SPSA in New Orleans

As I mentioned earlier, I will be presenting a paper for the Southern Political Science Association this Saturday in New Orleans, LA.  This will be at the Hotel InterContinental, and so if you’re in the area please come on.

My panel is called “Philosophy, Rhetoric, and the Common Good,” and you can check it out by going here and clicking “browse the program” and then clicking on “Saturday.”  I’m at 1:15.  To get at philosophy and the common good, I examine a dispute among early American Presbyterians about natural law and religious freedom.  The paper overlaps with the political discussions we’ve had here, and it shines a clear light on the old-guard disciplinarian and Presbyterian view of “the two kingdoms.”  Here is the abstract: Continue reading


Love God and Do What You Please

This is from our church’s recent January newsletter, but I’ve been asked to make it public by posting it here.

In his Seventh Homily on 1st John, the early church father Augustine of Hippo gives this pastoral advice, “Once for all, then, a short precept is given thee: Love, and do what thou wilt.”  As a college student, I attended a summer conference for Reformed University Fellowship, and one of the campus ministers adapted this quote to answer the question, “How can I know if I’m doing God’s will for my life?”  He answered, “Love God and do what you please.”  The answer is shocking at first.  It sounds like a way to avoid responsibility and a license to sin.  Anything I please?

The key to understanding St. Augustine, as well as my conference speaker, is found in the order of the words. Continue reading

SPSA Conference

This weekend in New Orleans, LA, I will be presenting a paper at the Southern Political Science Association annual conference.  I’m listed on this site for Saturday.  See the panel titled “Philosophy, Rhetoric, and the Common Good.”

My paper is called “‘The Two Sons of Oil’ and the Limits of American Dissent.”  I’m looking forward to it.