Mobile Technology: A Complication in the Human Condition

On the surface, this is another book about how smartphones disrupt conversation. It draws from social science studies and a raft of interviews to confirm what we already knew through experience. But the book is important because it captures the other 90 percent of the iceberg: how smartphones preempt solitude and the essential connection between solitude and conversation.

ECT at Twenty

From the introduction to Evangelicals and Catholics Together at Twenty: Vital Statements on Contested Topics (Brazos, 2015), edited by Timothy George and Thomas G. Guarino, with foreword by George Weigel, and prefaces by Timothy Cardinal Dolan and J.I Packer. This volume contains the nine public . . . . Continue Reading »

You Are Not an Ape

Pedro Pozas, a Spanish animal-rights activist, made international headlines in 2006 when he declared, “I am an ape.” Pozas was speaking as an advocate for the Great Ape Project (GAP), the brainchild of Princeton utilitarian bioethicist Peter Singer and Italian animal-rights philosopher Paola . . . . Continue Reading »

Even if Carson “Wins,” We Lose

Ben Carson might well profit from his presidential campaign, but his conservative supporters have already lost. They have lost by putting their hopes (and their money) in the wrong places. They would still have lost even if Carson had had no flaws as either a candidate or a man. Carson is a flawed . . . . Continue Reading »

Overlooked Philosophy

Peter Adamson’s Philosophy in the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds accepts a noble challenge announced in the book’s subtitle: A History of Philosophy without any gaps. It’s an impossible objective, of course. Adamson knows this, but admirably proceeds to outline three areas of philosophy that are often overlooked in the hustle of contemporary academic discourse: “Hellenistic philosophy” (the inheritance of Plato and Aristotle), “late antique philosophy among pagans, and ancient Christian philosophy.”

John Paul II's “Beloved Krakow”

Several years ago, Father Raymond de Souza, one of my fellow faculty members at an annual Kraków-based summer seminar on Catholic social doctrine, made a trenchant observation about the city John Paul II used to call “my beloved Kraków.” Kraków, Father de Souza observed, was the city where . . . . Continue Reading »

If the Law Isn't In Heaven, Where Is It?

In one of its more famous passages, the Talmud records a debate about the mundane (but important) issue of whether a certain oven can be used to cook kosher food. All of the rabbis except one, Rabbi Eliezer, rule that the oven cannot be used because it is impure. To prove that he is correct and that the oven is pure, Rabbi Eliezer calls on God to perform miracles in the presence of his colleagues—a carob tree is uprooted and moves across a field, a river reverses its course, and the walls of the rabbis’ study hall magically begin to cave in—but the rabbis remain unmoved. Continue Reading »

Baylor at the Crossroads

I joined Baylor University’s faculty in July 2003 after a brief stint as a Visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton. What drew me to Baylor is what has attracted, and continues to attract, hundreds of other prospective faculty members: the ideals and goals of the school’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Taking Special Vows in Theology

To say that we evangelicals haven’t always engaged in respectful dialogue with folks representing other perspectives is to put it mildly. But there are clear signs that things are improving, in at least some parts of the evangelical world. The presence of many evangelical voices as a part of the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Road to Nostra Aetate

Of all the documents of Vatican II, few have been more discussed and written about than Nostra Aetate. The official text, the shortest of the council’s documents, is only five paragraphs long, containing forty-one sentences. The fourth paragraph, on the Church’s relationship with the Jewish . . . . Continue Reading »