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For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.
Deeds of the Antichrist” by Luca Signorelli / Public Domain

I recently wrote a long paper partly focused on the work of Leo Strauss and C.B. Macpherson in analyzing how Christian natural law was transmogrified in the enlightenment (respectively in Natural Right and History and The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism — both fantastic and justly considered classics of political science). While these two men diverge greatly in many places in their analysis, there is a convergence on one important point: John Locke uses the language of natural law but has replaced its content with Hobbesianism. …

Oratory Church of the Immaculate Conception” by Michael D Beckwith / CC BY 3.0

This article originally appeared as an assignment in an intellectual history class I took. I realized that the subject is basically designed to go viral on Catholic twitter — the four figures I analyzed are beloved in English-speaking Catholic circles, and for good reason in my opinion. This was originally a 19 page paper, so for comfort and ease of reading in this format I’ve trimmed things down a bit and adopted a looser style. It shouldn’t hurt the content too much.

Modernity (the subject of the class and the paper) brought with it a shift in how people reason…

We Have Gained the Stairs,” by Stella Langdale / Public Domain

Rerum Novarum, the great Catholic document on social relations, begins by describing a “spirit of revolutionary change, which has long been disturbing the nations of the world” (Paragraph 1). This spirit is often merely called modernity — the period in which all things are ephemeral and everything that is solid vanishes into air. Revolutionary change has had many targets, but if we were to look for a single uniting theme in modernity, it is the belief that old hierarchies are unjust and ought to be eliminated: modern movements from Protestantism to Liberalism and even Communism and Fascism all sought to…

Tracks and Traffic” by J.E.H. MacDonald / Public Domain

I don’t normally like to write about the news. It bores me to death, and I find that the piece tends to get forgotten along with the story. However, sometimes an event comes around that so perfectly illustrates a particular concept that you can’t not write about it, and I think this week’s storming of the capitol is one worth making an exception for.

I find that English-speaking Canadians often have a better understanding of America than Americans do. This is because Canada is just outside enough to feel the effects of Americanism but just inside enough to experience it…

As frequent readers of my Goodreads will know, 2020 was a great year for my reading. I went from reading 33 books in 2019 — my previous record, and something that I was proud of at the time — to a likely 115 this year (although there are 2 I wouldn’t count and 2 I reread so it’s closer to 111 unique, book-length books). I thought I’d cap my year off by presenting my favourite from each month, largely because I wanted to write something but not put too much effort into researching it. This semester was very long.

January — Bowling Alone by Robert D. Putnam


Melkite-Christ-the-King” by John Stephen Dwyer / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Chapter 8 is a really excellent one: a long arc building up from a reflection on the permissive will of God to one of the most enduring parts of Mere Christianity in the famous Lewisian trilemma.

Lewis begins with a reminder of where we left off:

Christians, then, believe that an evil power has made himself for the present the Prince of this World. And, of course, that raises problems. Is this state of affairs in accordance with God’s will, or not? If it is, He is a strange God, you will say: and if it is not, how can…

“Apocalypse 1. War in heaven. Revelation cap 12 vv 7–12. Perelle. Phillip Medhurst Collection” by Phillip Medhurst / CC-BY-SA-3.0

After eliminating atheism last chapter, we’re left with a few diverging options. Obviously Lewis would like us to select orthodox Christianity, but Mere Christianity is nothing if not systematic: Lewis’ apologetic mission was to eliminate for the reader all possible alternative philosophies. Chapter 7 begins by identifying one such candidate:

Very well then, atheism is far too simple. And I will tell you another view that is also too simple. It is the view I call Christianity-and-water, the view that simply says there is a good god in Heaven and everything is all right — leaving out all the difficult…

I’ve realized that it might be difficult to navigate this series in the future given that they’re buried in and amongst my normal posts. As a result, I’ve decided to link them all here, as well as provide all the sources I used. If I do any more series in the future expect to see something like this.

It goes without saying that every article cites Mere Christianity as well as the Bible. I use the New American Revised Edition, although some of the earlier articles pull from my family Bible which uses an older version of the translation.



McConnell, Newton, Library and Archives Canada / Public Domain

There are almost as many political compass tests online as there are fish in the sea. The traditional four-quadrant one was incredibly popular around 2016, (I suspect a year of political ‘awakening’ for many people, myself included) but its star has kind of faded over time as people recognized that there were problems with it. What even are “plant genetic resources,” and how would I know that large corporations are exploiting them? The intuition of those trying to create a more precise compass was correct on that line, however they too fall into much the same error as the original…

- The Author. (I’ve started using my own photography in my posts as an excuse to practice).

At a snail’s pace, we move on to book two: What Christians Believe. We have transitioned now from Lewis’ proof of God’s existence, called the moral argument, to the book’s heart, namely a summary and a case for Christian doctrine. The first part of the book is remarkable in its own right, and I think provides the argument for God’s existence that is most useful in a normal conversation with a layperson, but I have a special fondness for this section. Were it not for Lewis’ explanation of doctrine, presented to me first via the CS Lewis Doodle youtube channel…

Pilgrimage of Based

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