Moral Argument in Modern Times: A Conversation with Robert P. George

Interview with Robert George

Thinking in Public

January 20, 2011

This is a rush transcript.  This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

This is “Thinking in Public”, a program dedicated to intelligent conversation about front line theological and cultural issues with the people who are shaping them.  I’m Albert Mohler, your host, and President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Mohler:                Have you have had the urge to have a conversation with someone who’s just right on the frontlines of the defense of marriage and of the traditional family and of other important issues out in the public square at the very elite level of the conversation on one of America’s Ivy League University campuses? That’s what we’re going to do today. My conversation is going to be with Professor Robert P. George and it’s going to be interesting.

Robert P. George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University. He is also the director of the  James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He’s one of America’s leading public intellectuals, a graduate of Swarthmore College, Harvard Law School, Harvard Divinity School, and Oxford University.

Robert P. George, welcome to Thinking in Public.

George:               Thanks, very much, Al. It’s a pleasure to be back on your show.

Mohler:                It’s always good to have a conversation with you. And today there is a particular topic that is very much on my mind. It has to do with something that I know is central to your thought and your work. But as we are here in the year 2011 it just seems to be one of the most pressing questions that I could envision we might talk about. And that is the process of moral change in a society. And you are able to address this from philosophy and, of course, jurisprudence. But we come to this with larger culture and sociological concerns as well, and a deeply theological concern. How is it that we now face a reality in which what we are facing is nothing less than a moral revolution. What was once considered wrong is now celebrated and normalized. And what was once normalized is now considered wrong.

Just to give you an example, the judge in the case in the United Kingdom that found these Christians, this Christian couple that had a bed and breakfast guilty of violating human rights for insisting that only married couples have access to a married bed. The judge said, with an acknowledgement that I thought was amazingly honest, that what this couple held to in terms of moral principles was considered laudable and normal and right just a generation ago but now the situation is totally reversed. Is there a precedent to this kind of speed in terms of a moral revolution and worldview?

George:               Uh, yes I think there’s probably a number of precedents. Moral views can shift really quite dramatically. Now here’s the problem, they usually shift downwards quickly, but it takes a long time to rebuild a moral structure. It’s like a house. It takes a long time to build a house, you can’t do that overnight. But you can blow one up in a matter of a few minutes. So the edifice of our Western Civilization built on the Judeo-Christian ethics, the Biblical ethics, the edifice took a long time to put into play. And we’ve never really had it securely in place, we’ve always been flawed despite the greatness of our culture. We’ve always been at our best and truest to ourselves when we have been true to the principles of our civilization, to the principles of Judeo-Christian tradition. But, of course, we’ve never really been completely faithful to it. But we built a cultural edifice, institutions that embody the great principles of the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage, the conjugal union of husband and wife, religious freedom and the rights of conscience and other high ideals of our civilization. We’ve built a great edifice over many, many decades and centuries, but it can come down very quickly.

Now that has happened in history before. If you look at the Ancient World, sometimes great civilizations have been built up over many, many generations and centuries, but then fallen very quickly with abrupt moral decline.

Mohler:                You know, I’m thinking of Will and Ariel Durant and their little summary book, The Lessons of History, they were lay historians, but they had a keen insight from time to time. And one of the things they said is that it takes a long time, just as you’re arguing here, to enforce restraint and a very short amount of time to remove those reimforcements.

George:               Yes, that’s exactly the problem. That’s exactly the problem. And of course, from a theological vantage point, this reflects the fallenness of our nature, the weakness of our nature, the fact that we are damaged by sin. Our natural tendency is to act on our desires, whether they are good or bad, to yield to temptation, to go for what we want, when we want it, however we can get it. To build restraints to that, to teach a child to restrain himself, to teach a child to exercise self control takes time because the natural tendency of the child is the opposite, in the opposite direction. And the same is true with a culture and the same is true with a civilization. Which means, not that we should give up the effort, but that we should redouble our efforts to restore the principles that made our civilization great.

Mohler:                You know, as a reformed theologian I would look at this and say that what we see is the need for restraining grace, common grace. And, you know, I know that you would counter with, yes and one illustration of that is the natural law, and what we see here, though, is a society that seems to be absolutely determined to ignore the obvious.

George:               Well, it’s not the whole of the society. And I think it’s important for us to recognize that lest we’re too harsh on our fellow citizens. The rot has gone pretty far, no question about that. You see it in the popular media and so forth. But where we have, where we find ourselves in the greatest trouble is in the elite sector of the culture. It’s really remarkable given how far gone the elite sector of the culture is, how far away from the Judeo-Christian ethic that sector of the culture has gone. It’s quite remarkable that the principles of the culture remain in place. You know, broadly we’re still a very religious people, the people of the United States. We’re more religious by far than our European neighbors or Canadians or Australians or people is other parts of the world. We still have not caved in as a culture to something like the redefinition of marriage. While Europe has basically gone completely over to the abolition of the conjugal conception of marriage as a union of husband and wife. Every time that issue has been put to the voters in the United States, that’s thirty-one times so far put to a referendum in the United States. In every single case including the most liberal of the states, California, Wisconsin, Maine, the people have opted to retain the conjugal conception of marriage as the union of husband and wife in their law. So, yeah, the situation is sad; it’s dire. But it’s not as if the whole culture has forgotten its fundamental sounding principles. The real problem is in the elite sector of the culture.

Mohler:                And certainly you’re right to identify the greater problem in the elites, but the elites have huge influence. And I’ll tell you, Robbie, the thing that, right now, concerns me more than anything else is what I see in terms of very clear concessions on these issues among the young, including evangelical young. And I’m certain that it’s true in terms of Catholic young.

George:               Absolutely.

Mohler:                Right now on evangelical college campuses the influence of the elites, the culture-shaping influence of the cultural creatives, you know it’s hard to, I think, overestimate that kind of influence.

George:               And that’s why it’s so important for us to fight at the level of the elite sector of the culture. It’s very important for our young people to have at least the opportunity to hear from professors or journalists or syndicated columnists or talk show people on TV or on the radio who actually are willing to defend the basic principles of our civilization. Now the majority of the people they hear speaking from those elite platforms are going to be people who reject the Judeo-Christian ethic. But it’s very important that the other side, that the defense of the Judeo-Christian ethic at least be represented.

Mohler:                When you think about the issue of same sex marriage which you brought up, and you mentioned the larger issue of the defense of marriage, the conjugal union of marriage, I’m thinking to a recent exchange you had. It may be too much to call it an exchange, but at least a public exchange of ideas that you had with a law professor over the issue of the whole debate about gay marriage. And it was John Yoshino, Kenji Yoshino, who was…

George:               That’s right Kenji Yoshino is a very highly regarded professor of law. He was a Yale Law School for many, many years. He has now moved to NYU, New York University Law School and he is regarded as one of the very top gay right scholars in American legal education. We had an exchange with him which was occasioned by an article that I wrote with two of my former students, Ryan Anderson and Sherif Girgis, which appeared in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy and it was entitled “What is Marriage?” And it made the case for the conjugal conception of marriage as the union of husband and wife. And it challenged the other side by saying that we don’t think that those who wish to redefine marriage to accommodate same sex couples can give any account consistent with their view of why marriage should be a sexual partnership at all as opposed to a partnership integrated around some other activity like playing tennis or reading novels. Or more importantly, why marriage should be between two people and not three or four or five or seven in a so-called polyamorous sexual partnership. And Kenji Yoshino was one of a number of law professors and other scholars who favors same sex marriage or the redesignation of marriage who tried to respond. But in every case including Kenji Yoshino’s case, they failed to take up our challenge. They failed to make even an effort to show that their view is consistent with the belief that marriage is two is only two people. Now what I would like the American people to understand, therefore, is that when they are being asked to buy this idea of same sex marriage, they are buying more than that idea. They’re buying the abolition of the very idea of marriage as the union of two persons. That once you eliminate the element of sexual complimentarity from the definition of marriage, you’ve removed any principled ground thinking of marriage as anything remotely like we historically understood it to be, the union of two persons, a husband and wife.

Mohler:                 Well, I think that’s all part of one package and either we may disagree on this, but I think most Americans, if they are thoughtful about this at all, do have some understanding of that. I did note that Professor Yoshino did not pick up on your challenge. He did concede that he thought that your argument was the best argument that could be made in defense of marriage as a heterosexual union and exclusively heterosexual union. And yet, he said it just doesn’t pass muster. And of course he would be expected to say that. I read his book Covering and, you know, he goes to the extent of arguing, and I had not seen this argument before and someone like Martha Nussbaum with whom you have had another very public debate, has  made a similar argument. And that is that any concession on the issue of the full legitimation, the full normalization of sexual minorities is to set the culture on a route to disaster. They really believe that.

George:               Well, Professor Nussbaum, who’s a very famous professor at the University of Chicago in the departments of philosophy and classics and in the law school out there, Professor Nussbaum has gone so far as to advocate the abolition of laws prohibiting incest between adult siblings or a parent and an adult child. So you can see that she’s following through on the radicalism that is present in any proposal to redefine marriage as something other than the union of husband and wife. Now, most people, of course, are unwilling to say out loud, most people who are on that side are unwilling to say out loud that it entails such things, that the abolition of the substance of our incest laws. They would retain in place laws prohibiting incest in the case of minor children, but they would condemn laws as she condemns laws that forbid incest between, you know, two adult brothers or an adult brother and adult sister or the parent and an adult child or what have you. She’s willing to say it out loud. So again, I hope the American people will listen and see that what is being proposed here is not some minor revision that would just expand the institution of marriage little bit to enable another class of people to come in. What’s being proposed is the abolition of anything that remotely resembles marriage as we have historically understood it. And as we have understood it to be so critical to the wellbeing of men and women, of the children that come as their union and for society as a whole. We’re so dependant now, every society is, not just us, every society on the institution of marriage because it is the original and best and irreplaceable ministry of health education and welfare. What the family does cannot be done by government or any other institution. Although, when the family breaks down as it has so broadly now in our culture and in Western cultures, more than forty percent of children being born out of wedlock as you probably know at this point. When the family breaks down, government does have to step in, it does a poor job at it, but somebody has got to step in to play those health education and welfare roles. Government comes in, government grows, freedom is diminished, the quality of care given to children can’t be anything like what it is with a mother and father and we get all the social pathologies that come in the train of family breakdowns.

Mohler:                And there’s such a resistance to dealing with the argument that marriage really does matter. I’m thinking of the aftermath of the Moynihan Report. Even in the press over the last several days there has been a complaint that once again it’s blaming the victim to suggest that, for instance, having a child out of wedlock is part of the pathology rather than that which is to be expected as normal.

George:               You’re absolutely right, Al. I wonder if your listeners remember the Moynihan Report, I’m glad you brought it up. It was Daniel Patrick Moynihan who was at the time serving in Lyndon Johnson’s administration. We’re talking about nineteen sixty-five. He was a professor at Harvard who had taken a leave to serve in the government. And he did a study that showed that twenty-five percent of African American children were born to women who didn’t have a husband. Twenty-five percent. Moynihan, who was a very good sociologist, saw that this was disastrous; that this portended a catastrophe for the African American community in the United States unless something was done about it. Well, he released his report, he was pilloried and attacked, people even claimed he was a racist which was the very opposite of the truth. Virtually nothing was done, of course. And what happened? Well, the out of wedlock birthrate in the African American community skyrocketed from twenty-five percent, which was so high he was ringing the alarm bell but to over seventy percent today. And, Al, at the time in nineteen sixty-five when Moynihan was ringing that alarm bell, the out of wedlock birthrate for the general population, the population as a whole was a little under five percent, as a mentioned earlier. Today it’s at forty percent. That’s catastrophic.

Mohler:                It is. Did you see the statistic that in the city of New York that the African American abortion rate is now about sixty percent?

George:               It’s a horror, it’s a nightmare.

Mohler:                And forty percent, by the way for the general population.

George:               It’s thousands upon thousands you know and over the years millions of our African American children destroyed by the practice of abortion. No racist, no Ku Klux Klan man, no Nazi could have come up with a more effective way of carrying out their violitiology of genocide against blacks than what  has happened here. And I think those groups that push abortion especially in minority communities, in poor communities are responsible for it.

Mohler:                I heard Jesse Jackson speak on this issue in the nineteen eighties and he made that very point.

George:               Yes, he was a very strong prolifer in those days. He made the point, Al, that he himself had been born to an unwed mother and that had abortion been lawful and available to her she might very well have destroyed his life in the womb. And he used that as the fulcrum for making his prolife pitch and his attack on legal abortion. Then, as you know he decided to run for the democratic nomination for president, and of course, running in the democratic primaries in a strongly pro-abortion party he abandoned his prolife position. Gave no explanation for it, gave no reasons for changing his mind, he simply shifted, he flip-flopped from strongly prolife to pro-abortion and that is where he has remained. It’s a very sad thing.

Mohler:                It is very sad, and especially sad in his case, but it is a pattern we’ve seen before. I mean, Al Gore was once very prolife as well. And that’s just part of the story. We mentioned Daniel Patrick Moynihan, I’m reminded that when he was running for the United States senate there in New York against James Buckley, at one point James Buckley called out to Moynihan, his opponent and said that his opponent was a tenured Ivy League professor. And Daniel Patrick Moynihan stood up, he’s a very tall man and said, let the mudslinging begin. And so I’m glad to be having a conversation with a tenured Ivy League professor right now.

George:               Well, let the mudslinging begin.

Mohler:                I wanted to see how Professor George would handle the question about moral change. He is one of the world’s leading experts on natural law, that’s his business and that’s how he really made his academic reputation first and foremost. The issue of how we apply that kind of understanding to moral change is a real challenge. How do we come to the reality that change can happen so quickly. If indeed these truths, these moral principles are so deeply embedded in the human conscience and in natural how is it that individuals and societies can so quickly deny what is so obvious, what they really cannot not know, as one author has said. Well, when I heard Robbie George respond to that I heard a professor say, you know what we have to do is, first of all, not over estimate the problem. There are still many who hold to a traditional, biblical Christian morality beyond these things. Well, I concede that point. However, one of the most important things we have to understand is the trajectory of moral change within a society. And when you look at the trajectory it’s not coming towards us, it’s going away from us. The younger you go in our society the more likely you’re going to find a diminished understanding of an commitment to natural marriage and a biblical notion of restraints upon human sexuality. Which is to say, the more support you find for same sex marriage and similar kinds of well, radical arrangements. What we’re facing is the question is whether there’s enough restraint in this society. Are there banks on the river sufficient to hold the delouse that is certainly coming?

Dr. George, you teach on one of America’s most respected university campus and, you know, I think of Princeton and you immediately think of the history of the institution. People like Witherspoon and Edwards and all the rest. What is the fate of those values and verities held by the founders of Princeton on a campus like that today?

George:               Well, Princeton is very much like other mainline university campuses. The ethos is very liberal and very secular, especially among the faculty. The situation is a little different with the students. We have vibrant religious life for our students here. There are three active and wonderful evangelical fellowship. There’s a very strong and orthodox Catholic chaplaincy. There’s a strong orthodox Jewish community. And those students sometimes work across the religious lines on common projects such as our prolife movement, we have a very powerful student prolife movement here at Princeton and it involved evangelicals and Catholics and Orthodox Jews. Also, on the marriage issue, you know sometimes people lament the way young people seem to be drifting on the issues of sexuality and marriage and that’s certainly true and alarming. One does hope as young people get older and they experience marriage themselves, as long as we can save it for them to experience, that they’ll come to a deeper understanding and better appreciation of what marriage is. But I’ve noticed that on the prolife front, if anything, things have been going in a much more positive direction. I think there’s stronger, and the polls bear this out, it’s certainly true on the Princeton campus, there’s stronger support for the prolife cause among younger people than there was when I arrived a Princeton twenty-five years ago. So while we might be down a bit with young people on marriage related issues, we seem to be up a bit when it comes to abortion, euthanasia, the sanctity of human life.

Mohler:                I noted, by the way, that the New York Times gave coverage to the Anscombe Society just in recent days.

George:               Yes they did. And the Anscombe Society is the student society at Princeton that advocates very strongly, very strongly on behalf of abstinence and chastity and marriage is the union of husband and wife. That’s certainly not a popular position with the faculty at a place like Princeton or any other mainstream university today, but these kids are brave and bold and brilliant and they’re willing to stand up and make the case. And they’ll make the case in class, by the way, they’ll debate the faculty members on these sex and marriage issues. And it’s not just that they quote the Bible either or any other religious text, they’re prepared to argue on the plain of philosophy, they’re prepared to engage the sociological data about the importance of the family and especially the importance of the family as historically and traditionally understood. And they named their society the Anscombe Society to recognize the late Elizabeth Anscombe who is one of the greatest philosophers of the Twentieth Century, perhaps one of the greatest woman philosopher ever to live who was a devout Christian and a strong advocate of chastity.

Mohler:                You know, I looked at that New York Times piece and it’s part of a phenomenon that I call the National Geographic syndrome. And it’s like the cultural elites all of a sudden discover this tiny little exotic tribe, more exotic that anything they could imagine back in the old, you know, Victorian National Geographic days. And this is a tribe on an American elite campus that believe is chastity and sexual abstinence before marriage. And it seems like, in the pages of the New York Times that that is just like finding an aboriginal group that they never encountered before.

George:               Sometimes it’s so bad, Al, that we have to explain to them what chastity is. Sometimes they think that is means abstinence for everybody including married couples. Sometimes they think it means celibacy. Of course, what people who are serious about chastity know what it means, it’s the right  use of sexuality which means that sexuality has its place in marriage where it’s a profound and wonderful gift, indeed holy thing, but not outside of marriage. That it’s part of the essence of the bond between husband and wife and that’s its proper place and not somewhere else. So, sometimes our professors have to be given a bit of education by our students on issues like that.

Mohler:                Well, God bless them, that is the students. I was to ask you a point-blank question here because there are a lot of Christian parents who would think, you know, I have a really bright son or daughter. This kid really wants to do something great, wants to go to one of America’s great leading colleges and universities. What would be your advice, just in terms of a very direct conversation with the parent. What would be your advice about how to think that issue through.

George:               Well, Al, I get that question all the time. I get it from Catholic parents, from evangelical parents and from orthodox Jewish parents. And I’ll tell you what my answer is. First, you have to know your child. Is your child a child who is well formed, strong in his or her faith? Does your child know what he believes and why he believes it? That’s important. If the answer to that question is no, then you probably don’t want to let that kid go off to a college where his faith is going to be constantly under assault. It’s just too tough to stand up in the face of the kinds of attacks religious faith receives on any secular mainstream campus. Now, if your child is savvy about religious matters, is someone who has had his faith questioned and tested who knows not only what he believes but why he believes it. You have a student who is not intimidated by authority or by celebrity or by anything like that that is willing to stand up for his faith, then a place like Princeton can be a wonderful place. My advice to the parents in that situation is to look at what’s going on on the campus and just make sure that the campus has at least some voices in authority positions who are willing to say to your kid, you know what, you’re right, I agree with you. I’m on your side, I’m supporting you, I’m backing you up, I believe what you believe. And at a lot of places including Princeton there are a few of those kinds of voices around, more than a few in the case of Princeton. Now there are lots and lots of people on the other side, actually far more people on the other side. But there are lots of people here at Princeton who believe what you and I believe, especially on the core moral questions. And if you have that, if you have active student groups, prolife groups, if you have strong Christian fellowship, then that can be a very good campus for your student. They are going to have to look at individual universities. Princeton is a great place as far as those criteria are concerned. There are some other place where it’s going to be harder to find any kind of support, you have to look.

Mohler:                Yeah, I think I know exactly what you’re talking about and I want to ask you to handicap all of America’s elite universities, but I think that piece of advice is really, really important. And, you know, I would think that one way to think about that would be to know that you need to be in conversation with someone who shares your values and convictions on the campus and in the community who can be something of a guide to figure these things out.

George:               Yeah, that’s a very good point and all of us need the support of a community, of our faith, people who share our faith. All of us need that. And if you’re going to be on a campus where faith is going to be a minority position at best or if it’s going to be under attack from a lot of sectors than you are especially going to need strong community. So one of the things you’re going to have to find out is, do those communities exist, is there a strong evangelical fellowship if you’re an evangelical family? Is there a strong Catholic chaplaincy if you’re a Catholic family. You have to look into that. Who are the professors? You should ask, who are the professors here who are active in the Catholic community or the evangelical community, the orthodox Jewish community, whatever it is? And if the answer is, well there aren’t any, then you have a problem. But in a place like Princeton there are many and there is no reason why a family can’t be in touch with some of those professors.

Mohler:                When you think about the Christian intellectual challenges of our day and especially we’re talking here about the Christian worldview as a truth claim, a truth claim that has existed throughout time, throughout space and now in this particular intellectual moment in the Western industrialized nations in general and in the United States in particular, seems to be considered something expendable. Where do you see the next challenges coming in terms of our responsibility to give a reason for the hope that is in us?

George:               Well of course the challenge is that we need to stop playing defense and start playing offense. And I don’t mean that as if this competition is just a game. We have to be able to give an affirmative defense of the Christian worldview and all of its components; its theological and moral components. We have to go beyond, though, just getting a defense of the Christian worldview and apologia to actually pointing out the defects in the secular alternatives, whether they are secular liberal alternatives or secular Marxist, there are many different forms of secularism, the dominant ones in our culture right now are liberal. But we need to be able to actually play some offense and to show what is defective in the vision of man, the vision of human dignity, the vision of human destiny that one finds in the liberal tradition. I mean, I’ll give you just a straightforward example. If you ask anyone who holds a secular liberal view what they think morality is all about, assuming that they believe in morality, and many do, they would say, well look, it’s about people’s rights and the protection of people’s rights. Ah, well ok, fine. I believe in rights too, you do too. But now the question is, where do our rights come from? How is it that we can believe that there are objective realities that can’t be touched or tasted or felt like rights, like the right to free speech or the right to the freedom of religion or the right to privacy. If they think there is a right to abortion, where did that right come from? Now, as secularists they can’t say it came from God or if they do say that is came from God well we would want to know a source. Is there something in the Bible they can point to? Do they have some alternative religious source, some alternative source of revelation of the Bible? What is it? Well now if they say well it’s not really from God, it’s from nature, well, we want to have an argument about that too because we have in the Christian tradition gone back even further into the classical tradition a very wrong idea of what you mentioned earlier called natural law. We can give an account of where we think people’s rights come from that is in terms of natural law, can they? Well, I’ve never heard them give a really good account of that. Once they are pressed into the defensive mode their argument doesn’t look really very strong at all. And I think that’s where we have to push it.

Mohler:                I was glad to ask Professor George that question about how parents should consider sending their kids to one of these elite universities. You know, there is an aspiration in the heart of so many young people to go to such a place. And if you’re on a campus like Princeton University you can feel it, you can sense it. What a privilege it is to be in a place of such sustained and concentrated intellectual energy. At the same time, there are many seductions. His advice was sound, if sober, very helpful.

One of the things I most appreciate about Robert George is the fact that he is optimistic. Well, not that’s not right is it? Maybe the word is hopeful. He’s not optimistic in terms of denying the obvious in the challenges before us. He’s not glib and glad-handed simply by saying that this is a challenge we’re going to win. But he is hopeful. I appreciate the fact that much of his hopefulness is grounded in the fact that he gets to meet with and teach very, very bright young people who at least in some significant numbers are being won over to the values and verities that we consider most important. Dr. George and I would argue many of these issues differently. We come from different theological positions, we come from different ways of doing moral argumentation, but I’m always fascinated to have a conversation with him and to see his mind at work. I think one of the crucial points of distinction has to do with just how compelling we believe the natural law to be. At the end of the day Professor Robert P. George really does believe that the natural law can in itself form the basis of a compelling moral argument for such an issue such as sexual restraint. I have to come at this from a position that is more informed by Romans chapter one. When I believe that what we are told there is that humanity is dead set to suppress the truth in unrighteousness and that there is no law written within the heart nor within the role of nature that will keep them from doing what they are determined to do except by the regenerating power of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is a restraining grace and for that I am very thankful and I do not deny the reality of the natural law. I do not deny the fact that that is a part of the restraining grace, but at the end of the day, I am not very hopeful that a society hell bent on moral revolution is going to be held in check by our arguments by the moral law, the natural law. I’m thankful, however, that Robert P. George is making those arguments. I’m thankful that he’s making them better than just about anyone else is making them. And as an evangelical, we have every reason to use natural law arguments, we just don’t believe that in the end they’re going to be enough. That’s where we have to come back with the final issue always being the gospel. And the challenges we’re talking about today are the challenges that point to the absolute necessity of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s where we begin and that’s where we end.

Thanks for listening to Thinking in Public. I want to remind you about a special opportunity coming up on the campus of Southern Seminary on Friday and Saturday, February eleventh through twelfth. Southern Seminary will be hosting the annual Give Me an Answer Conference for college students. This year’s theme is Recalibrate. Our special guest this year is going to be C.J. Mahaney, my dear friends. And also speaking will be Dr. Russell Moore, and I will be speaking as well. We want to challenge students to focus on true theology while living a life of humble obedience. For more information visit You can go to my website for a wealth of resources as Thanks for joining me for Thinking in Public. Until next time, keep thinking.