kuyper1On this edition of Radio Free Acton, we speak with Jordan Ballor, a general editor of the Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology, a major series of new translations of Abraham Kuyper’s key works. We discuss the genesis and scope of the project, and examine what Kuyper has to say to modern Christians and why his contributions remain relevant a century after their initial publication.

You can listen to the podcast via the audio player below.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Tim Kaine’s radical roots
Ken Blackwell, The Hill

According to the media, Tim Kaine took a life transforming “mission” trip to Latin America in 1980. Conveniently left out of these stories, are the radical reality of the Cold War in Latin America and Tim Kaine’s Soviet sympathizing mentors. In fact, whatever Kaine’s intentions, he more likely met Karl Marx than Jesus Christ while there.

ISIL’s human traffickers are using Facebook, WhatsApp, and Telegram to sell slaves
Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz

By now, ISIL’s use of social media as a recruitment tool is common knowledge. Less known is the group’s use of those same digital platforms to scout and lure sex slaves.

What the Media, Academics Get Wrong When They Blame Crime Rate on Poverty, Discrimination
Walter E. Williams, The Daily Signal

Some are puzzled by the dishonesty, lack of character, and sheer stupidity of many people in the media. But seeing as most of them are college graduates, they don’t bear the full blame. They are taught by dishonest and irresponsible academics. Let’s look at it.

Christian genocide could succeed through indifference, activists warn
Mark Zimmermann, Crux

Accepting an award for defending persecuted Christians in the Middle East, Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson said Sept. 8, “A genocide that some began by the sword cannot be allowed to succeed through indifference.”

Two months ago Russian president Vladimir Putin signed into law a number of “anti-terrorism” measures that limit missionary and evangelistic efforts and restrict the religious freedoms on non-Orthodox groups.

As Christianity Today notes, to share their faith, citizens must now secure a government permit through a registered religious organization, and they cannot evangelize anywhere besides churches and other religious sites. The restrictions even apply to activity in private residences and online.

Why is Russian taking implementing such constraints on believers? Eric Patterson provides some context and shows how the laws fit into Russia’s continuing suspicion of “foreign” influences:

globe-hands-missionsMore and more, Western churches are opening their eyes to the risks and temptations inherent in so-called “short-term missions,” whether manifested in our basic vocabulary, paternalistic attitudes, or reactionary service.

As films like Poverty, Inc. and the PovertyCure series demonstrate, our cultural priorities and preferred solutions often distract us from the true identities and creative capacities of our neighbors. Paired with a passion to “do good,” and standing atop an abundance of resources, it’s easy to forget and neglect the importance of real relationship, holistic service, and long-term discipleship.

For missionary Nik Ripken, those missing pieces were made clear through a range of interviews with persecuted Christians in over 45 countries, whose opinions about what makes a “good” Western missionary challenged his own approach and priorities.

In a stirring set of reflections, Ripken describes this shift in his thinking. Serving in an unnamed Islamic country, Ripken was interviewing a group of persecuted Christians about their trials and struggles with their families, communities, and government. They were remarkably open and vulnerable in their answers until he changed the topic to Western missionaries.

“What do we do well?” he asked. “What things do we not do well? What should we start doing? What should we stop doing? What should we pick up? What should we lay down? What makes a good missionary?” (more…)

Note: This is the first post in a weekly video series on basic microeconomics.

For the past two years I’ve been rolling out a series of posts that attempt to define and explain a range of economic terms from a Christian context. The goal of the series is to provide Christians with a basic level of understanding that will help us think more clearly about how to apply our faith commitments to economics and public policy.

But for Christians to understand how faith applies to these areas we must first understand the basics of economics. So starting today as a corollary to the “What Christians Need to Know About Economics” series I’ll be posting new videos each week that explain general economic concepts. Whether you learned this material in school (and have forgotten) or never learned it at all, you’ll likely be helped by watching these videos.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Morality Is Indispensable for Liberty
Becky Akers, FEE

The idea that my property belongs to me alone has become as quaint as “Thou shalt not steal.”

The Conservative Churches Resettling Refugees
Priscilla Alvarez, The Atlantic

Despite pushback from Republicans, who have expressed concerns about admitting those from Syria and Iraq, religious groups continue to work in tandem with agencies to place individuals in their states.

How to Get The American Man Back to Work
Evan Smith, Opportunity Lives

Things are looking great for workers in America — as long as you don’t look too hard.

Farmers Deserve Free Markets, Not Handouts
Stephen Moore, RealClearPolicy

Just when it seems federal spending couldn’t get more preposterous, Congress gives us the “cheese bailout.” In order to support dairy farmers, the feds are buying an estimated 11 million pounds of surplus cheese. The cost to taxpayers? About $20 million.

RatzingerIn a new article for Public Discourse, Samuel Gregg, the Director of Research at Acton, talks about the “Regensburg Address” and what it means 10 years later.  Benedict XVI’s speech at the University of Regensburg on September 12, 2006 “managed to identify the inner pathology that is corroding much of the world, how this malignancy emerged, and what can be done to address it.”

According to Gregg, this speech “showed how a collapse of faith in full-bodied conceptions of reason explains so much of our world’s evident disarray.” But the Roman Pontiff didn’t just pull this idea out of nowhere; this is a concept that has been long featured in Joseph Ratzinger’s writings.   Gregg goes on to explain:

For what is at stake, Ratzinger believes, is nothing less than humanity’s ability to know the truth. And if man is defined as not just the one who knows, but as the one who knows that he knows, any faltering in his confidence that human reason can know truth that is more than empirical not only leads to the dead ends of fideism or sentimentalism. It obliterates man’s very distinctiveness. At the same time, recovering this confidence in reason has never, for Ratzinger, been about turning the clock back to a pre-Enlightenment world. In many ways, it’s about saving modernity from itself by opening its mind to the full grandeur of reason and, ultimately, the First Cause from which all else proceeds.