Robert P. George @ Southern Seminary

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Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, delivered the Norton Lectures at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary yesterday and today. The lectures dealt with issues ranging from embryo ethics to marriage to judicial usurpation of American democracy. The question and answer sessions were valuable as well with Professor George fielding and answering questions from Southern Seminary students on issues ranging from sexual morality to pastoral response to infertility.

You can access Professor George’s three lectures online here.

Professor George, a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics, is in the thick of virtually every legal and cultural struggle of significance to Christians today. He is also the nation’s preeminent natural law theorist. His lectures at Southern Seminary were well-received, and have provoked a flurry of hallway conversations, which is always a good sign.

I was impressed particularly that he was not content to deliver his lectures and then hide away in his room, though I could certainly have understood had he asked to do so. Professor George is, after all, the man who serves on so many boards and writes so many books and articles that The Nation magazine famously hyperventilated about as the focus of pro-life and pro-family intellectual energy. He asked particularly to meet with students and, after two whirlwind days of lectures and meetings with several of us, spent his breakfast time this morning with my interns and a few other students, fielding questions ranging from the personal to the political to the philosophical.

And on top of all of this, much to my delight and surprise and despite the Ivy League credentials, the eminent professor is a banjo-playing native West Virginian who knows Hank Snow from Hank Williams, George Jones from George Strait. It just seems right that someone so in touch with natural law should resonate with good music as well as with good legal theory.

We live in a fearful and cowardly time. The crisis we face is not a crisis of clarity but a crisis of courage.


About Russell Moore

Russell Moore is Public Theologian at Christianity Today and Director of Christianity Today’s Public Theology Project.