Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'Human Interest'

Presuming the Best

Kierkegaard once wrote, “The majority of men are subjective toward themselves and objective toward all others, terribly objective sometimes–but the real task is in fact to be objective toward one’s self and subjective toward all others.” In this week’s Acton Commentary, “Discounting the Unseen,” I explore our responsibility to presume the best of others, particularly with regards to what remains unknown or assumed about them. Continue Reading...

Hoisting the Black Flag

“It’s possible. I kill a lot of people.” H.L. Mencken once said, “Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.” Over at Political Theology Today, I take a look at what a confrontation between a pirate and Alexander the Great has to teach us about politics and proximate justice, taking some cues from Augustine and Cicero, and in conversation with John Mueller and Peter Leeson. Continue Reading...

Keep Calm and Christmas On

In this week’s commentary, I examine the link between delayed gratification and civilization. I use the image of children waking up on Christmas morning to a cornucopia of presents under the tree. Continue Reading...

The Prince and the Pirate

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the publication of William Goldman’s The Princess Bride, and over at The University Bookman I have written up some thoughts on the modern classic, “As You Wish: True (Self-)Love and The Princess Bride.” Those familiar with the story know that the tale develops around the conflict between Prince Humperdinck and Westley (aka The Dread Pirate Roberts) over Buttercup, the most beautiful woman in Florin. Continue Reading...

Civilization: A Christmas Miracle!

In my Christmas commentary this week, “Gratification and Civilization,” I examine the connection between making your kids wait until Christmas morning to open their presents and the development of civilization. Self-denial and self-sacrifice form the basis of human life together. Continue Reading...

Liberty in Two Keys

When we think of our freedoms and how they are basic to our society yet freedoms seem to be out of control in so many ways since the 1960s, we probably need to pull back and consider those freedoms from a new perspective. Continue Reading...

Mother May I?

At last week’s Acton on Tap, I discussed the economic teachings of the Heidelberg Catechism, beginning with the divine origin of material blessings as expressed in Lord’s Day 50, which explores the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” The catechism emphasizes God as “the only source of everything good,” echoing the classical Christian understanding of God as the fons omnium bonorum, a Latin phrase meaning the font or source of all good things. Continue Reading...

Remembering Business and Rebuilding the City

Several months ago, in the wake of Detroit’s bankruptcy and the flurry of discussions surrounding it, Chris Horst and I co-wrote a post on how Christians mustn’t forget or neglect the role of business in our attempts to rebuild, restore, and reinvigorate failing cities. Continue Reading...

Pilgrims, Property Rights, and the Source of Stewardship

Each Thanksgiving brings with it another opportunity to pause, meditate, and express our gratitude for the great blessings in life. As one who recently welcomed a new baby boy to my family, it seems particularly evident this season that the greatest blessings are not, after all, material. Continue Reading...