Pope Francis’ holy war on modern culture

According to Esquire magazine, Pope Francis is "kind of awesome." To demonstrate the point, writer Stephen Marche cited a litany of bright moments from the pontiff's first hundred days, starting with his insistence on paying his own hotel bill after becoming pope.Francis presents a refreshing blend of humility, charity, approachability, and compassion. "These little gestures make a big difference," said Marche. Why? "The Catholic Church may be the last major institution in the world that … [Read more...]

What if we dumped Rand for Röpke?

Wilhelm Röpke

After addressing Ayn Rand's anti-Christian philosophy, I think it's important to propose an alternative. This is particularly important for Christians who defend the free market and would like to expand economic freedom. Just because Ayn Rand is of the devil doesn't mean that capitalism is too. They are not the same thing.Sadly, some people seem to think so. "I think Christians would be less likely to embrace socialism if they understood that the economic philosophy of Ayn Rand is compatible … [Read more...]

Ayn Rand, antichrist

Ayn Rand

"[A]s you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come." --1 John 2.18An interesting convergence of cultural trends and events has pushed Ayn Rand's name and views back into the news, including the vice presidential candidacy of Paul Ryan, the multipart movie adaptation of her 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged, and the overweening policies of the current presidential administration.But libertarians and conservatives -- particularly those who confess Christian faith … [Read more...]

The wealth of (Western) nations

The Victory of Reason

"Calvinism is evidently connected with the commercial vocation," writes Luigi Barzini in The Europeans. "It is not clear to an Italian [like the author], however, whether Calvinists, driven by their stern religious code, become the best merchants, or whether merchants become Calvinists because Calvinism is a superior guide for the successful conduct of business."It turns out that Barzini's is an avoidable conundrum. Like the great Italian scribe, I've long been influenced by the concept of the … [Read more...]

If I were a rich man

Fiddler on the Roof

One of the most memorable numbers in the musical, Fiddler on the Roof, is Tevye's what-if song, "If I Were a Rich Man." There in his ramshackle barn the poor, Jewish dairyman living in czarist Russia daydreams about being wealthy. Most of us probably do it. If I had a million bucks, what would I do? A billion?Some of us feel ashamed if we dream about being wealthy. It's greedy, after all, isn't it? Grasping, crass and base. Such a daydream is probably pretty foolish, to boot. In the … [Read more...]


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