Church and State Part One: The Early Church

This is the first installation in a series of articles in which I present my view of church history with a focus on the relationship between church and state. Today I cover the history of the early church. In the next installation, I will cover Constantine and caesaropapism. Struggles between state and religion, papacy and monarchy, have long captured the attention of historians. Whether examining the Torah’s laws for separation between holy and unholy, Roman persecution of the early church, the Inquisition, or Roger Williams’ fight for separation of church and state, it becomes apparent that only a thin line … Continue reading “Church and State Part One: The Early Church”

Nazi Death Camps: Blurring the Lines Between Life and Death

We are publishing this article for Holocaust Remembrance Day. May their memories be for a blessing. Death camps represent, perhaps, the most important evidence for the planned extermination of the Jewish people. The death camp manufactured a single product: the speedy and efficient murder of world Jewry. Because of this, the Nazis blurred the lines between life and death. “Life” became an optimistic way to describe an animated dying process, while “death” was normalized into everyday expectation. Nazis sought to turn humans into animals, taking away all semblance of the dignity of human life. Meanwhile, the actual act of murder … Continue reading “Nazi Death Camps: Blurring the Lines Between Life and Death”

Quo Vadis Thomistice?

After considerable reflection I must agree that, despite the wisdom of certain finer points of St. Bonaventure, St. Thomas truly represents the highest point of philosophy and theology and is, in this capacity, the most effective response to modern challenges. I found out that St. Thomas held positions on faith and philosophy which I thought he had totally rejected: the extrinsic influence of the faith on philosophy, the metaphysical doctrine of the divine ideas and participatory metaphysics, mystical knowledge of God, and monarchism. Aquinas is called the Common Doctor for a very good reason. He was not a wild innovator … Continue reading “Quo Vadis Thomistice?”

On the Crusades and Their Significance for Christianity

Shellfish. Starving children in Africa. The Crusades. In a normal, rational world, these three subjects would be as far apart from each other topically as they are physically. In religious debate between an uninformed atheist and an unprepared Christian, however, these three topics are the conversation’s bread and butter. Having grown up in the church with an interest in theology and philosophy, I have been able to debunk these for years. To my annoyance, while the value behind these posits has been erased completely, the posits themselves subsist in some sort of perverted strength in numbers. I post this article … Continue reading “On the Crusades and Their Significance for Christianity”

Book Review: The Coming of the French Revolution by Georges Lefebvre

Although I do not by any means hold Marxist convictions (quite the contrary!), I do believe it is important to understand Marxist perspectives, including Marxist perspectives on history. My hope is that this review along with Lefebvre’s book can give us an honest perspective on a 1930s Marxist intellectual’s mind. In 1970, The Coming of the French Revolution by Georges Lefebvre reentered the printing press in France. Originally published in 1939 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1789 Revolution in France, the book had for years remained suppressed and almost lost, thanks to the German occupation of France in … Continue reading “Book Review: The Coming of the French Revolution by Georges Lefebvre”

The Crescent Moon and the Church of the Nones

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Then God said: Let there be light, and there was light. God saw that the light was good. God then separated the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:3-4) God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God. (Nicene Creed) A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. (Revelation 12:1) Are you seeking a Son without a Father? Give me a light without brightness. (Augustine) Light. We define it as a transverse electromagnetic wave, a photon, pure energy having no … Continue reading “The Crescent Moon and the Church of the Nones”

Religious Freedom in the Original Colonies

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We all hear about American founding principles, including freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to self-defense, and many others. Yet we less often hear about the fact that these founding principles were, in many ways, a crossover between competing sets of values. We even less often think about the fact that these sets of values remain in contest with one another to this day. The history of religious freedom in three of the most important colonies (Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) says quite a bit about the contrasting sets of principles that compete for American values. I am uncertain … Continue reading “Religious Freedom in the Original Colonies”