Category: Publications

HaleLegal historian Sir Matthew Hale has been described as “one of the greatest jurists of the modern common law.” Yet during his lifetime (1609-1676), he chose not to publish most of his legal writings, going so far as to prohibit such publication in his will.

Against these wishes, many manuscripts were copied and circulated by other lawyers after his death. One such work, Of the Law of Nature, was written on multiple hand copies, and now, for the first time ever, it is available via CLP Academic.

As its title indicates, the treatise explores the natural law, its discovery and divine origin, and how it relates to both biblical and human laws. Hale’s close connection between law and theology also demonstrates the importance of natural law to early modern legal thought.

The work was most likely written as a series of private meditations and reflections by Hale, giving it a unique, free-flowing style. Hale also brings a unique theological background and perspective to the topic, as editor David Sytsma explains in the introduction:

Sometime between writing the Discourse (ca. 1639–1641) and the Law of Nature (ca. 1668–1670) Hale’s religious perspective underwent a shift in the direction of Arminianism away from the Calvinism of his youth…In a manuscript likely written in the late 1650s, Hale still affirmed the traditionally Calvinist belief that the light of nature is insufficient for salvation. But after the Restoration he moved toward an Arminian soteriology which understood the gospel of the new covenant as offering forgiveness of sins by a condition of imperfect, sincere obedience. He also came to affirm the view, commonly associated with Arminianism, that virtuous pagans could be saved through obedience to the natural law (discussed below). In the last years of his life Hale professed that “Points controverted between the Arminians and Calvinists” regarding God’s decrees, his influence on the human will, the resistibility of grace, and so forth were impossible to determine and of “inconsiderable moment.” …Whether or not Hale changed his mind in the last year of his life, the soteriology present in his Law of Nature is clearly representative of his Arminian turn.

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JMMIt’s a new year, and I’ve had occasion to do some retrospection on various things, including the Journal of Markets & Morality. The Fall 2015 issue is at the printers, and that marks the completion of 18 years of articles, reviews, essays, translations, and controversies. (Subscribe today to get your copy!)

Here are the top 5 most downloaded articles from the JMM website (which went live in 2012):

1) Svetozar Pejovich, “The Effects of the Interaction of Formal and Informal Institutions on Social Stability and Economic Development,” Journal of Markets & Morality 2, no. 2 (Fall 1999): 164-181.

Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to develop a testable theory—the interaction thesis—capable of explaining why there are differences in economic stability and growth rates between various countries; or, stated negatively, why less efficient countries do not duplicate the economic policies of more successful ones. The interaction thesis identifies the interplay of formal and informal rules as a principal factor affecting economic stability and growth rates. Furthermore, the thesis also sheds light on how the method of choosing formal rules is a major circumstance upon which the interplay of formal and informal rules depends.
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Blog author: sstanley
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
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Brandon Chrostowski demonstrates a cooking technique at Edwins

Early in October, I took a trip to Cleveland to learn about Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute and its founder, Brandon Chrostowski. Edwins is the “teaching hospital” of restaurants. It teaches people with zero hospitality experience the basics of restaurant business through a free six month course. The one requirement to get into the program? Jail time. Chrostowski was inspired to start Edwins after his own brush with the law and a new beginning as a chef and entrepreneur. He discusses all this in an interview about the culinary world and Edwins. I also dive a little more into the history of Edwins and my experience with the restaurant in an accompanying essay.

Have Christians in the United States been good stewards of creation? John A. Baden of the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment wrestles with this question in his review of Mark Stoll’s Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism.

On October 12, Angus Deaton was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on consumption, poverty and welfare. Victor Claar discusses Deaton and the implications his work has on the global foreign aid industry in his essay “There is no such thing as ‘the poor.’(more…)

AKSWPTYesterday was Abraham Kuyper’s birthday, and tomorrow is Reformation Day, so it seems appropriate to note once again in this space that we have launched a new 12 volume series of Kuyper’s works. The title of the series is Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology, and the goal is to bring more of the primary source materials from this virtuoso theologian and statesman into circulation in the Anglophone world.

Mel Flikkema and I are serving as general editors of the series, and I am also serving as a volume editor for the three volumes on Common Grace. You can read more details about the origins, contents, and goals of the series in the General Editors’ Introduction that I have posted here. As Mel and I write, “The church today—both locally and globally—needs the tools to construct a compelling and responsible public theology. The aim of this translation project is to provide those tools—we believe that Kuyper’s unique insights can catalyze the development of a winsome and constructive Christian social witness and cultural engagement the world over.”

The first volume to be made available in the series is Our Program: A Christian Political Manifesto, translated and edited by Harry Van Dyke. This remarkable text is a commentary and elaboration of the principles and convictions of the Anti-Revolutionary Party in the Netherlands, of which Kuyper was a key leader.

Kuyper has a powerful legacy that has most often been noted explicitly within the context of the Reformed tradition, and particularly Dutch Reformed churches. But it is my conviction that Kuyper has important lessons, many positive and some negative as well, perhaps, to teach us today and to communicate more broadly to the evangelical and even ecumenically Christian world.

As Tracy Kuperus reflects on just the political aspects of Kuyper’s diverse legacy,
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Blog author: sstanley
Thursday, October 29, 2015
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Abraham Kuyper

Abraham Kuyper

A major new series is now available: Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. A website from the series publisher, AbrahamKuyper.com, went live today, where you can learn more about Abraham Kuyper, stay up to date on the latest from the Abraham Kuyper Translation Society, and order English translations of his work.

This series is the capstone project of the work of the Abraham Kuyper Translation Society. Never before available in English, these works will introduce a new audience to the thoughts of one of Christianity’s most thoughtful public theologians. Comprised of 8 key works spread over 12 volumes, this series will be made available in both a high-quality hardback edition and an enhanced electronic Logos edition. Jordan J. Ballor, an Acton Institute research fellow, and Melvin Flikkema, an Acton Institute senior advisor, serve as general editors of the series.

In 2011, a group of Abraham Kuyper scholars and experts met to form an association that has come to be known as the Abraham Kuyper Translation Society. Kuyper College and the Acton Institute, along with other partner institutions and Abraham Kuyper scholars, have taken a special interest in facilitating the translation of Abraham Kuyper’s writings into English. Kuyper’s works hold great potential to build intellectual capacity within the church, providing a compelling and constructive public theology to guide the development of a winsome and constructive social witness and cultural engagement.

In order to celebrate the launch of the series, the following offers are available at AbrahamKuyper.com (prices updated to reflect introductory sale prices),

  • Purchase the print edition of the collection for $349.99.
  • Purchase the Logos edition of the collection for $249.99.
  • Purchase the Logos and print editions of the whole collection bundled together for $449.99.
  • Download digital excerpts from the series for free, including Kuyper’s landmark sermon on the church as institute and organism (“Rooted & Grounded”), two university addresses (“Scholarship”), and his essays on common grace in science and art (“Wisdom & Wonder”).

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To celebrate his 63rd birthday last week, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin participated in an exhibition hockey game. This was no ordinary pond hockey, however. It featured a cast of former NHL and professional stars. It also featured a stellar performance from Putin, who netted 7 goals in his team’s 15-10 victory.

This is a notable athletic achievement, particularly for a full-time politician who never had the chance to devote his life to sport. It is second only, perhaps, to the exploits of Kim Jong-Il, former North Korean dictator and “the greatest golfer in history.”

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cover_25_3_summerFew industries have evolved quite as quickly and fundamentally in the last few years as publishing. Leading the way in this changing landscape is Bob Pritchett, CEO of Faithlife Corporation. This summer issue of Religion & Liberty begins with an interview with Pritchett, who discusses how Faithlife sets trends in the publishing industry rather than simply responding to them.

It’s the 35th anniversary of the “Miracle on Ice” this year, and while Americans look back fondly on the 4-3 victory of the U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team over the Soviet Union, the players from behind the Iron Curtain went home devastated and determined to improve. It’s fitting that in this issue, Jordan Ballor reviews Red Army, a recent documentary about the Soviet Union’s hockey team during the 1980s, focusing on one of the best Russian players ever, Viacheslav Fetisov, who went on to play for the Detroit Red Wings.

Are economists inherently immoral? Is the study of economics a noble pursuit? Dylan Pahman wrestles with these questions in his essay “The higher calling of the dismal science.” (more…)