The NYT today profiles Princeton’s Robert P. George, The Conservative-Christian Big Thinker.
HT: James Grant
For those who follow these Catholic/Protestant debates more closely than me – Why does the author article say “Until relatively recently, contemporary evangelicals routinely leveled the same charge at modern Catholics.” What changed? Did the Catholics start saying something different about the capabilities of human reason or did the Protestants soften on the issue?
Also – Is anyone aware of a fuller defense by George or a like-minded person explaining their confidence in human reason? All I found in the article was a concession that he could be wrong about it, but for those of us who were fantastically disturbed by his confidence in rationality, what should we read to better understand his thinking?
Regarding a more full defense of George’s position, the best starting place is “In Defense of Natural Law.” It’s brilliant.
As to your first question, my impression is that evangelicals have become more open to natural law type thinking (though it was always there lurking), a shift which I suspect is a corollary of the worldview movement.
But there’s always been room for a natural law theory within Protestantism. John Witte”s “Reformation of Rights” is probably the most thorough case surrounding that issue.
This is not specifically George’s position, but I would start with “Fides et Ratio.”
Jake, I’m a little late to the party, but I’d also check out Retrieving the Natural Law by J. Daryl Charles (Ph.D., Westminster Theological Seminary) for a Protestant take on natural law. You can even preview an important section here on the Reformers presupposition and affirmation of natural law here.