Chromosomes or Culture?

Stanford’s Carl N. Degler’s In Search of Human Nature tells the story of the contest between biological and cultural determinists in the social sciences. Much of late 19th-century social science was shaped by a crude Darwinian paradigm. Biological factors like race and sex were . . . . Continue Reading »

Malthus and Conservatism

One of the many ironies of contemporary political discourse is the co-option of Malthus by the political left, for the Rev. Thomas Malthus was undoubtedly a man of the right. His Essay on the Principle of Population was an anti-utopian tract designed to refute what Malthus called, in his original . . . . Continue Reading »

Aesthetic apologetics

Christian apologetics tends to focus on ethical or rational arguments. Questions such as “Can we be good without God?” and “Does that being exist than which nothing greater can be conceived?” and “What are the transcendental conditions of knowledge?” have . . . . Continue Reading »

Medieval Technology

A number of years ago, Stanley Jaki, a Roman Catholic historian of science, published an article in Modern Age defending the technological acumen of medievals. He cited three medieval inventions that provide evidence “of the striking modernity ofthe Middle Ages.” So many innovations . . . . Continue Reading »

Change and Permanence

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon offers intriguing, somewhat paradoxical reflections on the problems of change and permanence. On the one hand, the reality that provokes his opening lament that the world is “vapor” is the apparently unchanging permanence: The sun rises and sets day after day, . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation, Christmas Day

John 3:16: God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. How do we know God loved the world? John tells us that He demonstrates His love in sending His Son. To paraphrase Paul, God has demonstrated His love for us in . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, Christmas Day

As Pastor Wilson will remind us in the sermon this morning, the Christmas gospel announces the coming of day. Those in darkness see a great light, as the Sun rises with healing in His wings. The light has come into the world that lightens every man, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in . . . . Continue Reading »

Luther Christmas Sermon

Here is a selection of a 1530 Christmas Sermon by Martin Luther. You have heard the story from the Gospel of St. Luke of how it came to pass that our Lord Christ was born and then also the message of the angel, who announced who the boy was who was born. You have heard only that the child was born . . . . Continue Reading »

Derrida and metaphor

In his essay, “White Mythology,” Derrida offers this critical discussion of Aristotle: “This is the difference between animals and man: according to Aristotle both can emit indivisible sounds, but only man can make of them a letter . . . Aristotle does not analyze this difference; . . . . Continue Reading »