“Hot Books”

“Hot Books”

Relevant to a recent post: David Mills wrote in the September 2007 Touchstone (not available online at this point), Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is a book often invoked by the anti-censorship crowd, although, as John MIller pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, The censorship Mr. Bradbury describes was not imposed from the top by a ruthless government. Rather, it seeped up from the indifferent masses. As a villain explains: “School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English…

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One Root of Our Problems; No, Two Roots

One Root of Our Problems; No, Two Roots

John Brockman, Publisher and Editor of the influential science-oriented website Edge, wrote this week: What I wrote in 1991 in “The Emerging Third Culture”, still pertains today: A 1950s education in Freud, Marx, and modernism is not a sufficient qualification for a thinking person in the 1990s. Indeed, the traditional American intellectuals are, in a sense, increasingly reactionary, and quite often proudly (and perversely) ignorant of many of the truly significant intellectual accomplishments of our time. Their culture, which dismisses…

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Paul’s Ponderings

Paul’s Ponderings

From Paul’s Ponderings, a reminder for me of why we have discussions like we do here. It’s not for the sake of argument but for the sake of life; and it’s not because Christians are smarter of better than anyone else but because we have discovered hope and want to share it. Paul says regarding our hope: The reason we can look forward to the wonderful event of Jesus’ return isn’t because of the righteous life we have lived, but…

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Can You Become a Better Person?

Can You Become a Better Person?

(Update 12/31/07: This blog entry presents a philosophical position on ethics. If you landed here because you desire really to become a better person, I suggest you try this blog entry instead.) Is it possible to become a better person: more moral, more ethical? Undoubtedly yes, if we know what “a better person” means. I believe we can make a credible case, however, that under moral relativism it doesn’t actually have a usable definition. That’s not to say (not at…

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Death Threats and a Student Assaulted at Princeton (Maybe)

Death Threats and a Student Assaulted at Princeton (Maybe)

FIRST THINGS is reporting the story of death threats and an assault on a conservative professor and five students at Princeton University who are also religious and social conservatives. The professor, Robert George, is a contributor to First Things. There are significant questions regarding what has actually happened, and investigations are ongoing. It’s not time to mount an outcry, for there is at least a minimal possibility that one of the students being threatened–the one who was beat up–actually engineered…

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Dog Stained Glass Clocks

Dog Stained Glass Clocks

Our family was gathered in the kitchen/dining area of our home, doing some general cleanup. The others became quite concerned when they heard me cry out, “This is just awful!” I was looking at this ad, which came with this month’s Reader’s Digest: “Dog Stained Glass Clocks.” Once I showed them what I was looking at, we all had a good laugh together. Somebody at the Danbury Mint needs a better copy editor. It reminds me of another instance of…

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Touchstone Magazine

Touchstone Magazine

Magazine Review In about two or three months Touchstone Magazine will be printing my review of The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case For the Existence of the Soul, by Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary. I was a subscriber to the magazine long before the possibility of writing for it came up. What I’ve always appreciated about it is its thinking Christian eclecticism. This is not the kind of religious eclecticism that borrows too freely and too widely from various faiths….

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Dr. Phineas Waldolf Steel™: Saner Than He Looks?

Dr. Phineas Waldolf Steel™: Saner Than He Looks?

[Update: welcome to my visitors from Encyclopedia Dramatica. I know you’re checking out this blog because someone there thinks I’m taking Dr. Steel way too seriously. Hey, how about giving me a break, and not take me too seriously yourself! Like I said in the first paragraph, I wrote this because somebody emailed me and asked me to comment on the things that he’s saying. I had never heard of him before that. And look at the first five words…

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Compass Fading

Compass Fading

From Kicking at the Darkness: I’m chasing the mystery. That’s a healthy response to The Golden Compass, from a blogger who finds the movie’s Magisterium more reminiscent of the New Atheist authors (“who discourage and deride any and every exploration of faith”) than of the Church. It’s a considerably better balanced view than, say, this: Censorship is based in fear. If you are afraid that something you see or read may threaten your faith, do not see or read those…

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