Acton Commentary: The State of the Fourth Estate

Edmund Burke: "...in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all."In today’s Acton Commentary, “The State of the Fourth Estate,” I argue that the profession of journalism must be separable from traditional print media. Continue Reading...

‘Calvinism’ Transforming and Transformed

A recent Time magazine feature, which highlights “10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now,” has been making the rounds on the theological ‘nets. Coming in at #3 is “The New Calvinism,” which author David Van Biema describes as “Evangelicalism’s latest success story, complete with an utterly sovereign and micromanaging deity, sinful and puny humanity, and the combination’s logical consequence, predestination: the belief that before time’s dawn, God decided whom he would save (or not), unaffected by any subsequent human action or decision.” Justin Taylor’s blog Between Two Worlds is mentioned in the Time piece, and Taylor thinks “David Van Biema did a very nice job at seeking to find out what’s really happening and to identify some of the key beliefs and voices.” Shane Vander Hart similarly calls Van Biema’s piece “a pretty fair summary.” (Taylor also points to another Time article highlighting a “Calvinist comeback,” dating from 1947 and which relies heavily on Clarence Bouma of Calvin Seminary.) One place where Van Biema is certainly right is to point to hymnody as a relevant source for gauging the spiritual state of the church. Continue Reading...

PBR: Friedman on Free Trade

No, not that Friedman. In a wide-ranging lecture for the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Policy earlier this year, George Friedman touched on American policy with regard to trade. He says of the United States, it has the potential to reshape patterns of international trade if it chooses. Continue Reading...

World Freedom Atlas

The World Freedom Atlas, “a geovisualization tool for world statistics,” looks like a very powerful and compelling complement to something like the Gapminder Trendalyzer tool. Continue Reading...

Economic Literacy on Campus: Abysmal

Maurice Black and Erin O’Connor, research fellows at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, write in “Illiterates,” a column in Newsday, that “younger Americans are deplorably uninformed about economic and financial matters.” They observe that “students who do not understand money become adults who are financially irresponsible.” And, of course, they become adults who are not equipped to understand broader economic issues involving government, such as taxation, debt and spending. Continue Reading...

Has Damon Linker Dethroned Natural Law?

I’ll save you the suspense. No. Linker, known primarily for betraying Richard John Neuhaus by serving as editor of First Things and then publishing a book accusing Neuhaus of scurrilous theocratic aims, now writes at the New Republic. Continue Reading...

School Choice in D.C.

Washington, D.C., has long been a focal point of debates about vouchers and other forms of school choice–partly because the public schools there are so notoriously bad that a working majority of politicians and parents are open to experiments that might improve them. Continue Reading...

Conservative Protestants and Corporate Behavior

I have a piece up today at the First Things website on conservative Protestants (like me) and their attitude toward corporate behavior. Here’s a clip: Experience and prudence have demonstrated that free markets are demonstrably better than other alternatives. Continue Reading...