A student of contemporary ethics may be astonished by the variety of theories available: Egoism, Emotivism, Utilitarianism, Deontology, Subjectivism, etc. How is one to make sense of their contrary claims? Is the right action: Seeking my own good (Egoism)? the greatest good for the greatest number (Utility)? Obeying rules (Deontology)? Determined by culture, communities, or … Continue reading Fragmented Anthropology: Contemporary Ethics, I
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). This is a difficult verse. If we read it as a proclamation of tit-for-tat justice on earth, or even with the expectation that we can always discern the purposes … Continue reading All Things Work Together for Good?
Throughout Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, the great Bolkonsky household is a home bereft of affection and the caresses of love for which perhaps every child and every parent longs. The father, Nikolai Bolkonsky, proud, intelligent, eccentric, and cynical, has tormented his daughter by his schedule, his demands, his scoffing at her faith and manners. But … Continue reading On Maria and the Death of Nikolai Bolkonsky in War and Peace
Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre! For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation. Psalm 149:3-4 Debts There are certain debts that are never be paid back, that we never fully make good on.* If a woman saves my child’s life, there is no sufficient currency … Continue reading Liturgy, Religion, and the Obligation of Worship
Does God see us and love us or does he instead see only Christ? It is often preached that God looks not to our sins, but to the merits of Christ in whom he is well pleased. Or, that when God looks at those in Christ, he sees not them, but Christ. This might suggest … Continue reading On Whether God Loves the Individual or Christ
Occasionally, I tell certain students that they can be right or they can be happy. They have usually been eristic, more clever than kind, critical or corrective of their peers in ways which are not fruitful. More in love with their own rightness than is meet. In other words, they are like me, writing checks … Continue reading Would You Rather be Right or Happy?
Listening to the Little House series, following the lives of Laura and her family, has not been without its challenges. They are so strict, so obedient, so sufficient and skillful. They are themselves a kind of law that I will never live up to. Further, Laura always seems a bit hemmed in by her Ma, … Continue reading Mercy in Little House on the Prairie
Kierkegaard’s reaction seems to correspond not only to what is happening in the Danish church, but in the overall attitude symptomatic of Modern Philosophy and the Enlightenment. This period of history might be characterized as the era of the ‘fact’–the era where human reason stands over and at a distance from the objects it studies. … Continue reading Kierkegaard in the Age of Fact
It never fails, if a boy should love a girl that he loses some sleep in the bargain. It never fails, when a young women first be a mother, that she be stricken now and again with fear and doubt, and sometime wonder many nights whether the child still breathes and should check on her. … Continue reading It Never Fails
In the film Moonstruck, Loretta’s mother Rose questions her daughter about her fiance. Their attachment is lukewarm and has an air of convenience and inevitability: Rose: You’re not going to marry him…Do you love him, Loretta? Loretta: No. Rose: Good. When you love them they drive you crazy because they know they can. By the end … Continue reading The Problem and the Promise: Love Hurts