Truth-like Substance (Screwtape Letters Part 2)

In the first two letters, Lewis plants in Screwtape’s correspondence some philosophy and some ecclesiology.The philosophy is about the precariousness uses of argument. Screwtape dissuades Wormwood from using reason at all to corrupt his patient. “The trouble about argument is that it moves the whole struggle on to the Enemy’s own ground. He can argue too;” Oh yes he can. And so can his strongest saints. Witness all the times in the book of Acts, … Continue reading

The Devil is a Liar

Do you ever have books that no matter how many times you encounter them you always get something new out of them? That’s the Screwtape Letters (SL) for me. Just recently I listened to one of the many audio book recordings. This one was well done but not as full of irony like the version read by John Cleese, himself a religious iconocast nor as dramatic as the one done by Focus on the Family … Continue reading

The God of Awards Season

Awards season is here. We just had the Golden Globes were it was all about telling serial sexual harassers like Harvey Weinstein that #timesup. So a quick reminder. God is okay. No really. Lots of people thank God. Even snarky atheist Ricky Gervais thanked God (that he made him an atheist) at the Golden Globes. I was watching Saturday Night Live last week and Chance the Rapper ended the show with the shout out: “I … Continue reading

Tu Quoque

Tu quoque. The term sounds like a special ballet move or what a Shakespearean character might say before he dies. In Latin it means, “You too.” Rumor has it that Julius Caesar said, “Tu quoque mi fili” (You too, my son) rather than the question “Et tu Brute?” as Shakespeare has it. If true, Caesar wasn’t surprised at Brutus’ betrayal, he was uttering a prophecy. Caesar might have quoted the beginning of a Greek proverb, … Continue reading

Shouting “Fire,” in a Crowded Fertility Clinic

You may have heard about a devastating argument going around the internet. I know it’s got me shaking in my evangelical boots. I sure hope I don’t run into a pro-abortion advocate that uses it. According to comedian, serial tweeter, and sci-fi author, Patrick S. Tomlinson, this one argument is like holy water to pro-life vampires. You know, if we were vampires. Whenever abortion comes up, I have a question I’ve been asking for ten … Continue reading

Dark Reason

Every now and then a news article comes along that scares me a little. The Washington Post reported on a social science study to test how politicians respond to evidence that contradicts their ideological positions. I bet you can guess how this went. Our research involved a number of “survey experiments” in which we varied the questions that we asked politicians. In our first test, we asked the politicians to evaluate parents’ satisfaction ratings for … Continue reading