John G. West

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Happy Darwin Day?

Today is the birthday of Charles Darwin, and enthusiasts around the globe will be marking the occasion with special dinners, lectures, birthday parties and more. Darwin boosters often insist they are inspired simply by a disinterested commitment to science, while their critics are motivated primarily by religion. But Darwin Day festivities make it painfully obvious that many promoters of Darwinian theory Read More ›

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God and Evolution: A Response to Stephen Barr

Theistic evolutionist Stephen Barr is a serious and thoughtful man, and on the First Things blog, he has raised some serious and thoughtful objections to an essay I wrote for The Washington Post as well as to reflections on that essay by Joe Carter (also at the First Things blog). Unfortunately, I think Barr’s criticisms confuse matters more than they clarify them. Nevertheless, I’m grateful that he has aired his objections, because some of his misunderstandings are shared by other conservative intellectuals, and they deserve a response.

False Dilemma or Wishful Thinking: Is Darwinian Evolution Undirected or Not?

Barr first claims that Joe Carter and I “are trapped in a false dilemma” because we wrongly think that random processes cannot be directed by God. Barr points out that even random events, properly defined, are part of God’s sovereign plan. Just because something is random from our point of view, doesn’t mean that it is outside of God’s providence. Barr may be surprised to learn that I agree with him. Indeed, most, if not all, of the scholars who believe that nature provides evidence of intelligent design would agree with him. The problem with Barr’s argument is not with his understanding of the proper meaning of random, but with his seeming blindness to the fact that the vast majority of evolutionary biologists do not share his view. Barr’s ultimate disagreement here is not with me or Joe Carter, but with the discipline of evolutionary biology itself.

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Celebrating Middle-Earth

Six talented writers and Tolkien scholars describe the role that J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings has in the literary, political, and religious traditions of Western civilization. Chapters include “The Lord of the Rings as a Defense of Western Civilization” by John G. West; “Wartime Wisdom: Ten Uncommon Insights about Evil in The Lord of the Rings” Read More ›

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Sunday Mails: The First National Debate over the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment

The Sunday mails debate during the early nineteenth century was the first national controversy to focus on the meaning of the religion clauses of the First Amendment. The debate was sparked by the practice of transporting and delivering mail on Sundays. While the subject might seem arcane today, the issues underlying the controversy reached to the very core of American Read More ›

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Encyclopedia of Religion in American Politics

Today, such issues as abortion, capital punishment, sex education, racism, prayer in public schools, and family values keep religion and politics closely entwined in American public life. This encyclopedia is an A-to-Z listing of a broad range of topics related to religious issues and politics, ranging from the religious freedom sought by the Pilgrims in the 1620s to the rise Read More ›

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The New Federalist Papers

With over sixty contributing authors, this volume brings together the best of American constitutional scholarship for a comprehensive and provocative discussion of the Constitution’s history, its principles and its current meaning. Contributing authors to the book range from historians and political scientists to Congressmen and Supreme Court Justices. Some of the better-known contributors include former Speaker of the House Tip Read More ›

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The C. S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia

Winner of the Gold Medallion Award (1999) for best book in category of biography/autobiography, Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. Many decades after his death, Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) only continues to grow in popularity among Christian and secular readers alike. In one definitive volume, The C. S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia addresses all of Lewis’s writings as well as the major themes Read More ›