James R. Rogers is department head and associate professor of political science at Texas A&M University. He leads the “New Man” prison ministry at the Hamilton Unit in Bryan, Texas, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

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Patrick Henry’s Very Modern Proposal

From Web Exclusives

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison squared off against Patrick Henry and his bill for “Establishing A Provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion” for Virginia in the mid-1780s. Jefferson and Madison won the day, and the Virginia legislature did not enact Henry’s bill… . Continue Reading»

What Good is Forgiving Others?

From Web Exclusives

Last Thursday Russell Saltzman took on “Forgiveness Therapy.” This therapeutic approach represents a self-centered vulgarization of forgiveness that Saltzman rightly criticizes, even as he wrestles with what motivates Christian forgiveness of others. I recall some years ago being knocked down flat when I finally read”I mean really read”the short passage in Mark in which Jesus says, “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone.” … Continue Reading »

Presidents versus Prime Ministers

From First Thoughts

Liberty Forum at the Online Library of Law and Liberty posted an essay this month by George Mason Professor Frank Buckley arguing that the ministerial form of executive government in parliamentary systems better protects liberty than does the presidential form of executive government in . . . . Continue Reading »

Government Is Not a Necessary Evil

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Numerous commentators, particularly among contract or consent theorists, maintain that government is a result of the Fall”something that would not be necessary were it not for Adam’s sin. As Thomas Paine wrote in Common Sense, “society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil.” … Continue Reading »

Protestant Perseverance and Catholic Decline?

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Protestants with a strong religious identity continue to increase as Catholics with a strong religious identity continue to decline, according to a March study by the Pew Research Center. The proportion of Catholics reporting strong religious affiliation declined by almost twenty percentage points over the last few decades … Continue Reading »

The Benefits, and Costs, of Globalization

From Web Exclusives

The U.N.’s recently released 2013 Human Development Report summarizes strikingly good news about the decline in global poverty over the last two decades (whereas once 43 percent of humans lived in extreme poverty, that figure has now fallen to 21 percent) and predicted the rise of a global middle class… . Continue Reading »

What Jesus Prayed for in the Garden

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“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not as I will, but as you will,” prays Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. Many sermons and commentaries take Jesus’ prayer to be a prayer to the Father to avoid the cross, “if it is possible.” This displays his true humanity… . Continue Reading »

Thank You, Pastor

From Web Exclusives

Pastors have hard lives. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul referred to being “poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service” of the church. Paul uses the image again in writing to Timothy of his death. Being poured out for the church at Philippi meant Paul’s life being emptied out for the church at Philippi; it meant dying for that church… . Continue Reading »

“Warm Bodies” (Spoiler Alert)

From First Thoughts

Warm Bodies is not a great film, but it is a fun film. It has a cute turn on the traditional zombie movie. In this case, a human, as it were, infects the zombies and they start to turn human again. The film includes a few theologically suggestive features. To wit, the main zombie character, R, . . . . Continue Reading »

Is the Constitution Conservative?

From Web Exclusives

A century ago progressive politicians openly expressed antipathy for the U.S. Constitution. Bicameralism, judicial review, and politics stood in the way of nonpartisan, scientific administration. Sure, the progressive argument went, bad laws might be deterred by the need for agreement among separated institutions, but just as many good laws might be deterred as well… . Continue Reading »