Archive for philosophy
“The most just of wars brings with it a train of evils—if indeed any war can really be called just.” ~ Erasmus
In the first of my articles on Erasmus (“Erasmus on the Evils of War”), I wrote a brief introduction to Erasmus and his works on war and peace that should be read to better understand what Erasmus has to say here about the just war.
The concept of just war theory has been resurrected with abandon since Bush invaded Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11. It has even been used to justify those wars. The views of Erasmus on the just war are much more restrictive and much less liable to abuse. Even a war waged ostensibly to protect the innocent is unjust because it is the innocent that most heavily suffer the scourge of war. Read More→
“I simply admit that I have written some rather distasteful things for the purpose of frightening Christians away from the insanity of war, for I observed that the largest part of the evils of the Christian community take their origin from the wars which we have seen for all too many years.” ~ Erasmus
In the first of my articles on Erasmus (“Erasmus on the Evils of War”), I wrote a brief introduction to Erasmus and his works on war and peace that should be read to better understand what Erasmus has to say here about Christianity and war.
Erasmus had much to say regarding Christianity and war. This is especially relevant today considering the level of Christian support for the U.S. government’s wars and military interventions.
I will be participating in a debate this Saturday at 7:00 pm EST (November 16, 2013) at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia. The debate is hosted by the Wilberforce Society, and the topic is “Government and Marriage.” More specifically, should the government define marriage to be between one man and one woman? I’ll be defending the negative — that government should not have that power. It should be a really fun event. My fellow debater will be Dr. Allan Carlson of the Howard Center For Family, Religion, and Society. I am confident that we will all be able to learn from each other.
If you’re in the area, feel free to join us (I think it is open to the public). The debate will be held in the Student Lounge of the Barbara Hodel Center, located at 10 Patrick Henry Circle, Purcellville, VA 20132.
I am uncertain at this point if the debate will be recorded and/or streamed live, but stay tuned to this post and I will update with additional details as they come.
Lastly, please pray that I can present the best case for why we cannot trust the government to be any better a steward or regulator of “marriage” than they are a steward of our economy, health, or security. As always, thank you for your support of the efforts of LibertarianChristians.com!
UPDATE: I am told that the event will be live-streamed, click here at 7pm EST on November 16 to watch. Hopefully the recording will be made available following the event…
“Since we see that there is hardly ever any respite from wars, which normally arise from the ambition or anger of princes and thus are usually fought for the worst reasons, in my writings I frequently frighten people away from warfare, and in doing so I follow the example of the ancient Doctors of the church.” ~ Erasmus
The Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus (c.1466-1536) was one of the most prolific writers in history. It has been said that in him we see the union of classical scholarship with Christian piety. The eclectic nature of his writings is quite remarkable. Since 1974, the University of Toronto Press has been in the process of issuing “an accurate, readable English text of Erasmus’ correspondence and his other principal writings in an edition of 89 volumes.” New and used copies of most of the available volumes can be found on Amazon.
In a letter written in 1500, Erasmus correctly related the significance of his writings:
Please explain to her [Lady Anna van Borssele] how much greater is the glory she can acquire from me, by my literary works, than from the other theologians in her patronage. They merely deliver humdrum sermons; I am writing books that may last for ever. Their uneducated nonsense finds an audience in perhaps a couple of churches; my books will be read all over the world, in the Latin west and in the Greek east and by every nation.
In a letter written in 1515, Erasmus explained that he wrote in order to serve “some useful purpose.” One of the most useful purposes of Erasmus’s writings is the insight he gives on war and peace. As the translator and annotator of one of Erasmus’ Colloquies wrote: “His writings had little or no direct political effect. Nevertheless as a propagandist for peace he produced some of the best and most widely read arguments on war and peace, and they are still worth reading.”