Archive for January, 2012

Defense of the Faith

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

On a recent vacation, I read a new book by Alvin Plantinga, Where the Conflict Really Lies. The book, recommended to me by a parishioner who edits religious books for a prestigious university press, deals with the alleged conflict between science and religion.

Plantinga is a distinguished Christian philosopher who work I first studied in 1971 when I was reading for a postgraduate degree in London. Much of his work depends on a detailed knowledge of mathematics, physics and logic, but in this book, the technical material appears in small print and can be skipped. The bulk of Where the Conflict Really Lies is devoted to defending theism as a more intelligible way to construe science, the universe, and human beings. In the spirit of C. S. Lewis, it far surpasses his work in its confident demolition of atheist positions.

I recommend the book to all thoughtful people–Christians, other believers, and atheists. —J. Douglas Ousley


Not Too Occupied

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Not surprisingly, the Convention of the Diocese of New York last Saturday took time to consider the “Occupy” movement. The Bishop of New York gave it prominent mention in his address, focusing on its critique of the supposedly increasing gap between rich and poor. He said that “unbridled acquisitiveness” harms our national soul–a point with which few Americans would disagree.

A later resolution supported the movement while irenically noting that some parishes and individual Episcopalians don’t agree with Occupy positions.

As someone in the latter camp, I was pleased that our reliably left-of-center diocese presented a resolution that acknowledged differences of opinion in a tactful and generous way. Perhaps the times are a-changing. —J. Douglas Ousley