From books, to articles, to interviews, to podcasts, our Contributors have been producing some extremely thought-provoking and timely content. Our Orbits post series features our Contributors’ content.
Below are some recent highlights we believe are particularly relevant and squarely address important worldview issues. You might ask yourself, “How do truth and God, wisdom, family, church, leadership, art and beauty, and population trends in China relate to worldview?”
Each category listed in that series corresponds to a key worldview metaphysical category and sometimes several. It’s a good discussion question, and we offer some help and hints as we go.
Interview with Tom Holland, Douglas Murray, and Stephen Meyer
Executive Director Doug Monroe recently attended the Discovery Institute’s Dallas Conference on Science & Faith where the topic of God’s existence was front and center. Stephen Meyer was one of the keynote speakers who masterfully argued for faith to take a seat at the head of science’s table. Doug also recently heard from Douglas Murray who spoke on free speech in the West presented by the UNC Alumni Free Speech Alliance. Together, alongside historian and author Tom Holland (we presented Tom’s book Dominion here), they participate in a thoughtful discussion on the reasons they do (or don’t!) believe in the possibility of a Creator God and the importance of this concept to Western society.
While these three thought leaders are not yet Praxis Circle Contributors, Stephen and Douglas have accepted invitations for interviews later this year. Keep an eye out for them!
We wonder what Douglas’ and Tom’s thoughts would have been had they attended the Discovery Institute’s Conference in February. There, several accomplished scientists presenting gave Frank Turek’s famous claim “not enough faith to be an atheist” near mathematical certainty, based on probability.
Their thesis: Science is practically 100% certain now a Mind created, fine tunes, and sustains us . . . and the universe. Call the Mind what you will – the Force, Lord, or Divine Mind – but it’s real as a heart attack. What appears to be getting squeezed if not eliminated “between the gaps” is atheism and materialism, not God.
A Biblical Perspective on Wisdom & Foolishness
Article by Hugh Whelchel
In this article (in each case, the link is on the title of each subsection), Contributor Hugh Whelchel draws from the cautionary words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice.” None knew this better than Bonhoeffer—German pastor and eventual Christian martyr to the Third Reich—who witnessed his own people justify or turn a blind eye to the Nazi regime until it was too late. Hugh argues that this kind of stupidity is necessary for evil people to take power and that as Christians, we are called to higher and more discerned thinking.
Praxis Circle wrote a very similar blog in 2021 that concluded with an important question: Will we be brave enough to pursue wisdom in an age of ignorance and misinformation?
Revisiting Adam and Eve after The Pill
Podcast interview with Mary Eberstadt
Contributor Mary Eberstadt recently released her book Adam and Eve After the Pill: Revisited, the second volume of Adam and Eve After the Pill. This podcast interview dives into why, ten years later, she has revisited the concepts in her first book and how the effects of Sexual Revolution are making an impact today. “Revisited does not mean ‘revised.’ This isn’t an updated edition of the first book,” she says. “It’s a new book, a new round of research demonstrating how postrevolutionary mores continue to transform the West–including its churches.”
Congrats, Mary, on another fantastically reflective piece. Our book review of Adam and Eve After the Pill: Revisited will be published next week.
Memo to Gen Z Catholics: Why Vatican II is Still Important
Article by George Weigel
In this article, newest Contributor George Weigel responds to the idea that Vatican II is not for the generations of today. Instead, he argues that the teachings within Vatican II are “utterly relevant to the chief contentions of the moment.” Some of these contentions include “synodality” in the Catholic church, human identity, post-modernity’s quest for authentic human community, and how to rebuild the West’s shattered cultural foundations.
His overarching argument is fleshed out in his most recent book, To Sanctify the World (2022). We review that book here, which George featured in releasing his book from the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
Check out the article to get a sneak peak of what we’ll be discussing in our interview with him that will be released later this spring. We believe that George presents Christian orthodoxy developed and tested though the centuries. He offers theological basics that most Christians worldwide can and should embrace.
We do not have to agree on everything: God did not create us or the world that way. It is quite ok that various churches organize themselves differently and that some differences in theology do matter. If successful marriages can work without 100% agreement, so can successful Christian alliance. We need to stand together or die alone.
Article by R. R. Reno
What has been the impact of generational worldviews in the United States? In another generation-focused article, Contributor R. R. Reno dissects what he calls the Baby Boomer curse: moral idealism. He writes, “Our Baby Boomer leaders have worked to liberalize attitudes, to the point of enforcing punitive political correctness, on the theory that more Americans will flourish and reach their full potentials. The reality is otherwise. Far more people are morally and personally shipwrecked today than were in the past. It turns out that an “inclusive” society requires destroying the social norms that discipline us. We have what Baby Boomers desire, an open society, and it is dysfunctional.” It’s time, R. R. Reno argues, to get a grip on human nature and face reality.
Are you a Boomer? Did the Summer of 2020 take you by surprise? Do you wonder how America and much of the West has gotten so insanely off course?
Time for a period of self-examination beginning with articles like Rusty’s and books like Helen Andrews’ Boomers.
Article by Heather Mac Donald
Abolitionist art is now… racist? You got it.
In this article, Contributor Heather Mac Donald highlights the irony of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s recent exhibition attempting to reinterpret art historically accepted as anti-slavery pieces. She writes, “Give the Met credit for aiming high: if it can portray abolitionist art as a smoke screen for slavery, it can portray anything in Western history as a pretext for oppression—and it will do so.”
Worldviews are powerful, and ones that emphasize race and white privilege seem to find it in even the most unassuming places.
Looks out world! Heather is coming out with her new ahead-of-the-curve book soon, When Race Trumps Merit: How the Pursuit of Equity Sacrifices Excellence, Destroys Beauty, and Threatens Lives. You can pre-order using the link to the left. The Woke and educational worlds have kicked the wrong beehive and will never be the same.
A Revolution is Coming for China’s Families
An Article by Nicholas Eberstadt and Ashton Verdery
Hot off the Wall Street Journal‘s press today we have an article on China’s population implosion co-authored by Contributor Nicholas Eberstadt. There might not be any couple anywhere doing more for the American family – or families anywhere for that matter – than Contributors Mary and Nick Eberstadt.
All good economists know that population trends are among the most predictable and important political-economic trends that determine every country’s future. Furthermore, most good Western academics recognize the core importance of the state of the family to civilization in any historical age. China’s future population trends are certain (without significant immigration): It is impossible to make any more, let’s say, two-year olds or twenty-year olds. We know that a declining population on any basis is never good for national-to-tribal strength and economy.
We will end our comments in this Orbits post with the claim that all of the references coming from Praxis Circle relate to worldview or we would not post them. In the case of China versus America, today’s two great world powers, we have theistic American political-economic “free capitalism” vs. atheistic Marxist Communist Chinese political-economic tyrannical “state capitalism.” These are worldview centric forms of governance, our eighth worldview pillar.
In Capitalism Alone: The Future of the System that Rules the World (2019), Branco Milanovic argues that capitalism characterizes both America and China. Arguably, as he describes, both systems have strengths and weaknesses. But we say they are 100% incompatible in the long run.
(See the link here and the discussion under the post’s subheading Today’s Confusion-to-Insanity.)
One political-economic system is based on God and the Family and the other is based on Man and the Party’s dictatorial, central government. The “one child policy” would not be possible in the U.S.; indeed, most of us believe it is immoral. (Morality is our seventh worldview pillar.)
America and China are fighting it out now on a basis just like the farmers and the cattle ranchers in the movie Shane, the Empire and the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars, or Neo and the Agents in Matrix. (See the links for clipped scenes from these worldview narrative movies.)
Just like the U.S. and U.S.S.R. did prior to Soviet Communism’s fall.
As a famous former U.S. president likes to say (without endorsing any politics!), “We’ll see what happens” (in the U.S. versus China future contest). But the conflict is well upon us.
Have a great weekend!