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Author Lee Camp

An endorsement blurb from Johnny Cash graces the back side of “Nashville Skyline,” Bob Dylan’s 1969 album recorded in Music City. “Here-in is a hell of a poet,” said Cash, as reported by Robert Hudson in his book, “The Monk’s Record Player: Thomas Merton, Bob Dylan and the Perilous Summer of 1966.” And for such […] Read More

There is a great danger lurking about – this generalized disdain for tradition, habit and ritual. This is because it is increasingly understood, in various fields of study, that cultivating the proper habits and rituals yields a disproportionately significant flourishing effect in our lives. Such studies fascinate me, primarily because they resonate with an approach […] Read More

Thomas Paine’s use of the Bible was at the heart of his incendiary critique of the political powers of his day. It goes, in summary, like this: The Bible denounces monarchy, and it’s no wonder because the monarchy is rotten so let’s start a revolution. Paine’s “Common Sense” has received a renewed interest in the […] Read More

We need to recover and adapt Thomas Paine’s critique of political power. Paine delivered a devastating blow to the notion of the British monarchy, and its attendant aristocracy, with his “Common Sense.” Just as the granting of a monarchy in the Old Testament was a “curse in reserve” to the Israelites, so the setting up […] Read More

I am learning to fly sailplanes. It is a fine hobby for someone who enjoys an adrenaline rush. I feel like a little kid, a 48-year-old kid, when I am coming in on final approach and know that there is no throttle which can be advanced, no engine upon which I might rely. There is […] Read More

Happiness is central to historical Christian faith and practice. But what does it look like and how should it be experienced? There are at least three common headings under which joy or happiness are often considered: 1. The experience of pleasures or delights, whether carnal or intellectual, aesthetic or appetitive. 2. “Eudaimonia,” the term Aristotle […] Read More

I have often enjoyed reading social critics, as diverse as Leo Tolstoy and Reinhold Niebuhr, and even one of the greatest of modern haters of Christians, Friedrich Nietzsche, whom I first started reading as an undergraduate many years ago. There is a discomfiting ring of truth in Nietzsche’s insistence that Christianity appears to be a […] Read More

In my previous article, I suggested (and I have developed this at length in my book “Who Is My Enemy?”) that certain parallels exist between the Christian “Justifiable War Tradition” and the classical teachings in Islam regarding the justifiable exercise of warfare. For example, in both, warfare should not target noncombatants, and the opponent should […] Read More

Yet again, middle Tennessee has made national news for another embarrassing episode of apparent bigotry. In a meeting in which a representative of the local Muslim community asked her community for an extension of graciousness and indicated her own dismay at the burning of a mosque, some members of the audience jeered, and even cheered, […] Read More

‘Theologians Under Hitler’

In Steven Martin’s new film “Theologians Under Hitler,” we hear yet another series of gruesome tales in which a nation-state co-opted Christian faith for its purposes and left prominent Christians in the unenviable position of providing ideological fodder for one of the 20th century’s worst nightmares. Those of a particular theological or political orientation will […] Read More