About Justin Hawkins

Justin R. Hawkins graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University in 2011 with a degree in Government. He is now in the Master’s of Arts in Religion program at Yale Divinity School, concentrating in Philosophical Theology. He is from the implausibly small town of Breinigsville, PA, which is every bit as rural as it sounds.

The Great Agnostic

 Some biographies praise their subjects so effusively that they seem to take on the status of demigods, full of power, wisdom, and something more than mere humanity. Others do a disservice to the subject by making, perhaps unintentionally, his concerns seem narrow and his work seem uninspiring. Susan Jacoby’s The Great Agnostic is of the latter category.It recounts the life of Robert Ingersoll, the 19th-century American Freethinker dubbed “The Great Agnostic.” Relatively unknown in m … [Read more...]

Politics and Faith: Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich at Union Seminary in New York

Christianity, as a faith rooted necessarily in history, has been shaped by theologians battered to and fro by the happenings of their world. Augustine wrote his City of God as the barbarians massed at the walls of his city; Jonathan Edwards penned his landmark Freedom of the Will from his home in Stockbridge that doubled as a barricade against French and Indian assaults; and Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich developed theological systems in the midst of 20th century global upheaval unlike any … [Read more...]

Boredom and Kairos

If I say to you that no one has time to finish, that the longest human life leaves a man, in any branch of learning, a beginner, I shall seem to you to be saying something quite academic and theoretical. You would be surprised if you knew how soon one begins to feel the shortness of the tether, of how many things, even in middle life, we have to say "No time for that," "Too late now," and "Not for me." -C.S. Lewis, Learning in WartimeMy father is a wise man. It was with his typical wisdom … [Read more...]

The Theo-Logic of Costly Adoption

The New York Times recently ran an article entitled “Eager to Adopt, Evangelicals Find Children, and Pitfalls, Abroad.”  These pitfalls include local corruption and poor communication to the birth families about the terms of the adoption, among other things. The international adoption process, moreover, is notoriously expensive, laborious, and emotionally draining. In light of these difficulties, it might seem that the safe course of action would be to adopt domestically or even to forego adop … [Read more...]

Cynicism, Passion, and The Onion

I’ve sworn off reading The Onion. It’s not that I don’t appreciate its sardonic wit or comedic genius. On the contrary, I think its writers are often some of the most apt cultural critics currently writing. But their analysis of the world has become so acute as to blur in my mind the line between reality and fiction. I vividly remember once clicking through the website and laughing at its startlingly accurate social comedy couched in the blackest of black comedy. Shocked shame was my response whe … [Read more...]

The Final Judgment and the Burial of the Boston Bomber

After plenty of heated discussion, one half of the alleged Boston bombing pair was buried in a Muslim cemetery in VA last week.  The discussion that preceded that burial all centered on the visceral opposition all the local cemeteries displayed toward even the suggestion of burying him. Family and friends of those interred in various cemeteries across New England considered it an affront to the memory of their late loved ones for an alleged terrorist to be buried alongside them. In a deeply … [Read more...]

The Possibility of Intellectual Localism

The contemporary localist movement is generating a lot of interest around the conviction that people should live and die in the place of their birth. The debate over localism is a large one that I will not enter into here (the Winter 2013 print edition of Fare Forward is dedicated to the topic of place), except to say that it was the inspiration for some recent musings.  If the localists are correct in arguing that we owe something substantial to the place where we grew up, might we also owe … [Read more...]