The American and French Revolutions Compared

Introduction: So I would like to discuss the radical difference between the American and French revolutions, and would like to do so with the aid of Friedrich von Gentz (1764-1832). He was a German writer, thinker, publicist, and man of public affairs. He wrote a short little booklet comparing the two revolutions, and it was …

7 Theses on Historical Loyalties

Grounded loyalty is an inescapable part of historical studies, and attempts at academic detachment are simply attempts that reveal misplaced loyalty to a guild of historians (say) instead of to (say) your nation. What I want to do here is offer seven theses that might help us approach this most helpful truth from various angles. 1. …

Covenant Evangelism

From Antithesis (Vol. II, No. 3) May/June 1991 To put it mildly, American Christianity is regrettably permeated with an individualism that stands in stark contrast to the biblical teaching of cov­enantal Christianity. But even Christians who believe in and emphasize covenan­tal thinking are still influ­enced by this individual­ism; they often exhibit a marked tendency to …

Heaven Forbid

“However strange it may seem to Westerners, the much-publicized virgins promised to Islamic martyrs in Paradise is no myth or distortion of Islamic theology. Muhammad painted a picture of a frankly material and lushly sensual Paradise for his followers—containing everything a seventh-century Arabian desert-dweller could possibly dream of: gold and fine material things, fruits, wine, …

Taking Temp Work to Extremes

“Shi’ite Islam, the dominant form of Islam in Iran, also allows for ‘temporary wives.’ This is a provision for men to gain female companionship on a short-term basis. In a temporary marriage, or mut’a, the couple signs a marriage agreement that is ordinary in every respect except that it carries a time limit. One tradition …

Some More Wishful Thinking

“PC watchdogs, both Muslim and non-Muslim, have virtually ruled out any dissent from the idea that Islam is peaceful, benign, and tolerant to a degree that will present no problem whatsoever for Western societies. They depict Islam as akin to Judaism and Christianity and, like them, liable to be ‘hijacked’ (through no fault of its …

The Order of Revelation Matters

“According to this idea, the violent verses of the ninth sura, including the Verse of the Sword (9:5), abrogate the peaceful verses, because they were revealed later in Muhammad’s prophetic career: In fact, most Muslim authorities agree that the ninth sura was the very last section of the Qur’an to be revealed” (Robert Spencer, The …