2013 Faith & Law Past Lecturers:
February 22, 2013: Stephen Monsma
“Is There a Christian Position on _____(Fill in Any Current Public Policy Issue)___”
In his lecture, Dr. Monsma argued that although there is not one, true Christian position on public policy issues, yet by using certain basic Christian principles, a careful assessment of facts, and prudence one can arrive at policy positions that are shaped, or molded, by our Christian faith. And we as Christians have a duty to attempt to do so. The lecture in part drew upon Dr.Monsma’s recent Apple iBook, Healing for a Broken World: Christian Perspectives on Public Policy.
March 8, 2013: David Bobb
“Is ‘American Humility’ an Oxymoron?”
In his lecture, Dr. Bobb discussed how humility, the crown of the virtues, is also among the most elusive. Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass each managed to be humble while at the same time achieving greatness of soul. What does their example teach us today? In a city and an age in which arrogance abounds, is it still possible to be humble?
March 22, 2013: Ray Blunt
Wilberforce and Jefferson: Crossed Lives, Crossed Purposes
In his lecture, Mr. Blunt asked the question, “why did the tyrant monarchy, England end slavery peacefully when America, the land of liberty spilled the blood of six hundred thousand people to accomplish the same end? Why does a leader in public service persist for an entire career toward solving a great national moral need while another turns aside? What factors are needed to sustain a life of faithful public service?” He argues that these are the questions that are as pertinent for our day, (and perhaps more so), as they were to the 19th century.
April 5, 2013: Dennis Hollinger
A Theology of Creation and Public Life: What Genesis 1-2 Teaches Us for the Public Arena
Dr. Hollinger discusses the idea that Genesis 1-2 is not a scientific account of creation, but a theological portrayal providing a rich foundation for our journey in the world. The lecture will focus on several creation themes that are pertinent for public life, whether in government, business or other callings. The Christian worldview embodies a story of creation, fall, redemption and consummation; but we cannot understand the last three parts without grasping the first–creation.
April 19, 2013: Carlos Campo
Poetry, Politics, and the Future of American Higher Education
Carlos Campo, uses a single poem as a framework to discuss the future of American higher education-stopping along the way to point out the role of politics in the complex forces that will shape the future of higher ed. With humor and the sweep of history Dr. Campo highlights our unique place in the history of American higher education–all within the context of a familiar poem with a timeless theme.
May 3, 2013: Luis Lugo
The Rise of the ‘Nones’ and Its Implications for Politics
(or “nones”), the factors behind this rise, and the implications it has for politics.
May 17, 2013: Joseph Loconte
Christian Realism and American Foreign Policy
2012 Faith & Law Past Lecturers:
January 27, 2012: Patrick Sookhdeo
“Responding to Islam: Lessons from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, and Bishop George Bell”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Karl Barth. Bishop George Bell. Dismissed, derided, and in one case even martyred, each of these Christian leaders took a stand against the threat of Nazism. Today, a similar threat faces Christians in the US, across Europe, and much more dramatically throughout the Muslim world. Radical Islam’s jihadist ideology does not peacefully coexist with Christianity. And Christian leaders–both political and pastoral–should know more about the threats they face.
“A Global Movement to Promote Human Dignity”
This lecture will explore how digital natives can restore a greater and proper understanding of freedom of conscience around the world.
February 24, 2012: K.P. Yohannan
“Persecution: There is a New Kind of War Waging Against the Church”
It’s no longer only physical abuse being perpetrated against India’s Christians; a new and potentially much greater threat is on the rise today.
March 16, 2012: George Weigel
“Religious Freedom in Full”
The Obama administration’s recently-announced HHS regulations, which would require Catholic institutions to subsidize health insurance coverage that provides sterilization, abortifacient drugs and contraceptives, should be located within the context of the administration’s three-year-long effort to define religious freedom down. This lecture will examine the meaning of true religious freedom and will discuss just what is at stake.
“Baby Boomer Decline in Hollywood and What Comes Next”
As the Baby Boomer generation grows older, the next generation of film-makers and producers are entering the stage with a new openness to faith.
April 27, 2012: Cherie Harder
“Do We Need a New Paradigm? The Future of Christian Political Engagement”
This lecture will examine the role of Christians in the public sphere and how they can engage in a meaningful way.
May 11, 2012: Ryan Messmore
“Seeking the Welfare of the City: A Relational Framework for Understanding Poverty and Justice”
This lecture will examine how we as Christians understand and approach issues of poverty and justice.
“The Vanishing Right of Conscience: Why the HHS Contraceptive Mandate is a Threat to the Common Good”
The Obama administration’s mandate for contraceptive coverage in most private health plans raises issues that reach beyond a debate on contraception itself: The government’s authority to infringe on religious freedom, and to define which groups are “religious enough” to warrant protection; the role of religious groups in serving the common good; and even the limits on government’s right to intervene between parents and their children. This lecture will explore the broader implications of this debate for the role of believers in American society.
“The Christian Vocation”
What is our mission as members of the Body of Christ? This lecture will discuss how we participate in the mission of Jesus as priest, prophet and king.
September 7, 2012: Os Guinness
“Can Freedom Last Forever? The Founders’ Forgotten Question, and How We are Doing Today.”
In all of history’s great civilizations, there has come the moment when their citizens became their own worst enemies, thinking and living at odds with the values and principles upon which their nation was built. This lecture will provide both historical and current evidence that suggests America is perilously close to reaching this point today, but will also offer direction and encouragement for those seeking to achieve what the country’s founding fathers predicted would be most challenging: sustainable freedom.
September 28, 2012: Austin Ruse
“I’d Rather There Be Muslims in My Foxhole.”
This lecture will explore whether Christians and Muslims can partner together in working towards a common purpose.
October 5, 2012: Bramwell Osula
“National Identity, Global Insecurity, and the American Future.”
Could national identity and global insecurity be the critical tipping points in the making of a future America? Looking at a pantheon of cultural symbols and ‘Founding Father’ narratives, we ask: Are these enough? What can we anticipate? What role might citizens play?
October 19, 2012: William Hurlbut
“Eggs from Embryonic Stem Cells: Where Could This Lead Us?”
The recent announcement of the production of mouse eggs from embryonic stem cells opens the avenue for similar efforts in producing human gametes. This could lead to virtually unlimited sources of laboratory-produced human embryos for experimentation. This potentially ominous development presents a new threat to human dignity.
November 2, 2012: Lynne Marie Kohm
“Welfare, the State, and the Family: A 50 State Survey of the Cost of Family Fragmentation”
Programs designed to provide assistance for families have effectively placed the United States on a fast track for adaptation to a welfare state where families are fragmented and relying on government support. Legal and economic principles govern the price tag for the economics of family fragmentation.
November 16, 2012: Helen Alvaré
“Religious Freedom and Women’s Freedom: Where We Go From Here”
This lecture will discuss the future of freedom in light of the recent contraceptive mandate. Those who invoke “women’s health” against women who disagree with forcing religious institutions or individuals to violate deeply held beliefs are more than a little mistaken — and more than a little dishonest.
November 30, 2012: Patrick Fagan
“Marriage and Religious Worship: America’s core social strengths and their implications for public policy”
The data just keeps getting clearer and clearer: Marriage and worship are central to the common good, while simultaneously the academy seems set against them and set against teaching them. However, Congress can alter that by embracing the data and their implications.
December 14, 2012: Bill Wichterman
“Did the Founding Fathers Establish a Democracy? And If Not, What Difference Does it Make?”
2011 Faith & Law Past Lecturers:
January 21, 2011: Luis Lugo
“Tolerance and Tension: Christianity and Islam in sub-Saharan Africa”
Luis Lugo will explore the explosive growth of Christianity and its relation to Islam in a region that constitutes the greatest fault line or meeting place between these two faiths.
January 28, 2011: Tyler Wigg-Stevenson
“God and the Bomb in the Post-9/11 World”
Nuclear weapons issues are hot again, from the New START agreement to the Nuclear Security Summit to breakout threats like Iran and North Korea. Tyler Wigg-Stevenson will explore the vital connection between Christian theology and worldview, especially the Just War tradition, and contemporary nuclear dangers.
February 25, 2011: Rob Schwarzwalder
“A Theology of Moral Preference: Why Some (Policy) Matters Are More Important Than Others”
Christians are confronted by many issues of great moral urgency. From abortion and human trafficking to environmental concerns and tax policy, believers in Jesus who also want to be conscientious citizens often are left wondering where they should expend their time and focus their energies. Does God’s Word give a sense of moral priority? Are some issues more important than others? In his comments, Rob Schwarzwalder will discuss a theology a moral precedence, an interpretive grid through which serious Christians can evaluate what policy issues carry greater significance and urgency than others.
March 4, 2011: Maggie Gallagher
“DOMA: Why the House Should Intervene to Protect Marriage, Democracy, and The Constitution”
President Obama just announced that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is “legally indefensible.” He also unilaterally declared sexual orientation a protected class under our Constitution. Maggie Gallagher, Chairman and Founder of the National Organization for Marriage will explain why a House vote to intervene to uphold DOMA is critical to the defense of marriage, and of democracy, and the Constitution.
March 25, 2011: Os Guinness
“Challenging the Darkness: Toward a New Christian Renaissance”
Can we or can’t we ‘change the world’? A widely discussed book last year set off a huge discussion on this crucial topic, but left many people confused and dismayed. Os Guinness emphatically believes that we can, and in his lecture will give us his reasons why.
April 8, 2011: John West
“God and Evolution: Why Does It Matter?”
Why does Darwinian evolution continue to provoke so much conflict for people of faith? Is Francis Collins right that Christians need to make their peace with Darwin? And what are the broader implications for science and public policy of the Darwin debate? Come hear Discovery Institute’s Dr. John West will explore these questions and more.
April 15, 2011: John Walter
“Not the Talk about Africa You’re Expecting”
When you hear that the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the world’s largest failed nation state, you know what’s coming next. If it was your society that was broken, what help would you ask for? We asked churches and NGOs in Congo what was missing and were surprised at the answer. The result is the American Bible Society’s “She’s my Sister” initiative. Come hear what we’ve learned about Africa and how we’re responding.
May 6, 2011: Chuck Stetson
“Rebuilding the Ramparts of Marriage”
This lecture will discuss the importance of marriage for our society and show why, unless we strengthen marriage, there will be both economic and social consequences. Although Congress has now hired an attorney to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, there is an urgent need to rebuild the ramparts of marriage and address the myths and misconceptions held by Americans.
May 20, 2011: Mathew Staver
“ObamaCare: A Battle that Dates Back to the Revolution”
This lecture will discuss the Judeo-Christian and worldview shaping the role of government and charity at the Founding Era from the time of the Revolution, along with issues of faith and policy presented in a national health insurance law, such as ObamaCare.
“Culture: Upstream From Politics — Why Christians are foolish to think they can change a nation through politics alone”
Mark Rodgers and Bill Wichterman explore the relationship between culture and policy. While establishing just laws is an important goal, political change most often follows cultural change.
June 24, 2011: Holly Burkhalter
“A Good God in a Lousy World”
We often wonder how God could exist in such a lousy world, but the reality is God knows the world is lousy — in fact he hates it — and wants us to do something about it. Our faith calls and propels us to give a voice to those who aren’t always heard, whether through an organization like International Justice Mission or through public service.
July 6, 2011: David Eubank
“Faith and the Law in the War Zones of Burma”
Few people realize that Burma has the largest army of child soldiers in the world, that prisoners serve as human mine sweepers or that rape is used as a weapon of terror. Little is known about their sufferings, but the people of Burma are not forgotten. There is a living, loving and powerful God who is greater than these circumstances, and while the story of Burma is one of horrific and unimaginable atrocities, it is also one of hope in a God who saves.
July 8, 2011: Craig Hazen
“Reasonable Religious Ideas that Sound Ridiculous in Modern Secular Settings”
This lecture will show how traditional “religious” ideas, such as the soul, miracles, life after death, and objective morality, are eminently reasonable, but sound so strange among the intellectual elite in our secular institutions. It will also show how traditional Judeo-Christian ideas have gained a foothold in key arenas of thought and how these ideas provide hope for our culture at large.
July 22, 2011: Terrell Halaska
“Faith and Achieving Social Justice Through Education”
This lecture will discuss the role of education as one of the most effective ways to help low-income families break the cycle of poverty. It will also consider the importance of taking these populations into account with efforts to improve and reform education.
September 16, 2011: Robert Reilly
“Arab Spring or Christian Fall?”
The struggle within Islam over the status of reason and its relationship to revelation in the Quran and the knowledge of good and evil is one of the greatest intellectual dramas in history. The outcome of the struggle definitively shaped the future of Sunni Islam to this day. Without knowing of this conflict and its specific terms, one cannot understand what is and what is not taking place in the Middle East today, to include the prospects for the Arab Spring.
September 30, 2011: J.P. Moreland
“A Biblical View of the Nature of the State”
This lecture will discuss how to develop and apply a Biblical view of the state along with its implications for the realm of citizenship and politics.
October 7, 2011: Richard Mouw
“The Greatest Christian Statesman You May Have Never Heard of Before”
Abraham Kuyper was a theologian and an influential political leader in 19th century Netherlands, including a term as Prime Minister. What does he have to say to 21st century political life in an American context?
October 21, 2011: Carl Moeller
“Privilege of Persecution”
This lecture will discuss how Christians in America can learn vital lessons of faith from followers of Jesus who suffer harassment, imprisonment, loss of work and even death, simply for living out their faith.
October 28, 2011: Tim Muehlhoff
“I Beg to Differ: Speaking Truth and Love in Difficult Situations”
Have you ever started a conversation that ended badly? Heading in, you hoped for the best, but feared the worst, only to have the worst happen. In the wake of the conversation, you are left with nagging questions: How can I remain faithful to my convictions but communicate in a way that produces dialogue, not uncivil debate? How can I balance truth and love when discussing difficult issues with people who disagree with me? This lecture will discuss communication strategies for effective and God-honoring communication.
December 9, 2011: John Witte
“On Creches, Crosses, and Commandments: The Challenges of Religious Symbols on Public Property”
Religious symbolism cases are serious business. It’s easy to be cynical about these cases — treating them as much ado about nothing, or as expensive hobbyhorses for cultural killjoys or public interest litigants to ride. But that view underestimates the extraordinary luxury we now enjoy in the West to be able to fight our cultural contests over religious symbols in our courts and academies, rather than on our streets and battlefields.
Past years’ Faith & Law lecturers have included:
Senator Dan Coats
William Lane Craig
Donald K. Gates
Jane Hampton Cook
MP David Landrum
James P. Moore
R. John Neuhaus
Scott B. Rae
John Mark Reynolds
C. John Sommerville