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Military Defense Essentially a Moral Issue

A moral dilemma is, by definition, a problem that cannot be solved simply by dealing with material facts. “What should be” matters as much as “what is” or “what will be.” Different societies define their moral systems differently. But all agree on one thing. The closer you get to issues of life and death, the more important the moral aspect Read More ›

The American Citizen as Soldier

The Founding Fathers wanted America defended by a small professional military and a large people’s militia. Today, that idea seems as quaint as the horse cavalry, and about as practical. And yet . . . it’s coming back. Two new books, both by well-left-of-center authors, sketch the military and political rationales for a citizen-based post Cold War military. And conservatives, Read More ›

What the Air Force Can Do for You

“What can you do When your dreams come true And it’s not quite like you planned?” So sang the Eagles, a popular group of the 70s. But today, “After the Thrill Is Gone” might well become the service anthem of the United States Air Force. Despite the magnificence of Desert Storm, despite all the wondrous new technologies and capabilities developed Read More ›

silhouette shadows
Backlight Silhouette of a Man in the Smoke
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How Hollywood Reinvented C. S. Lewis in the Film Shadowlands

It is understandable why the film “Shadowlands” (now available on videotape) won rave reviews from almost everybody. The acting is splendid, the script is literate, and the production design is first-rate. All things considered, the film is a wonderful piece of cinema and well worth seeing. For those of us who never had the rare privilege of meeting C. S. Read More ›

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Richard Baxter and the Origin of “Mere Christianity”

"Mere Christianity" was the term C. S. Lewis employed to describe essential Christianity — those core Christian beliefs held through the ages by Catholics and Protestants alike. What most people don't realize is that Lewis adapted this term from an author who wrote more than three hundred years ago. The author's name was Richard Baxter, and his writings on the "essentials" of Christianity provide a useful background to the views articulated by Lewis. Read More ›
God Bless America
God Bless America - Church
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Politics of Revelation and Reason (Preface)

“We disapprove of the measures adopted by a certain party, styling themselves the Christian party in politics,” declared the petition from a citizens’ group. The document went on to indict Christian political activists for advocating policies that were “infusing a spirit of religious intolerance and persecution into the political institute of the country, and which, unless opposed, will result in Read More ›

Literature Survey January 1996

Zen Biology? Jeffrey Levinton, “Life in the Tangled Lane,” a review of Stuart Kauffman, The Origins of Order, Evolution 49 (1995): 575-577. In this review of Kauffman’s magnum opus, Levinton (Ecology and Evolution, SUNY Stony Brook) is cheerfully skeptical. “Kauffman’s model,” he writes, “is at once pervasive, explaining everything. But equally, it explains why we may never be able to Read More ›

Invitation to Chat with the General

In recent weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about talk. Specifically, about the right (?) of military officers to comment publicly on their Commander-in-Chief. Whether yet another 60’s vice–protest as emotional venting and self-expression–has hit the military, may be debated. Thankfully, however, there are other dialogues going on. Herewith a personal tale, and a short meditation on military statesmanship. Read More ›

Shopping for Defense

President Clinton, it would seem, has had a conversion experience–one that leaves many of his overworked and overwrought supporters feeling more betrayed than usual. After six years of trashing the military and blowing off the putative alarmists and doom-sayers, he now finds the world so threatening that, as he recently told the New York Times, he stays up at night Read More ›