Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dr. J., Religion, and the Bigotry of Superficial Sophistication

That's the title of my most recent column over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins:
When I was a kid in the 1970s, most liberal-minded adults, in order to make sure you knew that they harbored no racial prejudices, often went out of their way to say what they thought were kind things about minorities – which actually revealed just the opposite. So, for example, after watching a television interview of the great professional basketball star Julius Erving (aka “Dr. J.”), one of my father’s friends exclaimed, “That Dr. J is a real class act. He is so well spoken.”

For those of us in the room under thirty, this was cringe-inducing, even though we knew that the man who uttered that statement considered his comments a sign of sophistication on matters racial, that he thought of himself as an enlightened progressive mystically harmonizing with the Youngbloods, “C'mon people now. Smile on your brother. Ev’rybody get together. Try and love one another right now.”

His heart, of course, was in the right place. But the assumptions that gave rise to his observations about Dr. J. – that black people are not by nature classy or articulate – show that he in fact harbored racial prejudices, however generous his affections toward his African-American neighbors may have been. My peers and I cringed because of a truth about human conversation that we often do not admit: what is communicated in speech is often shaped less by what is said than what is not said.

>>>continue reading

 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Stephen H. Webb: In Defense of Dylan's Voice

Over at First Things, my friend, Steve Webb, offers an apologetic for Bob Dylan's voice. Before you go there, you may want to listen to Zimmy, from a concert in Akron in April:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ooxNGXZDdE[/youtube]

 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Roger McGuinn's cool blog

Just came across this blog by former member of the Byrds, Roger McGuinn. It includes many posts of traditional folk songs sung by McGuinn 

New hiding place for Snowden's secrets

Apparently, the Russians--in old KGB style--have surgically inserted into their President all the secrets Ed Snowden brought with him to Moscow. Thus, you can say that the proof is in the Putin.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"Doting Thomists: Evangelicals, Thomas Aquinas, and Justification"

That's the title of my most recent article published in the The Evangelical Quarterly 85.3 (July 2013): 211-227.  Here's the abstract:
Over the past several decades, some Evangelical philosophers and theologians have embraced the metaphysics, epistemology, and natural law theory of Thomas Aquinas (1225-74), despite that fact that historically some of the leading lights in Evangelicalism have rejected Aquinas's views because they believed these views are inconsistent with classical Reformation teaching. Some of these Evangelical Thomists have argued that on the matter of justification Aquinas is out of step with Tridentine and post-Tridentine Catholicism though closer to the Protestant Reformers.This article argues that such a reading of Aquinas is mistaken, and that Aquinas's understanding of justification is of a piece with both his predecessors (Augustine, Council of Orange) as well as his successors (Council of Trent, Catechism of the Catholic Church)

In this article I critique the reading of St. Thomas embraced by R. C. Sproul, John Gerstner, and Norman L. Geisler. As I note in the article, "Although an entire generation of Evangelical Thomists, influenced by Geisler, Sproul, and Gerstner, has largely accepted this narrative, it is spectacularly false." You can read the entire article here.

This article was originally presented as a paper at the 2010 meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society.