Robin Williams on ‘Biblical History’

I was deeply saddened to learn today about the death of Robin Williams, who is just six months older than me. He has brought me a lot of joy and laughter in my life (even when I was grieving), both on TV and in films, that I have felt very down today, and went back to watch some of his clip highlights.Spoiler alert. There is a bit of off color language in this following video, and a bit of what some would call irreverence as well, though I'm pretty sure Robin did not mean it that way … [Read more...]

From Solution to Plight: E.P. Sanders’ PAUL

It is difficult, some would say nigh impossible to do justice to Paul and his thought and ministry in a short book. While that is true, there are some short books on Paul that do him some justice, and are well worth the read. One such book is the revised edition of E.P. Sander's Paul: A Brief Insight. The book was originally published in 1991 by Oxford and then again in 2001, and then it was picked up for an illustrated and hardback edition by Sterling Publishing, and reissued with … [Read more...]

Ranking Rankin: The Saints of the Shadow Bible

Ian Rankin is a front rank crime fiction writer, and he has the added advantage that unlike his fellow Edinburgh resident, J.K. Rowling, he sets his stories in the city he knows intimately, completely--- his home town. There are many crime novels that are set in London (including the new series by Rowling under a pseudonym), but not many that feature Scotland and Edinburgh. This most recent offering in the John Rebus series of novels finds Rebus back on the force and dealing once more with cold … [Read more...]

After the Fall

(picture courtesy of Tarsem)AFTER THE FALLAfter the Fall,The nakednessThe shame, a tell tale sign.After the FallA wariness,The centering on the self.After the FallDeceptionA lie disguised as truth.After the Fall,‘J’accuse’!‘This woman whom you gave’.After the Fall,The curse.‘And he shall lord it over you’.After the FallThe sufferingLabor pains galore.After the FallThe dying,D … [Read more...]

Tunnel Vision— BW3, Yuliya, and Hezekiah

Going through Hezekiah's tunnel is an exhilirating experience, and especially when you do it with family and friends like these. … [Read more...]

A Cultured Pearl— The One Hundred Foot Journey

Sometimes critics make big mistakes, and that includes well known movie critics. I opened the NY Times this morning and read A.O. Scott's rather snarky and highly critical review of the new movie that stars Helen Mirren, a movie about a culture clash and a competition between two very different restaurants in the south of France--- one a Michelin starred French restaurant, the other a brand new Indian restaurant. After reading it, as the Bible says, my countenance fell. I said to myself 'oh … [Read more...]

Old Gold: Gordon Lightfoot

June 26th was supposed to be the night Ann and I finally got to see Paul McCartney. But Sir Paul hasn't been well, and postponed until Oct. 28th. Stay tuned. Instead, we went and saw (here in Lexington) an even older performer---- Gordon Lightfoot, who is an amazing 76 years old, and still singing away (he bragged he was doing eight shows in ten days on this mini-tour). I must confess I would never have guessed that the man I saw in about 1974-75 in Boston at Symphony Hall would still be … [Read more...]

The Pilgrimage: Turkey, Part Twenty Two

On the last afternoon of our pilgrimage, we went to the famous Istanbul Archaeological Museum, which is actually three museums in one--- an Oriental/ANE museum, a tile museum, and the main archaeological museum.... It's an embarrassment of riches...We walked down an old street to reach the main gate, passing various lovely old houses...Once you pass the gate, you run right into Aslan, the guardian lion (as I mentioned aslan is the turkish work for lion).Immediately to the … [Read more...]

The Pilgrimage: Turkey, Part Twenty One

One of the more important churches (now a museum) in all of Turkey is the famous Chora Church, so-called because it was out in the country originally. Now it's in a crowded Istanbul neighborhood, which makes it difficult to even get a picture of the building. So you have to settle for a picture from a distance...Or you have to settle for a picture of a picture...Then you run the gauntlet of the vendors, the hawkers of icon copies and Iznik tile copies...Here is a brief … [Read more...]