Anyone who lived through the 60s will remember the haunting paintings of children with enormous eyes. And almost none of them will know the story behind the paintings— until now, thanks to Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, and surprisingly, Tim Burton who has produced a whole series of strange and wonderful movies—-Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie, and is well known for… Read more As we head to the New Year, one thing we need more of in America is thoughtful discussion on major issues that trouble our society. We need less polemics, less propaganda, less shouting, less shock jocks on radio or TV, less ideologically driven news from whatever perspective, and more real dialogue, rather than posturing. Here is a link to a thoughtful discussion on race and guns and related matters by former President Clinton. In my view, he’s right about… Read more

“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” —William Barclay “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”—Voltaire “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”—Satchel Paige (famous baseball pitcher who was famously elusive or uncertain about his own age, perhaps so he could keep pitching professionally). “The great thing… Read more

“It’s the person one imagines can hardly do anything, that end up doing something no one has yet imagined.” This is the leitmotif of ‘The Imitation Game’, a very fine film indeed which is receiving all kinds of award nominations during this season. We seem to love our stories about socially awkward, eccentric, geniuses. Interestingly, the two most memorable roles that Benedict Cumberbatch has thus far played both involve such persons— the fictional character Sherlock Holmes and the very real… Read more

I’ve been a Lindsey Davis fan for a very long time. Of the truly excellent novelists about the Roman Republic and the Empire, Coleen McCullough, Stephen Saylor, and Lindsey Davis, none of them are as clever and add as much humor to the telling of the tale as Lindsey Davis. None cook up the atmosphere or ethos of the era any better than her either. I’ve read all twenty or so of the Marcus Didius Falco novels and loved them… Read more

Of the making of books about Paul there is no end, but that doesn’t mean there don’t continue to be valuable ones produced. In fact, I am planning on doing a second updated version of my own Paul Quest book with a collaborator before long, but for now, I have two books to suggest to you which are both entry level texts on Paul, surveying his life, letters, and his thought. Both are beautifully illustrated and with useful maps. One… Read more

Here is the second in the series of videos I did with Dr. Michael Halcomb, my former doctoral student. This one is on the Bible and History. Read more

Today, on the British calendar, is Boxing Day. No it’s not about hitting people while wearing gloves and confined to a ring. It’s about boxing up some of the Christmas stuff and giving it to the less fortunate. In his discussion of Jesus’ saying ‘I’ve come that you might have life, and have it abundantly’ Wendell Berry warns us that Jesus is not advocating avarice. “In an age of materialist science, economics,art, and politics, we ought not to be much… Read more

‘What should I give him, poor as I am, If I was a shepherd, I would give a lamb…’ Well here’s a thought on Christmas day, why not give him your obedience to his teachings? I doubt there are many things that would please Jesus, young or as an adult, more than the gift of his followers’ obedience. We need to resist the tendency to trivialize, rationalize, domesticate or otherwise water down the teachings of Jesus. As Wendell Berry insists… Read more

Wendell Berry reminds us that the Gospels ask us many embarrassing questions not the least of which is, ‘If we had lived in the time of Jesus and heard the teaching found in the Gospels, would we have become one of his followers?’ Wendell says the way to decide whether you’d pass this test or not is imagine you were walking past the court house one day and heard someone unknown, say named Joe Green, sharing verbatim what you hear… Read more

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