Stuck in the Present

WHY LIBERALISM FAILED

Don’t be misled. The liberalism that the author speaks of is the classical variety that undergirds both conservative and progressive liberal thought. The liberalism the author believes has failed is that of Mill and Locke, the latter a big influence on our Founding Fathers.

I heavily annotated my copy of Why Liberalism Failed because it is the kind of book that makes you think in fresh ways about old ideas.

Much ink has already been spilled debating the merits of this book. I won’t go into detail on those since this brief review is designed to say that I find Deneen’s thesis quite compelling. I plan to read more of Mill and Locke so my view could change some, but right now, I find myself aligning with Deneen’s concerns.

 

CAN I HANDLE THE TRUTH?

Four quotes from four of my favorite writers:

“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”

George Orwell

“Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“Many of you have already found out and others will find out in the course of their lives that truth eludes us if we do not concentrate with total attention on its pursuit. And even while it eludes us, the illusion still lingers of knowing it and leads to many misunderstandings.”

Blaise Pascal

“Propaganda succeeds precisely to the extent that it provides us with a means of escaping reality.”

Jacques Ellul

A MASTER HISTORIAN ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

I have read a couple of Robert Wilken’s other books. His books never disappoint. He is an elegant writer along with being an eminent historian of the early Christian and medieval eras.

He is fair and balanced and that is certainly true of this book. You will find that Wilken had his book scrutinized by both Roman Catholic and Protestant scholars.

I do not know if Wilken meant for there to be any apologetic aim with this book, but his terrific sketch of history certainly corrects a faulty view that many have about the origins of religious liberty.

Kudos to Yale University Press that consistently makes beautiful books!

SOMETHING TO MULL OVER

“Perfect love casts out fear, but the opposite is also true: perfect fear casts out love.”

Pastor/scholar David Gibson mentioned that a pastor friend shared the quote with him.

Interviewed by theologian J Todd Billings

The End of the Christian Life Podcast