May 15, 2011

If you have not had a chance to see “Of Gods and Men,” the winner of all sorts of film prizes, including the Grand Prix at Cannes, you should drop everything and watch it, and all the more so when Osama bin Laden has just been murdered.  Yes, I said murdered.  When an unarmed civilian, criminal or not,  is killed rather than captured, that would be murder.  Yes I realize he is responsible for many many murders.  Yes I realize… Read more

May 14, 2011

Here is an interesting list of top films.   See which ones you have seen.  I’ve seen 94 of them. Which of these American Film Institute top 100 films in 100 years have you seen? The Wizard of Oz 1,211,228 votes Forrest Gump 1,145,828 votes Snow White 983,258 votes Toy Story 869,696 votes E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 767,760 votes Titanic 758,760 votes The Sound Of Music 603,418 votes The Sixth Sense 593,295 votes Raiders of the Lost Ark 548,867 votes The… Read more

May 14, 2011

At the end of the day When the shadows fall And your guard is down And you hear sleep call Will you give a thought To what you’ve done, And what you should have Under the Son. Will you tell the truth As the night closes in And admit your failings Admit your sin. Or will you just roll over Let the moment pass Assume all’s well Close your eyes at last. When you say yours prayers And turn off… Read more

May 13, 2011

Norse mythology is in some ways predictable.  Of course they imagined Frost gods.    When you live in a region regularly prone to weather like the inside of a freezer locker,  you imagine really cool deities– literally  (cue now Foreigner singing ‘You’re cold as ice…’)!   These guys give Jack Frost a bad name. And of course the weapon of choice in a frozen solid world has got to be a massive hammer— nothing else could smash through all that ice…. Read more

May 13, 2011

Norse mythology is in some ways predictable.  Of course they imagined Frost gods.    When you live in a region regularly prone to weather like the inside of a freezer locker,  you imagine really cool deities– literally  (cue now Foreigner singing ‘You’re cold as ice…’)!   These guys give Jack Frost a bad name. And of course the weapon of choice in a frozen solid world has got to be a massive hammer— nothing else could smash through all that ice…. Read more

May 12, 2011

In this last post we need to do some house keeping and summing up.  You will have already deduced that I think Leithart’s book is first rate, though of course there is a good deal I don’t agree with him on, and especially that is true about his last ten pages or so, which I will address in a moment.      Since it’s too much like piling on,  I will allow you to read the many more pages of critique of… Read more

May 11, 2011

As I begin this particular post,  I need to come clean and say,  I am in fact a pacifist, and have been all my adult life.  But as a responsible historian, I do not think good theology should be based on bad history.  John Howard Yoder’s reading of early Christian history is about as flawed as that of  George Barna’s in Pagan Christianity, though in some different ways. Part of the problem stems from the exegetical gymnastics required to maintain… Read more

May 10, 2011

Modern Iznik (ancient Nicaea) is a beautiful little city on a lake.  It is famous today for being the birthplace of Iznik tiles, a form of beautiful art which was co-opted by Europeans and relabeled Delft tiles.   But in 325 A.D. it was the locale Constantine chose to host the first ‘ecumenical’ council of the Christian church with bishops and others coming from all over the Empire, and indeed even from beyond the Empire  (Armenia, Persia, even the Crimea).   For… Read more

May 9, 2011

Constantine was what Andy Crouch calls a culture-maker.  The question is whether he was building a good culture which distilled Christian values, or somehow distorted  Christian values.  Besides all his church building exercises, there were also Constantine’s legislative initiative, one of the earliest being tax exemption for clergy (yeah!).   Constantine said this would protect them from harassment by heretics. One of the problems in evaluating Constantine and the impact of his reign is that edicts and promulgations by Emperors didn’t… Read more

May 8, 2011

[Modern Painting next to the restored Pool of Siloam]   This poem taken from the book entitled The Living Legacy. MOTHER LOAD From the very beginning The burden was clear Sometimes bearable Sometimes severe Ate from the apple Shared it with him Disobeyed the order Indulged the whim. What was the outcome? The fruit of the act? Did she ‘know’ good and evil? Did she experience it in fact? Did the earth creature join her? Did he crumble into dust?… Read more

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