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...]

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, … [Read more...]

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...]

How to Referee a Philosophical Debate

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

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 … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

William Lane Craig v. Sam Harris – Is the Foundation of Morality Natural or Supernatural?

Here's a video of the entire debate that took place on April 7, 2011 at the University of Notre Dame … [Read more...]

The Scandal of Being a Christian, or in the words of the immortal Frank Sinatra….

[Barbara] Forrest spends several pages [in her 2011 Synthese article, pp. 370-373] discussing both my Christian faith as well as my published works critical of other religious traditions such as The Baha’i World Faith and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism or LDS).... [Because] I simply cannot respond to every unsupported, uncharitable, and unreasonable assertion she makes about my theological beliefs...[,]I will briefly address some of her claims about religious … [Read more...]

Faith, Reason, and the Christian University: What John Paul II Can Teach Christian Academics

That's the title of an article I published in Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 12.3 (Summer 2009). Here's how it begins (notes omitted): Baylor University, the world’s largest Baptist university, is a remarkable place with many fine Christian men and women on its faculty and in its student body. It boasts a rich tradition of academic excellence, and it is a privilege for me to be able to make a contribution to that tradition, however modest my contribution may be. However, soon … [Read more...]

“You’re an idiot, babe. It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe…”

For those who don't know, that's a line from Bob Dylan's song, "Idiot Wind," and it is perfectly applicable to the ever-clueless, though strangely attractive, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times. This morning, Dowd expresses her disappointment that prior to his performances in China, Dylan allowed the government censors to approve his set list. This meant, according to Dowd, no protest songs from the Voice of Her Generation against the oppressive Chinese government. Too bad Dowd does not know … [Read more...]

Atheists Don’t Have No Songs

(HT: Bill Dembski at Uncommon Descent) … [Read more...]

St. Thomas Aquinas and the Inadequacy of Intelligent Design

My friends Edward Feser and Jay Wesley Richards, both fellow Catholics, are engaged in an online dispute about whether contemporary Intelligent Design theory (ID) runs counter to classical Thomistic understandings of nature and final causality. On this matter, I am with Ed. For I believe that ID, as defended by Michael Behe and William A. Dembski, is a view that in the long run serves to undermine rather than advance the cause of Christian theism. Of course, I see why some of my fellow … [Read more...]


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