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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Doing the Math on Religious Affiliation

From Web Exclusives

In the forthcoming issue of the journal Sociology of Religion, sociologist Philip Schwadel reports that between 1974 and 2010, the “probability of reporting a strong religious affiliation declined considerably among Catholics” in the U.S. and “increased among evangelical Protestants.” The thing is, this is not necessarily quite the bad news it might sound to be for Catholics, and not quite the good news it might sound to be for Evangelicals… . Continue Reading »

Paul and the Swiss-Cheese Theory of Natural Law

From Web Exclusives

Natural lawyers commonly cite a passage from the second chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans to show the existence of natural law to Christians. While I accept some version of natural law, natural lawyers often seem to want to derive much more from the text than it supports. The commonly quoted passage from the book of Romans is this … Continue Reading »

Musing on Voting, Polling, and Elections

From Web Exclusives

I’m a political scientist, but I don’t study elections. At least not real elections. So I disappoint folks”particularly reporters”who think that, as a political scientist, I should have a keen interest in, and insights into, presidential races. But just because I’m more interested in the votes that took place at the constitutional convention in 1787 than I am in the most recent poll doesn’t mean that I’m entirely oblivious to the presidential election. So let me serve up a few thoughts prompted by the election… . Continue Reading »

Why Christians Should Oppose Factions

From Web Exclusives

James Madison famously defines “faction” in The Federalist No. 10 as “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” … Continue Reading »

Yoram Hazony and the Jeffersonians

From Web Exclusives

The stories from the Bible so often come to us as isolated examples of pious or ethical behavior, that it’s frankly a relief to read Yoram Hazony’s book, The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture. Hazony reads these stories intertextually across the books in order to argue for a number of provocative conclusions from the Hebrew Scriptures. It’s a great read, but I want to press his argument on two points… . Continue Reading »

Imprecatory Prayer in the Psalms

From First Thoughts

Matthew Cantirino below links John R. P. Russell’s post on “Cursing Psalms: An Allegorical Reinterpretation.” In struggling to understand the imprecations in the Psalms, I make something of a similar move to the one Russell describes. The one difference, though, is that I apply the . . . . Continue Reading »

Os Guinness’ A Free People’s Suicide

From Web Exclusives

Freedom in the U.S. is poised to collapse sooner rather than later, according to Os Guinness in his new book, A Free People’s Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future. The reasons pertain both to external relations”imperial overreach and hubris in particular”but results more particularly from the increasing internal decadence among its people and leaders… . Continue Reading »

A Few More Religious Songs …

From First Thoughts

Below, Matthew Schmitz lists “fifty essential religious songs” and asks what he missed. I wouldn’t suggest that Matt has missed anything on his list. For me, though, I add at least a few classical selections. The Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah would rank at the the top . . . . Continue Reading »