Essay / Culture

Misplaced Outrage

When friends or family have a heated argument, it is usually wise to get some space, let time pass and the smoke clear, so cooler heads prevail and lessons can be learned from the incident. The same is often true of public events that draw

Essay / Philosophy

Christianity as a Knowledge Tradition

Last week I delivered a paper at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. This post is an excerpt from a longer series I wrote some time back the content of which pertains, in part, to my recent ETS paper: In the first two

Essay / Philosophy

Welcome to the Humean Race

David Hume (1711-1776) was a real gadfly of a philosopher. As skeptics go, he was one of the champion doubters of all time. Reading his work can be bracing, because he knows more variations on “Oh, really?” and “How do you know that?” than anybody

Essay / Philosophy

What Did Jesus Believe About Scripture?

As a part of our discipleship, we who seek to follow the Lord Jesus desire to believe what he believed. It would be odd for one to claim, on the one hand, to be devoted to Jesus as Lord, and, on the other hand, to

Essay / Philosophy

One Who Thinks Well Makes Careful Distinctions

Medieval thinkers observed that one who thinks well makes careful distinctions. Clear thinkers make and sloppy thinkers blur important distinctions. When I look at facial sores, I see, well, sores. But a doctor sees a host of different kinds of blemishes. When I open our

Essay / Philosophy

Counseling with Boethius

During my graduate school years, I was fortunate to have worked on the pastoral staff at three different churches. They were all great experiences with different challenges and expectations. One element that was common to each position, however, was the need to engage at times

Essay / Philosophy

How Did Jesus Act?: Jesus as a Moral Teacher

It has long been recognized that, irrespective of one’s religious views about Jesus of Nazareth, he is one of the world’s leading ethical thinkers and teachers. Indeed, as late as the second world war, most moral thinkers in the West—secular or not—did their best to

Essay / Philosophy

How Did Jesus Argue? Jesus & Logic

Today there is widespread indifference to, even downright hostility towards logic and the fundamental laws that govern it. We are sometimes told that logic is a Western construction invented by DWEM’s (Dead White European Males such as Aristotle), that in a postmodern world, story and

Essay / Culture

Solitude and Silence as Spiritual Disciplines (Part III)

One final method for practicing silence and solitude is what I call a ‘solitude retreat’. (3) Once or twice a year, go alone on a solitude retreat from 9 am one day until 5 pm the next day. Go to a retreat center that has

Essay / Philosophy

A Message On Stem-Cells: The End Does Not Justify the Means!

Suppose a serial rapist is active in a major city. As a result, many are needlessly worried because the odds of their harm are miniscule. Due to unnecessary worry, scores of women needlessly limit their activities and a small number of divorces take place from

Essay / Culture

Solitude and Silence as Spiritual Disciplines (Part II)

Two regular practices of solitude and silence: First, you must remember that when you go into solitude and silence, your basic goal is to do nothing. Yes, nothing! You are to center yourself in quiet and rest. As you do that, you also focus on

Essay / Culture

Solitude and Silence as Spiritual Disciplines (Part I)

Throughout his writings and lectures, Dallas Willard has warned that the hardest thing to get North American people to do is nothing. The regular practice of doing nothing is crucial for spiritual growth. It keeps us from having an inflated view of our importance, it