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BreakPoint This Week

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Discourse #28: What We Can't Not Know


Stephen Reed interviews Dr. J. Budziszewski, professor of Government and Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, and author of What We Can't Not Know. The topic? Natural Law.

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Dr. J. Budziszewski goes fearlessly where others look for a way out. A professor of Government and Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, J.  has written for both scholarly and general audiences for years, particularly on the sometimes controversial topic of Natural Law.

DrBudziszewskiChristians and people from other faith traditions may find it odd that something so familiar to them as Natural Law should be deemed controversial.  After all, Natural Law simply refers to the universal laws written on our hearts, given us by our Creator.

These laws are also reflected in some of the great basic laws and customs in all societies, such as those we find in the Ten Commandments, like the laws against murder, stealing, and the like.  C. S. Lewis dives into this philosophical discussion well in the beginning of his classic, Mere Christianity.

But in this post-modern age, with its impulse to run away from any recognized standard of right and wrong, everything is relative.  Declaring someone’s actions as wrong, even if they are clearly harming another person or themselves, is seen as judgmental and, with great irony declared the new wrong thing to do in polite society.

Dr. Budziszewski believes that the fact that we are all under the Natural Law actually gives us great common ground with a variety of individuals. People of many faith backgrounds and even those who have no religious faith can still find that they substantially agree on the rules of the game given to each of us in this life through the Natural Law, whether one calls the rule giver God or nature.

I had the chance to talk with Dr. Budziszewski this past week, and we hope to have him back again in the near future.  We have long used What We Can’t Not Know in our BreakPoint Centurions Program, and it has always been one of the students’ favorites.

What We Can’t Not Know is now being released in a new and expanded version in its second printing through Ignatius Press.  You can order it through our BreakPoint and Colson Center online bookstores by clicking here.  This book makes for an excellent text for small group discussions, college ministry gatherings, or a book readers’ circle.



“Discourse,” an occasional podcast on BreakPoint, applies a Christian worldview lens to a broad range of issues related to contemporary culture. Stephen Reed, a Centurion in the class of 2008, is a former talk radio host and serves as Web content editor for the Colson Center. If you see any cultural issues out there you would like to see us address in a future podcast, e-mail Stephen at: stephen_reed@pfm.org.


Articles on the BreakPoint website are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Chuck Colson or BreakPoint. Outside links are for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply endorsement of their content.

Emily tells a clearly-written, funny, and poignant story

about what her son, Max, has taught her (and her father) in the newly-released

book from Zondervan, Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free.

As challenging as autism can be, this story is one of hope as God gave the

Colsons the strength and joy to discover what every person has to offer the

rest of us. Chuck describes this book as the most personal book he’s had a

part in since his autobiographical first book, Born Again. Chuck writes a

foreward and afterword to the story written by Emily.

As you’ll hear in this interview, Emily’s counsel for anyone having what

seems like a problem without a solution is to let God lead them one day

at a time. “If this were my last day on earth, what kind of mother would

I want to be?” she found herself asking at a key turning point in her

relationship with her now 19 year old son.

Life may not always go according to our best laid plans. But God is ready to

show us deep joys in the places we wouldn’t expect. This lesson and many

others that will touch your heart as you see how one mother and son not

only survived a tough situation but has emerged victorious with God’s help.

Moreover, this book will challenge your understanding of the handicapped

people in our midst await you by reading this fascinating book about real people

facing real challenges with God. Max Colson gives us another perspective

on God, as he is made in God’s image just like everyone else.

Emily’s book makes the perfect birthday or Christmas gift for someone you know

who is wrestling with a challenge that seems beyond their ability to cope. Or just

anyone who enjoys an inspiring human interest story.

For more information about ordering Dancing With Max, click here.