Willian Orlandi fala sobre o meu livro:
28 June 2022
I recently received a copy of this book by Josué Reichow, Reform Your Mind: The Christian Philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd, published by the Cántaro Institute, for which I was privileged to write a foreword.
Of special interest to North Americans will be chapter 5, in which he discusses the reception of Dooyeweerd's philosophy in Brazil.
The book can be purchased from the publisher and from the usual online vendors.
27 June 2022
If the US Supreme Court had not made its Roe v Wade decision, abortion would have remained a matter for the individual states to decide. Whether a national pro-life movement would have arisen is difficult to say, but pro-lifers would have had to wage their political battles in each of the fifty state legislatures. In any event, a pro-life movement did indeed gain momentum, and the court's 1973 decision effectively exacerbated the deepening divisions in society over the issue. Because of the nature of the political process and because legislatures are able to put together carefully balanced compromises that at least minimally take into account the concerns of all sides, there is a good chance that everyone will come to own that decision for themselves, even if they are not completely satisfied with it.
24 June 2022
22 June 2022
Three years ago I read a review of a recently released film, Mr. Jones, and I looked forward to seeing it in the cinema or at home. This past weekend we discovered that it is now being streamed over Amazon Prime and decided to watch it.
Mr. Jones was directed by Agnieszka Holland and tells the story of Welsh journalist Gareth Jones (1905-1935), who uncovered the truth about Josef Stalin's disastrous effort to collectivize agriculture in Ukraine and elsewhere, leading to mass starvation. Holland is a Polish film director and screenwriter whose family background in communist Poland and, before that, under nazi occupation has uniquely positioned her to tell the story of someone attempting to communicate truth in the midst of the ideological distortions of the day.
15 June 2022
13 June 2022
Following the publication of the Brazilian edition of Political Visions and Illusions, I received many invitations to speak to Brazilian groups, the vast majority of which have taken place online. With the release of the Spanish-language edition by Teología para Vivir, my first interview relevant to a Spanish-speaking country took place on the first of the month. Under the auspices of Fe Pública Chile, I was interviewed by Luis Pino, of Santiago's Iglesia Presbiteriana Puente de Vida, with Jonathan Muñoz serving as translator. The interview can be seen below:
God has built into his creation an eschatological destiny to be accomplished at Christ’s return when he establishes his kingdom in a new heaven and new earth. This is when the biblical sixth day, referred to in Genesis 1:24–31, yields to the seventh day when God rests from his work and his elect enter with him into that rest. The entire redemptive story laid out in Scripture points to this as our ultimate hope. At that hour, in the fulness of God’s time, our work in his creation will find its fulfilment and commendation, much as the law itself will be fulfilled.
If we look at Jesus’ miracles in light of this sabbatarian reading of Scripture, they come to appear less like protests against legalism and more like an affirmation of the centrality of sabbath to the biblical story.
06 June 2022
03 June 2022
Ayer encontré un paquete en nuestro buzón que contenía una copia de Visiones e Ilusiones Políticas, la traducción al español de Political Visions and Illusions. Es un voluminoso volumen encuadernado de 420 páginas con el índice. El traductor es Juan M. Londoño. Publicado por Teología para Vivir en Lima, Perú, el volumen fue elaborado en Monee, Illinois, en el quinto país de habla hispana más grande del mundo.
26 May 2022
Throughout the past months, I have sat through the grisly footage on television, often breaking into tears at the sight of what Russian troops are doing to innocent civilians. I cannot fathom why they would think they are in the right, but they have the tacit blessing of the odious Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, who refuses to discipline his most powerful parishioner for his crimes. As in Cyprus, many Ukrainians are refugees in their own country, and many may never return to their homes, if they are still standing.
Although I am not a member of Cordileone’s communion, I do not believe that he exceeds his legitimate authority over one of his flock. Of course, no church should pretend to instruct public officials who are members which policies they should be pursuing. This is one of the points I make in a “Concluding Ecclesiological Postscript,” which I appended to the second edition of Political Visions and Illusions. The institutional church does not possess the normative competence to pronounce on the specifics of concrete policies, although many denominational bodies routinely take positions on controversial matters over which there is legitimate disagreement, even among Christians. But the church, as a particular differentiated institution with its own divinely-appointed task, does indeed bear responsibility for disciplining its members, whether or not they hold public office. In fact, the Belgic Confession states that one of the marks of the true church is that “it practices church discipline for correcting faults.”
24 May 2022
Last wednesday afternoon, 18 May, I delivered this lecture at Calvin University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, titled: "Let the People Praise: The Enduring Legacy of the Genevan Psalter." This was to mark the 40th anniversary of the H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies. I was pleased to see so many familiar and unfamiliar faces there. For those unable to attend, here is a recording of the lecture.
This is cross posted to my Genevan Psalter blog, where I have added links to the videos which could not be easily heard in the recording of the lecture.
17 May 2022
16 May 2022
Civil and religious liberty are so commonly associated in people’s mouths, and are so rare in fact, that their definition is evidently as little understood as the principle of their connection. The point at which they unite, the common root from which they derive their sustenance, is the right of self-government. The modern theory, which has swept away every authority except that of the State, and has made the sovereign power irresistible by multiplying those who share it, is the enemy of that common freedom in which religious freedom is included. It condemns, as a State within the State, every inner group and community, class or corporation, administering its own affairs; and, by proclaiming the abolition of privileges, it emancipates the subjects of every such authority in order to transfer them exclusively to its own. It recognises liberty only in the individual, because it is only in the individual that liberty can be separated from authority, and the right of conditional obedience deprived of the security of a limited command. Under its sway, therefore, every man may profess his own religion more or less freely; but his religion is not free to administer its own laws. In other words, religious profession is free, but Church government is controlled. And where ecclesiastical authority is restricted, religious liberty is virtually denied.
Given the powerful influence of liberalism in the western world, we increasingly face a version of religious freedom that isolates the person of faith from her faith community, ostensibly making her sovereign over her own spirituality, but effectively empowering the state at the expense of both individual and the community of which she is part. Acton clearly recognized the perils of a religious liberty interpreted through individualist lenses more than a century and a half ago. The peril is with us still.
13 May 2022
the nuclear family is a weakened and much diminished version of the traditional family, one that is lacking most of the resources needed effectively to pursue the purposes of the traditional family. When this conception of the family became normative in America and elsewhere after the Second World War, it gave birth to a world of detached suburban homes connected to distant places of employment and schools by trains, automobiles, and buses. In other words, the physical design of large portions of the country reflected a newly rationalised conception of what a family is.
11 May 2022
10 May 2022
Political Visions and Illusions is now out in a Spanish-language edition published by Teología para Vivir in Lima, Peru: Visiones e Ilusiones Políticas. The release of this edition makes it available to huge numbers of people who speak Spanish as their mother tongue, including the land of my birth, which is the fifth largest hispanophone country in the world. I pray that God will use it to advance his kingdom according to his own good purposes. ¡Que Dios bendiga a los países de habla hispana!
04 May 2022
Over the past several days I have participated in three events relevant to the Christian community in Brazil. The first occurred last saturday, 30 April, and was hosted by two young friends, Leonardo Balena Queiroz and Samuel Aguiar, who had just led a multi-session study of my book, Visões e Ilusões Políticas, with their church congregation, Primeira Igreja Batista do Pará, Belém, Pará, in the tropical Amazon region. At the end of the series, I was beamed in to their gathering to answer questions and to make a pitch for a new book I plan to write on citizenship.
The following day, sunday, 1 May, I addressed a gathering of members of the Segunda Igreja Presbiteriana Renovada de Maringá, in the southern state of Paraná, at the opposite and more temperate end of Brazil. As most of the audience had not read my book, I briefly discussed the idolatrous religious character of ideology and why we have reason for hope in the midst of the ideologies' distorted understandings of God's world. This was followed by questions from listeners.
Finally, on tuesday, 3 May, I was interviewed online by my good friend, José Bruno Pereira dos Santos, known to one and all as Zé Bruno. I met him five years ago at the Ideolatria conference in Goiânia at which I spoke, and I was delighted to renew our friendship in this way last evening. Also interviewing me were Ruan Bessa (my translator), Gustavo Arnoni, and Lucas Pavanato. You can see the entire two hours of our conversation below:
Did I mention that I really love the people of Brazil? Que Deus abençoe o povo brasileiro!
02 May 2022
At a news conference in Poland after the visit, Mr Austin told reporters the US wants to see "Russia weakened to the degree that it can't do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine". . . . BBC diplomatic correspondent James Landale observed that Mr Austin's comments calling for a weakened Russia were unusually strong for a US defence secretary. It is one thing to help Ukraine resist Russian aggression, it is quite another to speak of weakening Russia's capabilities, he said.
During a dangerous time such as the present, government officials must weigh their words carefully to avoid unnecessarily aggravating existing tensions. I would suggest that Austin's remarks do not conform to this principle. Given that Vladimir Putin has expressed concern at Russia being surrounded by NATO and would prefer to see a cordon sanitaire between his country and the west, one might question Austin's wisdom in expressing what may or may not represent a change in US policy. I would furthermore suggest that US policy should support a strengthening and not a weakening of Russia.
28 April 2022
Over the past two or more decades, Americans in particular have become increasingly polarized between a new highly-educated urban managerial class and a working class that has lost much of the political and economic clout it once wielded in the post-war era. From 1945 to around 1973, the economies of most western countries revolved around a tripartite power-sharing arrangement among business, labour, and government. The rule of an educated elite was kept in check by the power of labour unions and other nonpolitical associations which channeled the aspirations of ordinary workers. These were the "little platoons" celebrated by Edmund Burke, and together they constituted what has come to be called civil society.
However, during the dislocations of the 1970s, including the unprecedented coincidence of inflation and recession, this power-sharing arrangement broke down, with leaders like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan ushering in a neoliberal era of domestic deregulation, open borders, and labour arbitrage. Globalization was the net result, with a rising managerial class dominating policy-making at the expense of especially the unskilled workers who once manned the factories of America's northeast and Great Lakes industrial belt. The central problem with globalization, however, is that it is undemocratic. Because globalization cannot police itself, it tends to empower a transnational class with shallow roots in any particular country. This is what Michael Lind, in The New Class War, calls the managerial elite. In the United States, the Democratic Party represents this elite class of educated urbanites.
25 April 2022
The world responds to Russia, which appears in the 11 April 2022 print issue. An excerpt:
I have been amazed at the international response to what virtually everyone agrees is an unprovoked and unjust attack. Putin’s public pretexts for sending Russian troops into a neighbouring country are scarcely credible, and there is widespread recognition of this. With Russia now locked out of the international banking system and economic sanctions depressing the value of the rouble, Putin risks the welfare of his own country to satisfy his imperial ambitions. That he has nuclear weapons at his disposal brings an additional element of danger to his isolation. Nevertheless, few want to see Putin go unpunished for raining missiles on defenceless Ukrainian civilians, many of whom speak Russian as their first language.
24 April 2022
Today the world's Orthodox Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Here is a wonderful video of a flash mob singing the traditional paschal hymn in Arabic and Greek. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
22 April 2022
Once more the Rev. Tim Keller has seen fit to endorse my Political Visions and Illusions in a video just posted two days ago. I am amazed that someone suffering from pancreatic cancer continues to retain such energy and purpose. Thanks be to God!
21 April 2022
18 April 2022
- Putin has succeeded in putting on display for all the world the incompetence as well as the brutality of Russia's military.
- In focussing his military might on Ukraine, he has successfully made his vast country vulnerable on other fronts, especially in the far east along the border with China, at the moment an ally of convenience.
- Putin has brought unity to the Ukrainian people across the historic linguistic and religious divisions that once separated them.
- Putin has succeeded in ensuring the enmity of virtually all Ukrainians, including native Russian speakers, for decades to come.
- Putin has succeeded in convincing Russia's neighbours that they cannot trust him and are in need of protection from his aggressive policies.
- Putin has successfully strengthened the unity and resolve of NATO members and has made membership more attractive even to long-time neutral states.
- Putin has succeeded in reorienting NATO from a broad-based collective security zone to an alliance against his aggressive policies.
- Putin has succeeded in sinking the Russian economy in his efforts to restore his country's great power status.
- Putin has successfully earned the epithet of war criminal and has made his country a pariah state throughout much of the world.
- With the aid of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, Putin has successfully demonstrated the negative consequences of following a nationalist faith.
Few rulers have achieved such notable successes in so short a time. They have certainly secured his reputation and legacy in the history books, where he will take his place in the company of a small collection of similarly notorious rulers.
13 April 2022
11 April 2022
Two people I have come to admire conversed with each other recently, and the interview now appears in The New York Times: How a cancer diagnosis makes Jesus’ death and resurrection mean so much more. Tish Harrison Warren regularly writes for the Times and is a priest in the Anglican Church in North America. Author of Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, Warren manifests considerable Christian wisdom in her writings, which are definitely worth reading. Here she interviews Timothy Keller, former pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, who recently authored a new book, Hope in Times of Fear: the Resurrection and the Meaning of Easter. Keller has been suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer for the past two years. An excerpt from Keller in this interview:
06 April 2022
04 April 2022
The Liberal-New Democrat Pact, with this description: "It’s a rare move, but one that has precedents in Canadian politics and other Western democracies." An excerpt:
In reality, there is nothing undemocratic about the new agreement. Moreover, one might argue that the Trudeau government is more democratic than it has been up to now. After all, the federal Liberals garnered just under one-third of the popular vote last year, yet they formed a single-party government over the objections of more than two-thirds of voters. The Conservatives actually outpolled the Liberals, gaining 35.2 percent of the vote. Yet our current single-member-plurality electoral system – often labelled first-past-the-post (FPTP) – gave the Liberals a plurality of seats in the Commons. By bringing the NDP onside, the Liberals have actually increased the popular support for their government, which would in principle now be supported by 50.4 percent of Canadians. If so, this can scarcely be called undemocratic.
01 April 2022
God calls us to do justice in all settings and circumstances. In so far as we are faithful to our spouses, treat our colleagues with respect, raise our children with love and attention, we do justice to them. But there is a specific type of justice applicable to the political community and its associated institutions of government. It is sometimes called public justice, because it relates to the public space within which individuals and communities live their lives and fulfil their respective callings. In the United States an organization called the Center for Public Justice has attempted to flesh out its implications for a mature differentiated society for more than four decades. Public justice plays a role in my own writings and in those of many others, especially those in the neo-Calvinist tradition associated with Abraham Kuyper and his heirs. Jonathan Chaplin, Associate Fellow of Theos and member of the Divinity Faculty at Cambridge University, offers readers a new book that admirably brings substance to what might otherwise seem an abstract principle.
In my book, Political Visions and Illusions, I treat nationalism as an ideology that makes too much of nation, according it the reverence rightly belonging to God alone. When I was still teaching, I openly admitted to my students that I had a certain blind spot with respect to nationalism. I could easily see the moments of truth in liberalism, conservatism, socialism, and democratism, but I found it more difficult to do so with respect to nationalism. I understand in principle that solidarity among people sharing similar characteristics is a genuine good. In our society, which claims to value diversity and encourages a navel-gazing focus on individual identity, we need a countervailing emphasis on the things that bring us together. This applies to nations as well as to the other communities of which we are part. But national solidarity can also breed unhealthy conformism and a tendency to vilify those deemed outside the nation. Moreover, it tends to suppress those other communities by demanding an ultimate allegiance we owe only to God.
31 March 2022
On Sunday scholars and clergy at the orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University and the Volos Academy for Theological Studies published a scathing “Declaration on the ‘Russian World’ Teaching.” This ideology is, they write, “a false teaching which is attracting many in the Orthodox Church and has even been taken up by the Far Right and Catholic and Protestant fundamentalists.”
The “Russian World” ideology has been cited by both Vladimir Putin and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill over the past two decades. It asserts, the theologians write, that “there is a transnational Russian sphere or civilization, called Holy Russia or Holy Rus’, which includes Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (and sometimes Moldova and Kazakhstan), as well as ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking people throughout the world.”
- Visões e Ilusões Políticas: uma resenha
- Reichow, Reform Your Mind
- Reflections on Dobbs, part 2
- Reflections on Dobbs, part 1
- Gareth Jones and the crimes of Stalin
- June newsletter posted
- Fe Pública Chile interview
- Healing comes with the sabbath
- Excellent sheep
- Visiones e Ilusiones Políticas: copy received
- ▼ June (10)
- ► 2021 (125)
- ► 2020 (70)
- ► 2019 (14)
- ► 2018 (25)
- ► 2017 (25)
- ► 2016 (29)
- ► 2015 (18)
- ► 2014 (27)
- ► 2013 (46)
- ► 2012 (53)
- ► 2011 (68)
- ► 2010 (109)
- ► 2009 (123)
- ► 2008 (172)
- ► 2007 (263)
- ► 2006 (281)
- ► 2005 (580)
- ► 2004 (700)