Like a diamond in the sky

Astronomers have discovered a white dwarf star–basically, the burnt-out remnant of a star–that basically consists of crystallized carbon.  In other words, diamond.  It’s a diamond the size of the earth.  “Twinkle, twinkle little star. . . .” [Read more...]

Sudanese Christian taking refuge in U.S. Embassy

An update on Meeriam Ibrahim, the woman sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her Christianity in Sudan:  After being released on appeal, she had been re-arrested, along with her husband (an American citizen) and presumably their children, for trying to leave the country.  The family was charged with possessing illegal travel documents, the sticking point apparently having something to do with documents from South Sudan, the rival Christian nation where the husband is from.  The couple had an American visa, with the husband having an American passport.

Anyway, after being detained at the police station, the family is reportedly now taking refuge in the American embassy. [Read more...]

A Christian case against Natural Law

As we posted earlier, many Christians are approaching moral issues in terms of natural law philosophy in an attempt to make a case before the secular world.  But Orthodoxy theologian David Bentley Hart argues that this is futile, that divine revelation is necessary for any kind of moral clarity.  Read the pro- and the con- argument (after the jump).  Which one do you think makes the better case? [Read more...]

Supremes throw out restrictions on sidewalk counseling

In a major pro-life victory, the Supreme Court overturned laws providing “buffer zones” outside abortion clinics and other restrictions on the sidewalk counseling that attempts to talk women out of aborting their children.  This was yet another unanimous vote.  (The justices, both conservative and liberal, have been finding that the Constitution speaks clearly on at least some issues after all.) [Read more...]

Supremes reject Obama’s “recess” appointments

The Constitution’s balance of powers is re-asserting itself.  President Obama had been appointing officials that need Senate approval by doing so during holidays when Senators were out of town.  Since the Constitution allows for temporary appointments when the Senate is in recess (back when the Senate was a part time body with long periods between sessions), the President claimed these short holiday breaks constituted a “recess,” even though the Senate was still in session.

The Supreme Court has ruled–unanimously!–that these appointments  are illegal.  The Judicial branch is reining in the Executive Branch in its attempts to exert its power at the expense of the Legislative branch.  The Constitution still works. [Read more...]

Natural Law reconsidered

Natural law as a grounding for morality  is basic to Roman Catholic ethics, though it is variously embraced or rejected by Protestants.   As contemporary society tries to normalize sexual behavior long considered not just immoral but unnatural, natural law ethics have come back into vogue among those who insist that sexual morality is not just a narrow religious conviction but something applicable to everyone.

Protestant philosopher R. J. Snell has written a new book that attempts a new formulation of natural law, one grounded in love.  After the jump, an excerpt from the book that first explains what we mean by natural law.  (And note how the concept that nature has a “design”–c.f. the intelligent design movement–is integral to the idea.)

Later, I intend to post something on the Christian case against natural law theory, and we can weigh the issues. [Read more...]


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