Odd Dinner Musings

The other day I was thinking about Tim Keller and his wife’s keen observation of the psalmist’s comparing God to a foul, specifically a hen, in their collaborative devotional The Songs of Jesus: “He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark” (Ps. … Continue reading Odd Dinner Musings

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Here we go again: the Sessions debacle

On January 1, 1802, in a letter to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, President Thomas Jefferson articulated his personal convictions concerning religious affairs in governmental matters, “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his … Continue reading Here we go again: the Sessions debacle

Iran in the Twentieth Century

Introduction To combat the seemingly infinite occupation by imperialist forces, some Middle Eastern actors seek to dominate the region to the degree of establishing an impregnable force wherewith no external or foreign power could contend. Founded upon an Islamic religio-political axiom with theocratic implications, some governmental movements, or revivals, such as Khomeini’s Iranian Revolution (1979), … Continue reading Iran in the Twentieth Century

The Kurdish Dilemma: On Tenacity and Collaboration

Introduction The Kurdish people—comprising areas of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran—of the Levant are enigmatic in their tenacity to resist all forms of imperialism and compulsory religiosity—except Shah Ismail’s savage proselytization of 16thcentury Persia during his Safavid regime—yet seemingly maladroit in their ability to form a constitution to establish an autonomous, non-suzerain nation-state of their … Continue reading The Kurdish Dilemma: On Tenacity and Collaboration

On “The Origins of the Ottoman Empire”: A book review

Acclaimed as the “most outstanding Turkish scholar and intellectual of the twentieth century,”[1]the author, Mehmed Fuad Köprülü, taught at the university level until 1943, publishing a litany of “seminal [academic] works.”[2]He entered Turkish politics soon thereafter and held the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs until 1955, ending his public tenure as a notable figure … Continue reading On “The Origins of the Ottoman Empire”: A book review

Book Recommendation: “When I Don’t Desire God: How to fight for joy” by John Piper

5 out of 5 stars I recently finished the aforementioned book with the utmost gladness. I have never, to my knowledge, read such an impactful, applicable text such as this. Whether one is struggling in the throes of depression, spiritual complacency, or some other form of stagnancy, I cannot recommend this enough. Piper delves into … Continue reading Book Recommendation: “When I Don’t Desire God: How to fight for joy” by John Piper

Wahhabism and Women’s Rights

Introduction Wahhabism, the predominant interpretation and institution of Islamic law in Saudi Arabia, authorizes unparalleled exertion of power over persons of minority status. It is imperative to understand the history of this influential religio-political school of thought. Without a clear understanding of the philosophy of this economic powerhouse in the most volatile region in the … Continue reading Wahhabism and Women’s Rights

DPRK: A Global Crisis

With an anarchic international system—meaning an absence of a global authority presiding over the affairs of the hegemonic regimes—resolutions to “stag hunts” and curbing existential violence is complicated and fragile (Jervis, 1978, pp. 167). Therefore, survival takes precedence. This instinctual and integral sense of self-preservation stems not from paranoia but a healthy fear and awareness. … Continue reading DPRK: A Global Crisis

A Brief History of Ethnicity in Lebanon

For millennia, the Middle East has been plagued with religio-political upheaval. With the continual barrage of foreign forces conquering and settling in already-occupied land, resentment toward the West is anticipated. Volatile integration—the compulsory intermingling of culture and mores—persists to this day, evident in the history and language of the Semitic people. Moreover, acquiescing to the … Continue reading A Brief History of Ethnicity in Lebanon

A Bleak Future

(Note: This isn't a summary of Blade Runner 2049. Rather this is a brief reflection on the philosophy communicated by the writers.  Also, SPOILER ALERT!) The film is based in a postmodern, post-truth, post-reality society enshrined in the throes of protective liberty.  Strangely, in an attempt to colonize other planets and ensure the survival of earth, … Continue reading A Bleak Future

An Opium by and for the People

Karl Marx believed religion is the intellectual sedative used by the bourgeoisie to control the masses.  Yet in the Communist-Marxist utopia (or dystopia for liberty-lovers), Joseph Stalin utilized religion to further his nationalist/jingoist agenda.  In 1986, Philip Walters published an academic article examining Stalin’s unlikely alliance with the Russian Orthodox Church. Prior to World War … Continue reading An Opium by and for the People

Violence: Understanding Nationalism in the Middle East

Violence and turmoil have plagued the Middle East for millennia. This cradle of civilization didn’t birth hostility with the inception of Islam. Since its nascency, the region has undergone myriad of political and religious transformations. Despotic regimes and kingdoms appointed and endorsed by colonial powers have impinged the region’s potential to thrive. This paper will … Continue reading Violence: Understanding Nationalism in the Middle East

Justice v. Fairness

The question of justice has long been debated.  Its subjectivity sparks heated arguments for rigid, philosophical constructionists and social egalitarians alike.  After reading a post by Caleb Crain, with The New Yorker, entitled “The Case Against Democracy,” I started to question the morality of fairness.  The premise behind the author’s provocative title is the dangerous … Continue reading Justice v. Fairness

Why You Should Listen to Revisionist History

Malcolm Gladwell is a wonderful story-teller.  He is able to communicate ideas beautifully and articulately.  He is able to simplify the most complex topics and present them from a different perspective for listeners. At first, as told in my elementary school classes, I though revisionist history, in general, was the revising of history.  However, Gladwell offers … Continue reading Why You Should Listen to Revisionist History

The Case for Medical Immortality

The question of immortality has pervaded throughout every era, stumping the most provocative thinkers and innovators alike. With the industrial revolution laying the groundwork for numerous medical and technological breakthroughs, it is incumbent upon we the people to educate ourselves and think through these difficult topics. The following paper will assume medical immortality as a … Continue reading The Case for Medical Immortality

To Heaven and Back: A Biblical Perspective on Near-Death Experiences

(Context: Currently in my philosophy class we are studying near-death experiences as it relates to consciousness, death, dying, and finding meaning in life.  Since I wrote about this particularly interesting topic for my high school thesis, I found it pertinent to contribute to this timeless discussion by posting it here. Enjoy!) “Saved by the bell.” … Continue reading To Heaven and Back: A Biblical Perspective on Near-Death Experiences

Freewill, Determinism, Distraction, and God

Stemming from the previous post, bondage is an inescapable perpetuity.  We are grounded—literally and figuratively—by laws.  The Laws of Physics dictate motion in the universe in the same way humans function under an innate moral code reinforced by society, family, and conscience.  Maybe I have misspoken.  Laws are not the source of deeper knowledge but … Continue reading Freewill, Determinism, Distraction, and God