ThinkingWest on YouTube: 12 Great Books of Western History

In this episode, I highlight a dozen of the most influential works of history, spanning from the Ancient Greeks to the 20th century. While many more works could be included, particularly from the authors of antiquity, I attempted to draw from authors across diverse time periods and to cover a breadth of history. For example,Continue reading “ThinkingWest on YouTube: 12 Great Books of Western History”

Pertinax and Politics: One Good Leader Cannot Save a Nation

Election season is well underway in the United States with the midterm elections ending just days away. The United States has always been a country of sweeping emotions, whether of the brave spirits of the pilgrims, or of the freedom-loving cowboys of the West, or of college football fandom, or of the citizen entering theContinue reading “Pertinax and Politics: One Good Leader Cannot Save a Nation”

12 Great Books of Western History

Much of what we know of the past three thousand years relies largely on the great historians of the millennia. Through excellent scholarship, tedious compilation, clear prose, and entertaining color commentary (sometime at the expense of accuracy), these historians and their famous works have shaped the western world’s ideas about its development. Though the bulkContinue reading “12 Great Books of Western History”

Is Freedom Doomed in Populated Nations?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the famous Enlightenment philosopher of the 1700s, wrote in The Social Contract that “the larger the State, the less the liberty”. As a freedom-loving American, I fear the potential that Earth’s population could doom the freedoms of future generations. But, in the first place, is a populous world doomed to ever fewer freedoms?Continue reading “Is Freedom Doomed in Populated Nations?”

Christianity in The Lord of the Rings: (Part IV): World Elements

Middle Earth is full of characters exhibiting Christian symbolism through their words, actions, and relationships, as covered in Parts I, II, and III of this series on Christianity in The Lord of the Rings. However, the Christian symbolism extends beyond characters to include objects and places. Already, the Ring was covered in Part III dueContinue reading “Christianity in The Lord of the Rings: (Part IV): World Elements”

Christianity in The Lord of the Rings: (Part III) Evil in Middle Earth

The Lord of the Rings is full of Christian symbolism, ranging from the Threefold Office of priest, prophet, and king represented by Frodo, Gandalf, and Aragorn (respectively) as covered in Part I to the slew of “good guys” representing various Christian aspects and relationships as covered in Part II of this series. This Part III covers the darker aspects of Middle Earth and their connections to Christian concepts of evil.

Christianity in The Lord of the Rings (Part II): The Good in Middle Earth

The Lord of the Rings has many characters with aspects reflecting a Christian worldview. In this Part II of Christianity in The Lord of the Rings, we’ll be exploring various allies of the Threefold Office (Gandalf, Aragorn, and Frodo) covered in Part I. Some bear similarities to prominent Christian figures, while most demonstrate the qualitiesContinue reading “Christianity in The Lord of the Rings (Part II): The Good in Middle Earth”

Christianity in The Lord of the Rings (Part I): The Threefold Office

J.R.R. Tolkien’s legacy-defining book The Lord of the Rings is not an explicitly Christian work. In fact, Tolkien disliked on-the-nose allegory, when a story contains a one-to-one function to some exterior idea and permits a message to lead the story. Nonetheless, in a 1953 letter responding to a Father Robert Murray, Tolkien admitted the followingContinue reading “Christianity in The Lord of the Rings (Part I): The Threefold Office”

The Importance of Fairy Tales for Children

For the past year, I’ve been reading stories from classic children’s anthologies (many printed in the 1940s – 1960s era) to my kids before bed. One such collection of stories is from a series called Childcraft, which I find so aptly named since reading good stories is so critical in “crafting” children to be virtuous,Continue reading “The Importance of Fairy Tales for Children”

The Four Domains of War: From Self to Spiritual

Wherever there are people, there is war. Taken in its most general interpretation, bellum or war is a constant in the human condition. War was waged among the first men thousands of years ago; war is waged today; and war will be waged far into the future. Though war is constant, it is not necessarilyContinue reading “The Four Domains of War: From Self to Spiritual”