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.