recently mentioned that a wag had observed the church had failed to solve poverty, so why not let the federal government have a try? I think it is interesting that anyone, such as the wag in question, could think that the federal government can effectively solve the problem of poverty. Continue Reading...

Communism as Religion

From the opening page of Lester DeKoster’s Communism and Christian Faith (1962): For the mysterious dynamic of history resides in man’s choice of gods. In the service of his god — or gods (they may be legion) — a man expends his energies, commits his sacrifices, devotes his life. Continue Reading...

Recommended Post-Reformation Day Reading

In connection with the worldwide celebrations of the quincentenary of John Calvin’s birth in 2009, the Acton Institute BookShoppe recently made available a limited stock of the hard-to-find Light for the City: Calvin’s Preaching, Source of Life and Liberty (Eerdmans, 2004). Continue Reading...

The Hidden Tithe

Recently I got a phone call from an engineering manager I’ve known for over ten years. He informed me that he’d been laid off last spring, but before I could offer condolences he added that he’d been hired by another company in the same industry for a consulting assignment. Continue Reading...

Kling on Conservatism and Authority

Arnold Kling continued last week’s conversation about the relationship between conservatism and libertarianism over at EconLog. Kling’s analysis is worth reading, and he concludes that the divide between conservatives and libertarians has to do with respect (or lack thereof) for hierarchical authority. Continue Reading...

The Dog Days of European Socialized Medicine

In August, the Wall Street Journal Europe published an article exploring the difference in health care received by domesticated animals and humans. (see “Man Vs. Mutt: Who Gets the Better Treatment?” in WSJ Europe, August 8, 2009) The editorialist, Theodore Dalrymple (pen name for outspoken British physician and NHS critic, Dr. Continue Reading...

Church, State, and Restorative Justice

Last week Rick Warren’s church hosted the fourth Saddleback Civil Forum. This time the forum focused on reconciliation, particularly on the roles of the church and the government in promoting and fostering reconciliation after crime and conflict. Continue Reading...

Rev. Robert Sirico at Mars Hill

Rev. Robert Sirico delivered a sermon titled “Whistling Past the Graveyard” at Mars Hill mega-church in Grand Rapids, Mich on September 20. You can listen to his sermon in its entirety by clicking on the sermon title above. Continue Reading...

Health Care and the ‘Holy Art of Giving’

In a column in this past Saturday’s religion section, Charles Honey reflects on the second great love commandment in the context of the national health care debate. Honey’s piece starts out on a very strong note, detailing the perspective of Dr. Continue Reading...