Category: Books

Gray on Sociology

Gray: If Positivism is the chief source of the twentieth century’s most powerful secular religions it is partly through its impact on the social sciences. For Positivists, modernity is the transformation of the world by the use of scientific knowledge....

/ September 23, 2022

Schaeffer’s Legacy

I am a former L’Abri student. Every time I visit Rochester, MN, I make a point of visiting Dr. Schaeffer’s grave. He’s something of a spiritual grandfather to me. My most treasured book in my home library is a copy...

/ September 23, 2022
church-and-commonwealth

CS Lewis on Political Idolatries

From Screwtape Letters: Let him begin by treating the Patriotism or the Pacifism as a part of his religion. Then let him, under the influence of the partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part. Then quietly and...

/ September 13, 2022

Reading the Pan-Africanists: Julius Nyerere (II)

Continuing: The production of wealth, whether by primitive or modern methods, requires three things. First, land. God has given us the land, and it is from the land that we get the raw materials which we reshape to meet our...

/ September 13, 2022

Positivism and Universal Free Markets

Gray: The core of Logical Positivism was the development of a scientific worldview. Going further than Saint-Simon and Comte, the Logical Positivists declared that only the verifiable propositions of science have meaning: strictly speaking, religion, metaphysics and morality are nonsense....

/ September 13, 2022

Gray and the Deeply Modern Bolsheviks

John Gray: The roots of the Soviet system were in the Enlightenment’s most utopian dreams. Lenin never gave up the belief that, after a period of revolutionary terror, the state would be abolished. Trotsky defended the taking and killing of...

/ September 12, 2022

Reading “Non-Anxious Presence” (II)

Before getting into more prescriptive analysis in his later chapters, Sayers spends the first chapter developing his concept of a “gray zone.” To begin, The pandemic, cultural change, political polarization, and technological disruption have rapidly altered the world we live...

/ August 29, 2022

Reading the Pan-Africanists: Julian Nyerere (I)

I’ve finished Kaunda. Now on to Nyerere, a contemporary of Kaunda’s who was the first president of Tanzania, serving from 1964 to 1985. I’m reading his book Socialism, which is a collection of addresses and papers he wrote in the early...

/ August 26, 2022

On Mr. Berry and Professor Jennings

In his critique of my discussion of “whiteness” in the book, my friend Scott Pryor observes that it seems as if I’m shifting away from Wendell Berry’s critique of modernity and toward Willie James Jennings’s. On one hand, in Chapter...

/ August 25, 2022

Gray on Modernism

From Al Qaeda and What it Means to be Modern: Western societies are governed by the belief that modernity is a single condition, everywhere the same and always benign. As societies become more modern, so they become more alike. At the...

/ August 24, 2022