Music of Christmas 21

A river town in Bavaria

  And now, because I'm feeling rather nostalgic, not exactly for das Vaterland but for nearby German-speaking Switzerland, here's a fairly schmalzy rendition of a nineteenth-century German Christmas carol that has happy memories for me.  The song proper lasts only somewhat more than two minutes.  The last minute or so of the recording is a very deliberately "cute" interview by one of the hosts with one of the choirboys.  Feel free to skip it … [Read more...]

“Well . . . maybe the Book of Mormon is true after all”

It's what it claims to be.

  A testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon that's worth a look:   … [Read more...]

An important Palestinian Christian voice

Today's little city of Bethlehem

  Dr. Mitri Raheb (متري الراهب‎), who earned his doctorate at the university in Marburg, Germany, is pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, and a prominent Palestinian voice.   Here, for about ten minutes, he offers his perspective to a British audience regarding the situation of Palestinians, and, in particular, of Palestinian Christians: Thanks to Jabra Ghneim for bringing this … [Read more...]

“The real 12 days of Christmas and why April 6 is a religiously significant date”

12 Days of Christmas, illustrated

  A very interesting article from Taylor Halverson that will perhaps teach you something about Christmas celebrations that you didn't know:   … [Read more...]

Christmas Cheer 23

Cemetery at Flanders

  I didn't want to wait on this one, so I'm posting two "Christmas Cheer" entries today. This coming Christmas Eve will mark the hundredth anniversary of the famous First World War "1914 Christmas Truce" on Flanders Fields. A group of BYU students collaborated to produce this three-and-a-half minute video about that remarkable story: Please watch it.  Please share … [Read more...]

New Testament 4

A happy and historic meeting

  Luke 1:39-56 This narrative of the apparently private encounter between the soon-to-be mothers of Jesus and of John the Baptist seems further suggestion that Mary was among Luke's "eyewitnesses."  (Elizabeth was already old at the time of the encounter, which occurred several decades before Luke was written, so she's unlikely to have been one of them.) The most famous part of this passage is what's often known as the "Magnificat" (1:46-55), the t … [Read more...]

Christmas Cheer 22

Opposition in all things

  There's so much hatred and eve and violence in the world that one is sometimes tempted to despair.  But there's also remarkable goodness:,AAADUxzzImk~,ZRG9vr9In2CmLypfGW8tCAvJzWo_aD3c&bclid=0&bctid=3943706782001   … [Read more...]

Bill Maher, deep thinker

A very public idjit

  I came across a striking statement today that's attributed to the alleged comedian Bill Maher.  "Faith," says Mr. Maher, "means making a virtue out of not thinking." Now, I can't plausibly be described as a fan of Bill Maher. I believe that I've recounted the story somewhere of sitting with my wife, my brother and his wife, and a friend in an open-air restaurant in Vienna (I believe) several years ago, and hearing a familiar voice.  I turned, and … [Read more...]