RELIGION & LIBERTY ONLINE
What do you mean by ‘social justice’?
On NRO, John Leo points out how Glenn Beck missed the mark in his recent criticism of “social justice” churches (the reductio ad Hitlerum fallacy, again). But Beck is on to something, Leo says: When Glenn Beck urged Christians to leave churches that preach social justice, he allowed himself to be tripped up by conventional buzzwords of the campus Left. In plain English, “social justice” is a goal of all churches and refers to helping the poor and seeking equality....
The Perils of Obedience
On his blog, Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowan links to an article about game show, The Game Of Death, that was recently broadcast on French television. According to the article (“Torture ‘Game Show’ Draws Nazi Comparison“) the program, “had all the trappings of a traditional television quiz show, with a roaring crowd and a glamorous and well-known hostess.” For all that it appeared to be a typical game show, what “contestants . . . did not realise [was that] they were...
Love Glenn Beck as you would love yourself
Acton es new blogger — and long time friend — Rudy Carrasco to the PowerBlog. He also writes at Urban Onramps. Don’t miss Rudy at Acton on Tap on March 31 (6 p.m. at Derby Station, East Grand Rapids, Mich.) — Editors +++++++++ I haven’t seen the video of Glenn Beck’s call to “run away” from churches that teach social justice. Nor have I read much on the responses by the many – see the Sojo God’s Politics blog for...
Catholic Health Care Rifts
As rumors of congressional action on health-care reform continue to swirl (it will happen Sunday, maybe?), fissures in the American munity are ing increasingly evident. The rift is highlighted in the current, in some ways unprecedented, public dispute between two important Catholic voices. By size and clout, the principal health-related organization of a Catholic identity is the Catholic Health Association. The official organ of the American Catholic bishops as a collective is the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Although...
Read My Lips
“…we are setting an ambitious goal: all students should graduate from high school prepared for college and a career – no matter who you are or where e from.” – Barack Obama, Saturday Radio Address. A few years ago I asked a friend and business owner why he put value on a college diploma when talking with entry level talent who had majored in subjects incredibly tangential to his job descriptions. He answered, “Well, it shows they can finish something.”...
RELIGION & LIBERTY
Spurgeon and the Poverty-Fighting Church
Religion & Liberty: Volume 33, Number 4 Spurgeon and the Poverty-Fighting Church by Christopher Parr • October 30, 2023 Portrait of Charles Spurgeon by Alexander Melville (1885) Charles Spurgeon was a young, zealous 15-year-old boy when he came to faith in Christ. A letter to his mother at the time captures the enthusiasm of his newfound Christian faith: “Oh, how I wish that I could do something for Christ.” God granted that wish, as Spurgeon would e “the prince of...
Feb 25, 2024
Creating an Economy of Inclusion
The poor have been the main subject of concern in the whole tradition of Catholic Social Teaching. The Catholic Church talks often about a “preferential option for the poor.” In recent years, many of the Church’s social teaching documents have been particularly focused on the needs of the poorest people in the world’s poorest countries. The first major analysis of this topic could be said to have been in the papal encyclical Populorum Progressio, published in 1967 by Pope...
Feb 25, 2024
Adam Smith and the Poor
Adam Smith did not seem to think that riches were requisite to happiness: “the beggar, who suns himself by the side of the highway, possesses that security which kings are fighting for” (The Theory of Moral Sentiments). But he did not mend beggary. The beggar here is not any beggar, but Diogenes the Cynic, who asked of Alexander the Great only to step back so as not to cast a shadow upon Diogenes as he reclined alongside the highway....
Feb 25, 2024
Conversation Starters with … Anne Bradley
Anne Bradley is an Acton affiliate scholar, the vice president of academic affairs at The Fund for American Studies, and professor of economics at The Institute of World Politics. There’s much talk about mon good capitalism” these days, especially from the New Right. Is this long overdue, that a hyper-individualism be beaten back, or is it merely cover for increasing state control of the economy? Let me begin by saying that I hate “capitalism with adjectives” in general. This...
Feb 25, 2024
Mistaken About Poverty
Perhaps it is because America is the land of liberty and opportunity that debates about poverty are especially intense in the United States. Americans and would-be Americans have long been told that if they work hard enough and persevere they can achieve their dreams. For many people, the mere existence of poverty—absolute or relative—raises doubts about that promise and the American experiment more generally. Is it true that America suffers more poverty than any other advanced democracy in the...
Feb 25, 2024
Up from the Liberal Founding
During the 20th century, scholars of the American founding generally believed that it was liberal. Specifically, they saw the founding as rooted in the political thought of 17th-century English philosopher John Locke. In addition, they saw Locke as a primarily secular thinker, one who sought to isolate the role of religion from political considerations except when necessary to prop up the various assumptions he made for natural rights. These included a divine creator responsible for a rational world for...
Feb 25, 2024
C.S. Lewis and the Apocalypse of Gender
From very nearly the beginning, Christianity has wrestled with the question of the body. Heretics from gnostics to docetists devalued physical reality and the body, while orthodox Christianity insisted that the physical world offers us true signs pointing to God. This quarrel persists today, and one form it takes is the general confusion among Christians and non-Christians alike about gender. Is gender an abstracted idea? Is it reducible to biological characteristics? Is it a set of behaviors determined by...
Feb 25, 2024
Jesus and Class Warfare
Plenty of Marxists have turned to the New Testament and the origins of Christianity. Memorable examples include the works of F.D. Maurice and Zhu Weizhi’s Jesus the Proletarian. After criticizing how so many translations of the New Testament soften Jesus’ teachings regarding material possessions, greed, and wealth, Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart has gone so far to ask, “Are Christians supposed to be Communists?” In the Huffington Post, Dan Arel has even claimed that “Jesus was clearly a Marxist,...
Feb 25, 2024
How Dispensationalism Got Left Behind
Whether we like it or not, Americans, in one way or another, have all been indelibly shaped by dispensationalism. Such is the subtext of Daniel Hummel’s provocative telling of the rise and fall of dispensationalism in America. In a little less than 350 pages, Hummel traces how a relatively insignificant Irishman from the Plymouth Brethren, John Nelson Darby, prompted the proliferation of dispensational theology, especially its eschatology, or theology of the end times, among our ecclesiastical, cultural, and political...
Feb 25, 2024
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