Here’s a question you may or may not have ever considered, depending primarily on whether you have children or are around children very often:
Why do we teach babies to make animal sounds as some of their first “words?”
My wife and I, and we’ve noticed, all of our friends with toddlers, spend a lot of [...]
Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian’s Vocation edited by John Fea, Jay Green, and Eric Miller. Notre Dame, 2010, 384pp.
How do we recognize the hand of providence? All historians have to confront this question in some form. Considered in literary terms providence is a trope, [...]
Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age by Robert Bellah. Harvard, 2011, 784pp.
Has triumphalism been defeated? That’s a purposefully ambiguous and potentially self-contradictory question. It may be safe to say that it has been seriously challenged, but you don’t have to listen to the news very long before you [...]
Sometimes William James writes things that can still ring true. Consider a quote from the The Varieties of Religious Experience: “This inferiority of the rationalistic level in founding belief is just as manifest when rationalism argues for religion as when it argues against it.” I say “ring true” because James attempts to describe the varieties [...]
Mere Apologetics by Alister McGrath. Baker, 2012, 208pp.
Christian Apologetics as Cross-Cultural Dialogue by Benno van den Toren. T&T Clark, 2012, 288pp.
What is the best way of defending the Christian religion today? And do we really need yet another apologia in the form of an intellectual argument? Both Alister McGrath and [...]
I insisted on rereading The Great Gatsby before seeing the new film version partly because I hardly remembered anything about it (including the ending) but mostly to test my conviction that I’m at least a little bit better at understanding art and literature than I was at age [...]
Secularism and Freedom of Conscience by Charles Taylor and Jocelyn Maclure, trans. by Jane Marie Todd. Harvard, 2011, 160pp.
I can remember a time when “secular” was a dirty word. Growing up in an evangelical home secular meant, primarily, secular music: the kind of music which was forbidden because it was by, of, [...]
A Short History of Atheism by Gavin Hyman. I. B. Tauris, 2010, 232pp.
Yes to God? For many believers, this has not been obvious for a long time. No to God? Neither has this been obvious for a long time to unbelievers. Hans Küng, Does God Exist?
Atheism has a long and [...]
I’m excited to report that an essay I’ve been working on for a while is now live at Religion & Politics, an online journal that launched earlier this year. It’s a review of a couple of books about philosophy, politics, and religion, one that I loved (Simon Critchley’s The Faith of the Faithless) [...]
Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind by Mark Noll. Eerdmans, 2011, 196pp.
Nearly 20 years ago Mark Noll published The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, a clarion call for evangelical Christians to re-examine their attitude towards the life of the mind. Noll wanted to understand [...]
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