Coulter on Christianity and the Welfare State

In this Beliefnet interview conducted by Charlotte Allen, conservative firebrand Ann Coulter references the work of Acton senior fellow Marvin Olasky: Is it possible to be a good Christian and sincerely believe, as Jim Wallis does, that a bigger welfare state and higher taxes to fund it is the best way in a complex modern society for us to fulfill our Gospel obligation to help the poor? Continue Reading...

‘We get Viagra. They get malaria.’

At least, the title of this post is typical of the mantra against the practices of drug pharmaceutical companies, according to Peter W. Huber’s “Of Pills and Profits: In Defense of Big Pharma,” in Commentary magazine (HT: Arts & Letters Daily). Continue Reading...

On Blogging

G. K. Chesterton on Journalists: “…there exists in the modern world, perhaps for the first time in history, a class of people whose interest is not in that things should happen well or happen badly, should happen successfully or happen unsuccessfully, should happen to the advantage of this party or the advantage of that party, but whose interest simply is that things should happen. Continue Reading...

Sin and Extreme Sports

You may know that a traditional way of interpreting the Ten Commandments involves articulating both the explicit negative prohibitions as well as the implicit positive duties. So, for example, the sixth commandment prohibiting murder is understood in the Heidelberg Catechism to answer the question, “Is it enough then that we do not kill our neighbor in any such way?” by saying, “No. Continue Reading...

Isn’t the Cold War Over?

I’ve got an idea for a new sitcom. Titled, Hugo and Vladi, it details the zany adventures of two world leaders, one of whom (played by David Hyde Pierce) struggles to upkeep his image of a friendly, modern European diplomat while his goofball brother-in-law (played by George Lopez) keeps screwing it up for him by spouting off vitriolic Soviet rhetoric and threatening all of Western civilization with his agressive (but loveable) arms sales and seizures of private oil companies. Continue Reading...

Krauthammer on Proportionality

“‘Disproportionate’ in What Moral Universe?” asks Charles Krauthammer in today’s Washington Post. He continues: When the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor, it did not respond with a parallel “proportionate” attack on a Japanese naval base. Continue Reading...

Gambling Hypocrisy

“All forms of gambling are predatory and immoral in their very essence,” says Rev. Albert Mohler. I don’t agree, at least insofar as his identification of what makes gambling essentially immoral is not necessarily unique to games of chance: the enticement for people to “risk their money for the vain hope of financial gain.” Stock markets come to mind. Continue Reading...

‘The Aryan clause, the Confessing Church, and the ecumenical movement’

The latest issue of the Scottish Journal of Theology is out, and includes my article, “The Aryan clause, the Confessing Church, and the ecumenical movement: Barth and Bonhoeffer on natural theology, 1933–1935.” Here’s the abstract: In this article I argue that the essential relationship between Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Karl Barth stands in need of reassessment. Continue Reading...