Acton Institute Powerblog

Promoting free societies characterized by liberty & religious principles

The World is Not Enough

Not satisfied simply with privately-funded space flights, the X Prize Foundation is currently drafting rules for a lunar lander challenge. The foundation is looking for comments from the public on the current draft, and here are some of the details according to SPACE.com: According to draft rules for the lunar lander contest, competitors will be challenged to build a vehicle capable of launching vertically, travel a distance of 328 to 656 feet (100 to 200 meters) horizontally, and then land at a designated site. Continue Reading...

Christianity and Civilization

Today’s BreakPoint commentary by Chuck Colson gives a brief review and survey of Rodney Stark’s The Victory of Reason. Concludes Colson: “This book will you give you some very good ammunition to answer those critics who come up with the same tired, old arguments about the fact that Christianity held back the progress of civilization. Continue Reading...

Fumbling with Fundamentalism

One of the religion beat’s favorite canards is to implicitly equate what it calls American Christian “fundamentalism” with what it calls Muslim or Islamic “fundamentalism.” After all, both are simply species of the genus. Continue Reading...

Speaking a Language They Can Understand

Wired News passes along this article by Chris Kohler, “U.N. Game Wins Hearts and Minds.” The story gives a brief overview and history of the video game created by the United Nations World Food Programme, Food Force. Continue Reading...

Bonhoeffer’s Legacy

Earlier this month, we marked the 100th anniversary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s birth on February 4, in what is now Wroclaw, Poland. In a message before the International Bonhoeffer Conference on February 3, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a man immersed in a specific cultural heritage, and untroubled by the fact; he was a person of profound and rigorous (and very traditional) personal spirituality; he was someone committed to the ecumenical perspective from very early on in his adult life. Continue Reading...

‘Captialism’ According to the Academy

For a quick overview of the current state of appreciation for economics and capitalism among various ‘academics,’ see the newly inaugurated e-journal Fast Capitalism. It might as well be subtitled: Marxism, Alive and Well. Continue Reading...

‘With God’s help, we can stop global warming’

A few others have addressed this issue in previous posts, but I wanted to jump in with my two cents. Yesterday’s New York Times notes that a group of evangelical leaders have entered the debate over climate change: Despite opposition from some of their colleagues, 86 evangelical Christian leaders have decided to back a major initiative to fight global warming, saying “millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors.” Among signers of the statement, which will be released in Washington on Wednesday, are the presidents of 39 evangelical colleges, leaders of aid groups and churches, like the Salvation Army, and pastors of megachurches, including Rick Warren, author of the best seller “The Purpose-Driven Life.” “For most of us, until recently this has not been treated as a pressing issue or major priority,” the statement said. Continue Reading...

Who Argues that the Environment Doesn’t Matter?

The Chicago Tribune has a story about the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI) launched February 8th. (See my initial response here.) Most reports of this story have been somewhat fair. But the Chicago Tribune story takes an unjustified swipe at evangelicals who disagree with the ECI statement. Continue Reading...

A Love/Hate Relationship with Science

One aspect of the evangelical involvement in debates over global warming and climate change that has intriqued me has been what I deem to be a rather large blind spot about the relation of religious conservatives to science. Continue Reading...

The State of American Science and Culture, cont’d.

Following Michael Miller’s recent Acton Commentary, “Why Johnny Can’t Compete with Sanjay”, and the resulting comments, two of America’s best political commentators have also weighed in on the subject. First there’s Charles Krauthammer’s Time article, arguing that America is doing fine, partly as a result of less dependence on government-funded research. Continue Reading...