Calvinism

Nietzsche’s Children:  Faith, Freud, And Fascism In Reformed Protestantism

Nietzsche’s Children: Faith, Freud, And Fascism In Reformed Protestantism

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Every so often, I read posts from progressive, non-fundamentalist, religiously devout people – usually Christian, but not always – on, e.g., Facebook expressing astonishment and mortification at the manner in which the conservative evangelical / Reformed Christian church (with certain conspicuous exceptions, to be sure) has slavishly rallied around the Presidency of Donald Trump. This surprise is understandable if you only pay attention to the surface rhetoric of the conservative Christian church. But focusing on the superficial, conscious, “prefrontal-cortex” part of conservative Christianity is like looking at the surface of the earth and concluding that, except for the odd volcano here and there, the earth’s core is pretty much like the earth’s surface, that is to say, pretty dull: 
Hatching, History, And Hubris

Hatching, History, And Hubris

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As anyone knows who has read more than a half-dozen or so of these “Skeptic’s” columns over the years, especially those emphasizing some aspect of history, one of my all-time favorite quotes is by the German historian and philosopher of history G. W. F. Hegel:  “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history,” an assertion no less true for being facially self-contradictory. A simpler, more colloquial, and less high-falutin’, way of saying the same thing is “Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched”. Many of the comments, predictions, and prognostications being bandied about by the liberal / progressive community in advance of the 2018 mid-term elections sorely tempts me to conclude that, having lost the last presidential election, progressives have a
Two Cheers For The Reformation … Well … Sorta … Kinda … Part III: Postmodern Nihilism And The Reformation

Two Cheers For The Reformation … Well … Sorta … Kinda … Part III: Postmodern Nihilism And The Reformation

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In a couple of instances over the years – like here  and here – I have alluded to Mark Twain’s possibly apocryphal statement that, while history does not repeat, it often rhymes. Upon re-reading my two “Skeptic’s” columns on the Protestant Reformation, I realize now that I could have added a third instance of history rhyming. For the Reformation was about 500 years ahead of its time in anticipating some of the most crucial principles of postmodernist nihilism. In fact, conservative Protestantism may be understood as postmodernism born out of due season.  In particular, strictly as a representative sample, consider the following motifs of conservative Protestantism, each of which has its counterpart in the ideology of postmodernism: o “Democratization” of interpretation and exegesis