Edith Schaeffer, me, and April 29

Four years ago tomorrow, April 29, 2007, I was publicly received into the Catholic Church at 11:00 am at St. Joseph's Parish in Belmead, Texas. The day before, I participated in the sacrament of confession for the first time in over 30 years. Oddly, 25 years ago, on April 29, 1986, I met Edith Schaeffer, the widow of Francis A. Schaffer. I tell the story of our encounter in my book, Return to Rome: Confession of An Evangelical Catholic (Brazos Press, 2009): During my second year in New York City … [Read more...]

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South Park’s prophetic depiction of the atheist wars

Here's the low-down on what's happening in real time between factions of contemporary atheists. Thankfully, South Park has given us a vision of what the future would be like if dominated by such atheist conflicts. You can view it here. (Warning: some salty language) … [Read more...]

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John Paul II and Evangelicals: An Ecumenism of Reason and Life

That is the title of an essay I just published at HeadlineBistro.com, "a service of the Knights of Columbus dedicated to bringing readers the top, daily headlines that Catholics need to know."  My essay is one of several published this week by HeadlineBistro.com in celebration of the May 1, 2011 beatification of the late Pope John Paul II. My essay begins: As we reflect on the life of John Paul II at the eve of his beatification, we should remember the ways in which the late pontiff touched t … [Read more...]

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C. S. Lewis Would Not Have Been an Intelligent Design Advocate

(HT: Dangerous Idea)That's the conclusion drawn by Asbury University philosopher Michael L. Peterson. You can read Professor Peterson's essay here. I think Peterson is correct, for many of the same reasons I offer in my analysis of ID. (See my blog post here) … [Read more...]

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Offensive religious metaphor alert: ESPN does it on Easter Sunday

In discussing the collapse of the New York Knicks and today's upcoming playoff game against the Boston Celtics, Stephen A. Smith, over at ESPN.COM, writes: "No one's in the mood for crucifying the Knicks on Easter Sunday...." Can anyone imagine Smith saying this?: "Hedo Türkoğlu, despite the Magic's loss, is in no mood to raid the buffet at mid-day during Ramadan or burn a Koran with Pastor Terry Jones, his fellow Floridian."  Even the religiously tone deaf folks at ESPN would have heard that!  B … [Read more...]

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Bob Dylan: “In the Garden”

Lyrics follow … [Read more...]

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Keith Green: “The Easter Song”

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Touchstone interview of Hadley Arkes: “Courage and Conversion”

A year ago tomorrow, April 24, my friend Hadley Arkes was received into the Catholic Church. My wife, Frankie, and I were present at the Mass in which Hadley received the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and holy communion.In the recent issue of Touchstone, Marcia Segelstein interviews Hadley about his conversion. You can find it here. Here's an excerpt: … [Read more...]

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UNLV Philosophy Department prevails

Readers of this blog will recall the letter I sent to UNLV president, Neal Smatresk, in which I make a case for the centrality of philosophy in any university's curriculum, and for that reason UNLV should change its plan to eliminate its philosophy department. (See also the outstanding essay published on April 6 in the Boston Review and authored by my former UNLV colleague, and present chair of UNLV's philosophy department, Todd Jones). I am happy to report that the efforts of many, including Pro … [Read more...]

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Jay Bruce wins teaching award. Congratulations!

From the Baylor philosophy department website: Jay Bruce, who got his PhD in philosophy at Baylor in 2008, was recently named the Student Choice Award Professor of the Year for 2010-11 at John Brown University, where he has a permanent position. Congratulations, Jay! I am proud to say that I sat on Jay's dissertation committee, and he also took my "Philosophy of Law" class. … [Read more...]

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How to Referee a Philosophical Debate

(HT: Joe Carter at First Things) … [Read more...]

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Reason, Conversion, and Plausibility

That's the title of my most recent entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: It is an odd thing to explain to other Christians why one moves from one theological tradition to another, since you know (or will eventually discover) that the reasons that seemed so compelling to you seem less than adequate to others. I believe that the reason for this is that each of us approaches these sorts of questions with a plausibility structure, about which we rarely reflect.What do I mean by a … [Read more...]

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Synthese Disclaimer Published

I've already mentioned on this blog my Synthese response to the perfectly awful piece by philosopher Barbara Forrest (see here, here and here) in which she "critiques" my entire life. (If that sounds weird, you're right. See my pointed Synthese response to Forrest, "Or We Can Be Philosophers: A Response to Barbara Forrest.")  It turns out that the editors of Synthese have just published a disclaimer in the front matter of the Synthese issue in which Forrest's piece was published. Here it is … [Read more...]

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John O’Callaghan on the Harris-Craig Debate

(HT: Thomas Hibbs and Ronny Fritz).My friend, John O'Callaghan, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, offers in the Notre Dame Magazine a thoughtful analysis of the question posed to the participants in the Craig-Harris debate: "Is Good From God?" Writes O'Callaghan: On April 7, a sold-out audience in Notre Dame’s Leighton Concert Hall watched this year’s edition of “The God Debate.”Before a packed house, “New Atheist” Sam Harris and philosopher of religion Willi … [Read more...]

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