Posts Tagged ‘C.S. Lewis’


Does America Need a Christian Democratic Party?

With all the tumult in the American political landscape recently, is the United States pump primed for a Christian Democratic party similar to those in Europe? Three scholars debate this topic based upon a scholarly symposium published in the journal “Perspectives on Political Science.” Prof. Hunter Baker (Union University), the organizer of the symposium, argues that the time is right for Christian Democracy in America. Prof. Bryan McGraw (Wheaton College) notes that while Christian Democracy (CD) was helpful in Europe for consolidating democracy during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the conditions in the U.S. are not ripe for CD. Finally, Prof. Micah Watson (Calvin College) takes a decidedly negative position towards the concept of CD. Your host, Tony, chimes in with his own thoughts at the end.

Let us know your position by clicking “read more” and commenting on our discussion board.

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Owen Strachan on Chuck Colson

We examine the life and influence of Chuck Colson — marine, White House “fixer,” and founder of Prison Fellowship — with Owen Strachan, associate professor of Christian Theology at the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Owen discusses how this “swamp yankee” with a chip on his shoulder ends up in prison and then becomes a dynamic force in evangelizing culture in a rather non-traditional manner. This is a fascinating look into the personality and faith of an individual who looms large in contemporary Christian circles.

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Louis Markos on the Poetry of Heaven & Hell

How have humans viewed heaven and hell throughout the ages? And why is it important that Christians read the pagan writers of ancient Greece and Rome to understand more modern conceptualizations of the afterlife? Prof. Lou Markos of Houston Baptist University takes us on a journey through thousands of years of literature to answer these questions, moving from Plato to Dante to C.S. Lewis. Lou also notes that evangelical Christians, who were once skittish about pre-Christian writers, are now understanding the importance of embracing these ancient classics.

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Phoenix Moomaw on Ronald Reagan’s Faith (Our 250th Episode!)

For our annual Fourth of July episode, and for our 250th podcast, we invite our very first “just graduated” high school student, Phoenix Moomaw, to discuss his senior project on the faith of President Ronald Reagan. As the grandson of Reagan’s pastor in Southern California, Phoenix came across several folders of personal letters between Reagan (as governor and president) and his grandfather. He uses these letters and some additional research at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley to determine how much Reagan’s faith affected his policies and style of governing. His answer to this question is surprisingly nuanced.

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Robert P. George on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom

What could be better than a discussion of international religious liberty combined with banjo music? Prof. Robert P. George of Princeton University discusses his role on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), various threats to the universal rights of conscience around the globe, and how he views the theory of natural law in his policy work. While this is a very serious and heavy topic, we lighten things up at the very end as Robby entertains us with some banjo pickin’ with his band, Blue Heart.

Please tell a friend that we have over 200 free educational episodes in our archives. You are sure to find many additional conversations to your liking.

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Corey Olsen on J.R.R. Tolkien (An “Encore Episode”)

In celebration of my son having to read “The Hobbit” over the summer as a high school assignment, I am re-running this popular episode on J.R.R. Tolkien that aired in fall of 2012. The staff at Research on Religion is still on vacation following our 200th episode, but we will return shortly with some crescent fresh episodes.

Dig into those archives for other tasty nuggets that you may have missed and go over to our Facebook Fan Page to see some of Tony’s favorite episodes over the past year.

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Micah Watson on C.S. Lewis

On the 50th anniversary of C.S. Lewis’s death, we visit with Micah Watson, a professor of political philosophy at Union University, to talk about the life, times, and thought of this influential fiction and nonfiction author. Known for his most famous books — “Mere Christianity” and the Chronicles of Narnia trilogy — we examine some of his lesser known works, how his religious and political thought developed, and his general life influences.

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Jeremy Lott on the Media’s Pope-O-Rama

How well did the popular media do in covering the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the Conclave of Cardinals, and the election of Francis I? We talk with RealClearReligion editor Jeremy Lott who has a unique vantage point when it comes to answering this question. As a Catholic, a writer, and a news aggregator, Jeremy provides some very interesting insights into what he calls “pope-o-rama,” the media frenzy surrounding events at the Vatican over the past six months. He offers up a very prescient observation about a bear and a backpack, plus he reminds us of a few other stories that flew under the radar when all eyes were fixed on Rome.

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Jason Jewell on Why Christians Should Read the “Great Books”

How could reading Plato’s “Euthydemus” have helped a Protestant pastor avoid seriously embarassing her profession and faith at an Applebee’s restaurant? Returning guest, Prof. Jason Jewell of Faulkner University, explains how Christians should not rely upon just The Bible for helping to frame their worldview. Jason explains how he is in the process of reading through the Great Books, what constitutes a Great Book, what Great Books can tell us, and how you can join him on this intellectual journey. A fantastic podcast interview for homeschoolers.

Visit Jason Jewell’s blog for more information (click [read more] to access the blog) about how you can read along with the Great Books at home.

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Corey Olsen on J.R.R. Tolkien, Religion, and The Hobbit

Just in time for the release of the much-anticipated movie “The Hobbit,” we explore the life, times, and writings of J.R.R. Tolkien with Prof. Corey Olsen (a.k.a. “The Tolkien Professor”). We go over how Corey became enchanted by Tolkien’s writings and what Christians can take away from this genre of fantasy writing. Prof. Olsen reviews Tolkien’s influences, his fascination with mythology, and his ongoing relationship with C.S. Lewis. The conversation then delves into several spiritual themes that can be found in “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, namely the issues of providence, fate, and free will. This podcast is a great primer for those heading out to the theaters over the holiday season and will provide a richer viewing of Peter Jackson’s cinematic interpretation of this classic piece of literature.

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