Doug Wilson's broadside against David French and ... whatever it is he thinks French believes

 "Since Wilson is enjoining the debate on the side of Sohrab Ahmari, does he agree that we need to dispense with the liberal order itself by grasping the reins of power and coercing our way to a society ordered to the 'highest good'?" - National Review

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Be that as it may, perhaps French, and those of us in his camp, believes that the American experiment is the greatest political arrangement yet devised for the triumph and flourishing of freedom and virtue, precisely because free virtue is real virtue, organic moral fiber, not outward conformity produced by fiat.

GregH's picture

I read Wilson's article and could not stop shaking my head at pretty much all of it but this in particular:

Conservative Christianity, the kind that believes the Bible, is the kind of faith system that can sustain the most robust forms of religious liberty possible. No other worldview comes close. So to say that you want all the different faith systems, with which America teems, to respect and honor religious liberty is to say that, on this point at least, you want them to defer to the Christian pattern. Being a Christian, I don’t mind making that a requirement. What I do mind is the pretense that we are not doing so.

This in my view is sheer nonsense. The history of Christianity does not demonstrate that it is a religion that is about religious liberty. Quite the opposite in fact. Christianity does not have a good track record for even allowing religious liberty within Christianity itself as is evidenced by Christians burning their own at the stake during the Middle Ages and Reformation. And liberty outside Christianity? That is laughable with the Crusades being a notable example.

There are many that still think that this country is founded on Christianity rather than classical liberalism. Thankfully it is not or we might look more like the way it was before the Constitution when religious persecution was common here. Roger Williams did not go to Rhode Island for a vacation. Religious liberty exists in the US precisely because Christianity does not get the favored status that Wilson wants for it. 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

From a worldview standpoint, Wilson has a valid point or two. There's a sense in which all other worldviews are borrowing from the Christian worldview wherever they're correct.

The problem is that you don't have to get to Christian truth by a Christian route, and in a free society it's counterproductive to try to get everyone to do that. (By government use of power)

Our political philosophy as a nation doesn't have to be fully coherent and eternally sustainable. It only has to hold together well enough to keep it reasonably just and free as long as possible, preferably until the Day of the Lord.

He's not all wrong, he's just got French mostly wrong and is way too idealistic about what can and should be done through human government in this age.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

There is no "Frenchism" to receive a kiss of death. It's nothing more than than the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Though there are many attacks on them in many forms, that's been going on for a long time. What's new is that now we have people on the right attacking them. Still, even with enemies on both the right and the left, they aren't going away just yet.

Larry's picture

Moderator

The history of Christianity does not demonstrate that it is a religion that is about religious liberty. Quite the opposite in fact.

Whatever one might believe about the Wilson-French-whoever discussion, this is manifestly false. One of the bedrock NT principles of Christianity is that Christianity is not a coerced religion and others who disagree have the freedom to disagree. It is true that some claiming the name have inconsistently lived out that value, but it is not Christianity that is wanting, but consistent practice of NT theology. This is exactly why the biblical notion of the separation of church and state matters. 

Although, if SI is any indication, religious liberty is indeed hard to come by among Christians. It seems liberty is only allowed if you confine your liberty to the prevailing norm. Woe to the one who dares depart. He is in for a good dose of sarcastic treatment, along with name calling, and ad hominem (or worse) types of arguments. It seems to easy to simply let it go and let someone believe what they want. No, we must pile on incessantly until it is clear that liberty is a relative value, not an absolute one.

GregH's picture

Larry wrote:

The history of Christianity does not demonstrate that it is a religion that is about religious liberty. Quite the opposite in fact.

Whatever one might believe about the Wilson-French-whoever discussion, this is manifestly false. One of the bedrock NT principles of Christianity is that Christianity is not a coerced religion and others who disagree have the freedom to disagree. It is true that some claiming the name have inconsistently lived out that value, but it is not Christianity that is wanting, but consistent practice of NT theology. This is exactly why the biblical notion of the separation of church and state matters. 

No, I don't think it is false. I was not referring to the NT teaching of Christianity; I explicitly said the history of Christianity. And when you read the history of Christianity, you read a sordid tale of violence that started very shortly after Jesus died and involved Christians vs Christians and Christians initiating violence against non-Christians from a position of power. Can you come up with some exceptions, especially from the past few centuries? Sure you can, but the overall history of Christianity in regards to religious freedom is horrific. 

My point is that this current trend on the radical right to try to move us toward a version of a Christian theocracy (though they would not admit it) is dangerous, not just for non-Christians but for Christians as well. 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Religious liberty--indeed any kind of liberty--has never meant "the freedom to never be ridiculed for what you publicly present as truth." Not that I'm defending anyone's sarcasm, necessarily, but a view expressed is a view open to criticism... and liberty has to do with freedom from coercion.

As for the history of Christianity, surely we all understand (don't we?) that there's always been a difference between Christianity and "things Christians do." Or to put it another way, a difference between Christianity and "Christianity." There's obedient Christianity and disobedient Christianity.

The Christian faith is inherently pro-religious liberty at it's core. How so? Salvation is by faith... and faith never has been forced. People have been forced to confess things and deny things, etc., but these are always distinct from true belief (though they usually go together, they are always different things).

So wherever Christianity has functioned in a matter true to itself, it has fostered both religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

As for the classical liberalism the U.S. was built on, it draws heavily on ideas that really are pieces of Christian views of creation, human nature, the nature and purpose of government, etc. Some of the classical liberals were classical liberals because they were Christians. Others will classical liberals because they saw the same principles in "nature and nature's God"... so they were working from what they saw as inferences from the nature of what they believed to be a created world (this is all long before Darwin and naturalism).

It's really not possible to separate Christianity and Deism point by point... they are much intertwined in lots of ways.

But where Bill of Rights/Classical Liberalists (now being called Frenchism here and there... I don't know if this red herring is actually catching on) differ from what these post-constitutional nationalists are saying is that they understand the nation's founding principles included...

(a) belief in the role of non-governmental cultural influences (aka "civil society") and institutions and

(b) belief that government should not impose a religion or use unnecessarily religious arguments as a basis for what it does.

Jefferson et al. weren't properly "secularists," but some of them were pretty close. It was supposed to be reason and virtue that drove things. Of course, with the advent of modernism and post modernism we don't have "truth" anymore, so we don't really have reason and virtue either. And that's where the Wilson has some valid points about the fix we're in. 

The weird thing about the debate is that French doesn't disagree about the fix we're in. He just doesn't believe the solution is to chuck our founding concept of liberty.

(Edit to add: in reference to (a) and (b) above... also (c) that keeping government in its proper place is the only way item (a) can thrive and do its job.)

Jay's picture

That Doug Wilson is increasingly trending an direction where theonomy is a good thing, instead of a heresy to be condemned, and that advocates an approach to civil government that seems to be more of a functioning theocracy than anything else, and you understand why Wilson is writing in defense of Ahmari.  Politics does, indeed, make for strange bedfellows.

I continue to be amazed at how many good men like Phil Johnson, John Piper, Tom Ascol and more have absolutely no problems linking to and endorsing Wilson's blog and writings.  Wilson has more baggage than O'Hare International Airport (Sitler, Wright, Plagariarism, "Southern Slavery as It Was", now titled Black and Tan) and people hand-wave it away because he 'writes well'.  There is more than enough garbage in his way/wake to practice secondary separation against him.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Wilson has more baggage than O'Hare International Airport and people hand-wave it away because he 'writes well'.  There is more than enough garbage in his way/wake to practice secondary separation against him.

I'm not sure about the separation because I haven't followed him that closely, but I've read enough to think the O'Hare reference is about right.

I was thinking above that maybe his eschatology is a factor... does he link theonomy with a post-mil style "we're going to bring in the Kingdom" strategy?

I'm not sure people are out of line quoting him and such, because sometimes he says excellent things excellently... but maybe more disclaimers with the quotes are in order. Anyway, I'd rather focus on the ideas themselves and he often raises pretty important questions, if we aren't crazy about his answers.

Jay's picture

I was thinking above that maybe his eschatology is a factor... does he link theonomy with a post-mil style "we're going to bring in the Kingdom" strategy?

I think he used to be post-mill (not sure) but now he is clearly pitting the "secular criminal justice system" against "the church's obligation to pursue justice".  That's why I was so angry when Wilson defended the mistreatment of Rachael Denhollander (and her pursuit of justice in multiple spheres) in the original Founders Ministry trailer two or three months ago at SI.

Wilson is the pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, ID.  The three major editors/players in the creation of the original trailer (the firm that created it is called CrossPolitic) are all either on staff at or serving as elders in Wilson's church.  All three men specifically stated that they deliberately intended to conflate the good work done by Denhollander and others with the perils of Critical Race Theory / Intersectionality. Wilson wrote a whole article defending CrossPolitic's actions at Blog and Mablog; James White said that he spoke with one of the trailer editors and they said it was intentional as well.  The whole mess is being injected into the SBC via Founders Ministries. All of this is publicly available knowledge.

And to our shame, a bunch of men who should have known better not only agreed with this, but defended it.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

GregH's picture

Aaron, I suppose my biggest small quibble with you on this is how you seem to elevate classical liberalism to the level of it being the "right way" or Christian way to do government. That seems like a bit of a stretch for a few reasons.

First, classical liberalism was radical and new when it made its appearance only a few centuries ago. You get some hints maybe in Aristotle and ancient Rome but not much elsewhere in history. So why did it take Christianity so long to come up with it? It seems that if it was Christianity-inspired, we would have seen it in history before the US came about.

Second, a good chunk of the thinking of classical liberalism was just flat out anti-God (thinking primarily Hume here but certainly he was one of the most critical early thinkers). 

Don't get me wrong. CL is brilliant thinking and I am a fan. But I don't see it as you seem to; I see it as a great approach to government but not anything more than that and certainly not God-sanctioned.

Larry's picture

Moderator

I was not referring to the NT teaching of Christianity; I explicitly said the history of Christianity.

I think this is an error. The "history of christianity" as you reference it is not Christianity at all. The NT is the basis for Christianity, not the actions of people who, with good or ill intent, misused it. But even at that, there is a long history of religious freedom in Christianity and it has spawned of religious freedom in a way that it is unlikely any others have.

My point is that this current trend on the radical right to try to move us toward a version of a Christian theocracy (though they would not admit it) is dangerous, not just for non-Christians but for Christians as well. 

If this is a trend, it is certainly on the radical right, meaning so far right as not to have much of a voice to be heard. I am not aware of this trend in any significant way but then I tend not to read far right sources so that may be why.

Larry's picture

Moderator

No conversation here is complete without a reference to music, the equation of food and alcohol, or a bashing of Doug Wilson. Glad to know we can put this one to bed now.

GregH's picture

Larry wrote:

I was not referring to the NT teaching of Christianity; I explicitly said the history of Christianity.

I think this is an error. The "history of christianity" as you reference it is not Christianity at all. The NT is the basis for Christianity, not the actions of people who, with good or ill intent, misused it. But even at that, there is a long history of religious freedom in Christianity and it has spawned of religious freedom in a way that it is unlikely any others have.

Larry, I am pretty well versed in church history but I am always up for learning more. I am not aware of any really significant examples of religious freedom in societies dominated by Christianity until the church lost most of its control of government a few centuries ago. Do you?

I am using the term "Christianity" liberally here to include Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism. I will grant that the Reformation probably paved the way for secular democracies which in turn led to a lot of religious freedom. The Reformers themselves hardly seemed interested in religious freedom though.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Again, Greg, you are focusing on a point you want to make, which is fine. My point is that NT Christianity is based on religious freedom--the idea that you cannot coerce belief. Therefore, Christianity is about religious freedom. Some Christians have not lived up to that, and some non-Christians (I won't grant your liberal definition at all) have claimed to be Christians and have not lived up to it. But NT Christianity recognizes that you cannot coerce belief, particularly by the power of the state.

Most people think "separation of church and state" is an American value and American ideal. It is no such thing. It is a biblical foundation for NT Christianity.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

First, classical liberalism was radical and new when it made its appearance only a few centuries ago. You get some hints maybe in Aristotle and ancient Rome but not much elsewhere in history. So why did it take Christianity so long to come up with it? It seems that if it was Christianity-inspired, we would have seen it in history before the US came about.

Second, a good chunk of the thinking of classical liberalism was just flat out anti-God (thinking primarily Hume here but certainly he was one of the most critical early thinkers). 

I'm not sure I can make myself sufficiently clear on all this... will try.

First, there's a difference between discovering an idea or giving it a name vs creating the reality... the truth that was there all along.

Second, Hume contributed a bit to classical liberalism, sure. But what does that really prove?

Third, as I've already noted, you don't have to arrive at Christian truth by a Christian route. Because God is the author of all truth, all truth (not all truth-claims) is God's truth. Whenever anybody gets any idea right, it was grace, and it's a small piece of the whole that is the Christian worldview.

Lots of people smarter than me have said it better. Take in CS Lewis, Francis Schaefer, RC Sproul... I'm sure others could expand the list.

On classical liberalism's rise, it's a big topic, but you have bits and pieces of it slowly falling into place starting at least as far back as the scholastics, arguably the Greek thinkers.

The reformers actually were for freedom of conscience, relative to their times. Separation of church and state, not so much; the seeds were there. The former really does ultimately require the later.

Why did it take Christians so long to get on board with religious liberty? Perhaps for similar reasons to why it took so long to initiate the fight against slavery. There is development of doctrine throughout the history of the church. But always it was slowly growing into what was already there, but not fully understood.

It isn't less Christian for being long in coming or having some advocates and champions along the way who were godless.

... apologies for typos. Keying on a phone and probably going to fast.

 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Some easily accessible resources on what I've been trying to say. Not necessarily "persuasive," but it may help readers understand how I'm looking at these things.

  • On unity of truth. Wouldn't agree with every detail, but some good work here

  • On the Christianness of the idea of religious liberty
    • Did Christians pioneer the idea of religious liberty? A look at Robert Louis Wilken’s "Liberty in the Things of God" I haven't read the book, but it sounds quite interesting. An excerpt from the review:

    • When Locke advanced the best-known argument for religious liberty (or at least toleration) in Western intellectual history, he was simply restating what Christians had been saying for millennia about the sacred rights of conscience. To Wilken, Locke was hardly an innovator, yet Locke obscured the debt he owed to Christian history for his argument in favor of religious toleration and the rights of conscience. Because of writers such as Locke, historians got the misguided notions that Enlightenment thinkers invented religious liberty, and that the concept was relatively secular in origin.

      • I'm skeptical... the claim is too large. And I don't really see "origin" as all that important for measuring Christianess in ideas. (Because: Common Grace)  Still, there might be some good food for thought there as far as ways Christian thought influenced the Enlightenment thinkers. There's no doubt that the Christian worldview was the backdrop, and they were assuming large portions of it whether they knew it or not (even while overtly rejecting parts of it at the same time).
    • Video lecture the same book, at Heritage Foundation There's some interesting context at the beginning of this video.... I'd rather see a debate or at least Q & A with the author. Maybe there is a video out there somewhere like that.
    • ERLC study p.16 talks a bit about the origins of the concept of religious liberty; might be more in there.
    • An interesting read on the whole topic of how Christian the founding of the U.S. was and wasn't...  Did America Have a Christian Founding?  Found this observation in footnote 13 intriguing for ideas for further reading:
      • Some scholars argue that Locke’s political philosophy is sharply at odds with earlier Protestant resistance literature, but I believe it is best understood as a logical extension of it. In any case, the American Founders clearly thought Locke’s ideas were compatible with orthodox Christianity. For further discussion, see Hall, “Vindiciae, Contra Tyrannos: The Influence of the Reformed Tradition on the American Founding.” An excellent example of Protestant resistance literature is Stephanus Junius Brutus, Vindiciae, Contra Tyrannos, ed. George Garnett (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994). Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1975), Vol. 1, p. 426.

I would also plug, once again, Thomas Sowell's excellent A Conflict of Visions for a lot of insight into what was going on among Enlightenment thinkers relative to human nature and the role of government... and how part of classical liberalism split off to eventually become leftism (essentially due to a false--not-coincidentally, unbiblical--view of human nature.)

GregH's picture

Thanks for the links Aaron. This is an interesting topic for sure. I can see this debate from two contrary perspectives, assuming the following premise is correct.

Premise: From 100 AD until the birth of the US, there really is no significant example of religious liberty in western civilization in spite of Christian influence. (I could be wrong but I am not aware of any, and in spite of my repeatedly challenging people on this thread to provide some, none have been forthcoming.)

If the premise is correct, there are at least two possible explanations for classical liberalism/American government.

1) I think your explanation is that Christianity finally grew and matured to the point where a government could exist that represents true Christian ideals. It started with the US and quickly spread through to other countries. The eventual evolution to classical liberalism could not have occurred in a society that was not Christian.

2) The secular explanation would be that the US is actually the first secular country in that it managed to keep itself independent from religious control, and it is no coincidence that it is actually the first country that managed to establish religious liberty.

To be honest, I can see both sides of this. It is hard to reconcile the idea that the NT promotes religious freedom with the reality that Christianity (in name at least) failed to achieve anything resembling religious liberty for 1500 years even though it completely dominated western culture. I know a big question mark revolves around what kind of Christianity (or non-Christianity) was responsible for all the failure.

Don Johnson's picture

I don't know what Aaron's resources say on this, but often discussion of liberty (especially religious liberty) focuses on America because that's what Americans do.

The struggle for liberty has a history in England as well, and even the French had something to do with it, though their experiments had some particularly bloody chapters. Anyway, it isn't strictly an American phenomenon, though I would agree that America is the best representative.

I wonder if Will Durant's history's touches on this at all. I haven't gotten through the whole thing yet, but have listened to the first three or four volumes. Fascinating insight, albeit not a Christian worldview.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

1) I think your explanation is that Christianity finally grew and matured to the point where a government could exist that represents true Christian ideals. It started with the US and quickly spread through to other countries. The eventual evolution to classical liberalism could not have occurred in a society that was not Christian.

This is pretty close. I'd tweak it a little. It's not just that Christianity finally grew enough, but also western civilization grew enough. So factors both within and without institutional Christianity developed.

Echoing to an extent what Don said, I'm not sure I'd  say it started with the US. Though UK and France did not advance the ideas as far as the U.S. did (and in the case of France, did not constrain/root the ideas sufficiently... a really interesting case), the ball was rolling over there. It's sort of like the founders took momentum from movements in Europe that had stalled and carried the reforms further. Locke and Montesquieu and all those guys had already done so much heavy lifting.

Edit: mixed my metaphor! Maybe I want to say Lock and M. et al had already done much of the driving... or something. 

More importantly: the US founders not only took reforms further, but following Ed. Burke's thought (and others), took reforms in a different direction than in France. There's a bit of a course change.... partly because many of the founders had a much dimmer view of human nature both as individuals but especially in groups (See again Conflict of Visions). Hmm... I wonder where they got that dimmer view from....

Bert Perry's picture

....existed to a degree among the Dutch in the 1500s and 1600s, when of course they were fighting Spain tooth and nail for very existence, and the Pilgrims came to enjoy it.  Now one might argue, perhaps with some reality, that the Dutch had religious tolerance precisely because they needed it to fight Spain, but they kept it up quite well for a while.  So a little bit before the U.S. was founded (or even colonized), but not a lot.

I think what Wilson is trying to argue, more or less, is the point that de Toqueville is alleged to have made about our republic; that it is suitable to a moral and religious people only.  I would dare say there is some truth to this whether he said it or not.  One example from a hot button issue; can our society lose its rejection of fornication without risking far higher rates of sexual assault?  We aren't going to get good data on this, so we'll never know for sure this side of Jordan, but I dare suggest when we go to the other side, we're going to learn some very hard things.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

GregH's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

I don't know what Aaron's resources say on this, but often discussion of liberty (especially religious liberty) focuses on America because that's what Americans do.

The struggle for liberty has a history in England as well, and even the French had something to do with it, though their experiments had some particularly bloody chapters. Anyway, it isn't strictly an American phenomenon, though I would agree that America is the best representative.

I wonder if Will Durant's history's touches on this at all. I haven't gotten through the whole thing yet, but have listened to the first three or four volumes. Fascinating insight, albeit not a Christian worldview.

Speaking for myself, while I might have referred to America a lot in this discussion, it is not because I think America is exceptional. I don't think that at all. But America happened to be in the right place at the right time. It needed a new government and the founders just happened to be very influenced by Classical Liberalism. The whole three parts of government, etc is right out of John Locke; America's founders may have tweaked Locke's ideas but they did not come up with our government out of thin air. 

So the US just ended up being a petri dish for ideas that would become successful. Very fortunate really. 

GregH's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

....existed to a degree among the Dutch in the 1500s and 1600s, when of course they were fighting Spain tooth and nail for very existence, and the Pilgrims came to enjoy it.  Now one might argue, perhaps with some reality, that the Dutch had religious tolerance precisely because they needed it to fight Spain, but they kept it up quite well for a while.  So a little bit before the U.S. was founded (or even colonized), but not a lot.

I think the Dutch are as good an example as any. They harbored a lot of religious radicals during that time as well as published a lot of religious materials that were banned by the Catholic church.

Bert Perry's picture

I have to wonder if the relative lack of religious freedom until relatively recently has a lot to do with the fact that Constantine set the precedent of having Christianity be an official state religion--and thus for centuries, all but a very few thought that it was quite natural that the state should help impose the "right" religious views.  That followed many centuries of Roman rule where only "permitted" religions could be practiced.   

Hence, religious liberty would wait, more or less, for a day when so many "dissenters" and "separatists" were on the streets, they could no longer be imprisoned (or worse, or whatever) without bankrupting the King.  It happened in the U.S. (and the Netherlands) before other countries precisely because the King (of England and/or Spain) had supply lines that were too long to be maintained for such a struggle.  (I'd guess the King of Spain's supply lines became a lot more difficult as well because the Royal Navy not surprisingly took exception to free passage for Spanish galleons through the English Channel....so while not supporting religious liberty per se, London probably did help a touch)

Back to the subject,  I used to be a fan of Wilson's,  but from questionable logic and evidence to plagiarism to picking a fight with #MeToo (including both Boz and the Denhollanders), he's setting himself up as more of an enfant terrible than a serious thinker.  It's a pity, because I think he started well.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I'm a couple of chapters into a book that came out this summer on the whole topic of western intellectual history. I'm only two chapters in, but there's quite a bit of attention to the enlightenment thinkers, the idea of personal freedom, the idea of religious liberty.

Focus is on the role of reason (and science) in relation to Christian faith in western civilization, which relates frequently to the intellectual history of the U.S.

It's by Samuel Gregg, who is Research Director at Acton Institute. 

Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization

It's an important book, and the timing couldn't be better either, now that there seem to be increasing conversations about "post-liberal" nationalism.

I don't know where Gregg comes down on that question, or how close he'll even get to touching on it in the book. But either way the volume provides much needed context for thinking about these questions.

I've obtained it both Audible and Kindle and hope to write a review after I finish at least the first reading. Might read it twice before I write.

Those interested in the debate may also find this helpful, over at Acton: Sohrab Ahmari's biggest mistake

GregH's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

I'm a couple of chapters into a book that came out this summer on the whole topic of western intellectual history. I'm only two chapters in, but there's quite a bit of attention to the enlightenment thinkers, the idea of personal freedom, the idea of religious liberty.

Focus is on the role of reason (and science) in relation to Christian faith in western civilization, which relates frequently to the intellectual history of the U.S.

It's by Samuel Gregg, who is Research Director at Acton Institute. 

Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization

It's an important book, and the timing couldn't be better either, now that there seem to be increasing conversations about "post-liberal" nationalism.

I don't know where Gregg comes down on that question, or how close he'll even get to touching on it in the book. But either way the volume provides much needed context for thinking about these questions.

I've obtained it both Audible and Kindle and hope to write a review after I finish at least the first reading. Might read it twice before I write.

Those interested in the debate may also find this helpful, over at Acton: Sohrab Ahmari's biggest mistake

I have read this book. To be honest, I was not very enthused by it. I think some of the key premises the author makes are quite easily refuted. However, I won't go into that until if/when you finish reading and do your review.

There is a similar newer book out that I sort of liked: The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization