29 September 2020

Providence interview

Providence magazine carries a transcript of Mark Tooley's interview with me in July: David Koyzis' Political Visions & Illusions. An excerpt:

TOOLEY: And when you look at Christian, especially evangelical, political engagement today in North America, especially in the United States, from your perspective, what are the positives, and what are the negatives, and where are we heading?

KOYZIS: Well I think the positives are that people have a lot of enthusiasm. I think this is certainly more now than was the case when I was growing up. I think when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, a lot of evangelicals had more or less withdrawn from social and political life, and they had for about the previous 50 years. I don’t think that could be said today. I think a lot of people are more involved in political affairs than was the case in the past.

But I think the negatives are that this involvement sometimes comes with an unhealthy activism. We want to do something, and we haven’t thought adequately about the foundations that support whatever activity we wish to be involved in. And that can be dangerous, because we can get on the bandwagons, we can follow movements that sound right, but may actually be problematic when you start to dig a little bit deeper into them.

23 September 2020

The Descent of the Post-Modernists

Most of us are too young to remember this famous illustration by E. J. Pace in the 1924 book, Seven Questions in Dispute, by William Jennings Bryan.

Although the confessional liberalism plaguing evangelical protestantism a century ago is still with us in some fashion, it declined precipitously after around 1960, as the denominations most affected by it lost members to more confessional denominations and congregations or to sleeping late on sunday mornings.

However, the current form of "progressive Christianity" is based on similar assumptions about the nature of the Christian faith and the authority of Scripture, but it has led, not to an exaggerated faith in reason and the scientific method as it did in the early 20th century, but to an affirmation of the self and its subjective aspirations. Here is an updated illustration.

17 September 2020

Government's Call to Do Justice

Canadian periodical Faith Today has just published an adapted excerpt from my book Political Visions and Illusions, titled,"Government's Call to Do Justice: How a society can seek justice when there are so many ways to define it." A couple of paragraphs follow:

People seek justice as they understand it, but each nevertheless comes to a different conclusion on what it requires. The consistent liberal will argue that, based on the rights of individuals, no person should be required to join a labour union against her wishes. The socialist, on the other hand, will likely argue that class solidarity must take priority over individual preferences and that compulsory union membership is necessary to protect employees in the workplace. Of course, both cannot be right.

This difference of opinion is complicated by the fact that governing authorities are required to adjudicate, not only the dispute between worker and union, but the clash between liberal and socialist, which is no simple matter, particularly if the government is dominated by a party representing only one of these viewpoints. If government must be evenhanded in its treatment of worker and union, liberal and socialist, it cannot be neutral with respect to which vision of justice will underpin its decision. Yet whatever decision it finally makes, the government will inevitably be exercising its jural task.

16 September 2020

Tribute to my father

My monthly column in the Canadian periodical Christian Courier is devoted to my late father, a "man who survived more than his share of near-death experiences and turned tragedy into poetry." 

Throughout his 92 years he experienced vivid signs of God’s work. Ten years ago, he survived a lightning strike on the car he was driving, and five years ago he and my mother miraculously walked away unscathed from a serious automobile accident. So many times did such events happen to him that we sometimes thought him immortal. He was not, of course. But when God saw fit to draw his years to a close last month, we were thankful for a life well lived, confident that we will meet him again at the resurrection of the righteous.

10 September 2020

Visões e Ilusões Política: A série está completa

O Pastor Vitor Grando, da Igreja Presbiteriana do Bairro Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, completou o seu ciclo de conferências sobre o meu livro Visões e Ilusões Políticas. Essas palestras são postadas no canal da igreja no YouTube. A playlist começa aqui.

 Pastor Vitor Grando, of the Igreja Presbiteriana do Bairro Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, has completed his series of lectures on my book, Political Visions and Illusions. These lectures are posted on the church's YouTube channel. The playlist begins here.

08 September 2020

Intellectuals and the totalitarian temptation

Hannah Arendt
Last week I posted one of Hannah Arendt's examinations from 1955, and one question in particular intrigued me: "Explain why intellectuals can be attracted by a totalitarian ideology."

This is something that has perplexed many observers over the past century. From Martin Heidegger's positive estimation of national socialism to Jean-Paul Sartre's early flirtation with communism, many of the most influential philosophers and writers have flirted with an ideology that promises redemption and uses any means to achieve it, however costly in human terms. Sartre himself became disillusioned by Moscow's crushing of Hungary in 1956 but continued to advocate some form of socialist revolution in his later years.


Jean Francesco reviews my first book: "This book, in my opinion, is the best book for Christians . . . on politics." Muito obrigado, irmão! 


04 September 2020

The Common Good interview: WYLL Chicago

 This week I was interviewed by Ian Simkins and Brian From on "the Common Good" over Chicago radio station WYLL, AM 1160. It has now been posted here: Guest: David Koyzis, Author - Political Visions & Illusions: A Survey & Christian Critique of Contemporary Ideologies - September 2, 2020.

03 September 2020

Dooyeweerd and Political life (Dooyeweerd e a vida política)

Several weeks ago I was privileged to give an address to an online gathering of Direito Reformacional in Brazil. Arthur Loureiro was my host, and Vinícius Pimentel was translator. The lecture runs from the beginning of this video to around 40 minutes.


01 September 2020

Hannah Arendt's exam questions

Someone recently posted this on Facebook, purporting it to be a final examination from one of Hannah Arendt's (1906-1975) courses at the University of California at Berkeley. I cannot imagine she would have been an easy marker.


Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Contact at: dtkoyzis at gmail dot com