About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

An actor speaks of faith & calling

Whether or not Selma is fair to LBJ, it’s supposed to be a powerful movie.  (I haven’t seen it yet.  Can anyone comment on that?)  And I’m told that the actor playing Dr. King, the Nigerian/British actor David Oyelowo turns in an amazingly good performance.  It turns out, Mr. Oyelowo is a zealous, committed Christian who is not afraid to talk about his faith.

After the jump, I have an excerpt and a link to an interview with Mr. Oyelowo that first appeared on Patheos and was picked up by Time (which also has a link to our discussion of the LBJ controversy).  I don’t vouch for the theology–for example, that God spoke to him directly–but he is also talking about vocation (a.k.a. “calling”), and we hear a perspective that is kind of refreshing coming from Hollywood. [Read more...]

Finding the lost texts of classical antiquity?

The writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans helped form our civilization, and their rediscovery sparked the Renaissance.  But many of the writings of the formative thinkers of the classical age have been lost.  We only have one-third of the writings of Aristotle, and they were enough to create Western thought, shaping the very way we reason.  What else did he have to say that has been lost, and what might that do?   The founders of Western drama were the brilliant playwrights Aeschylus and Euripides, both of whom wrote some 90 plays, but only 6 and 19 of their plays, respectively, have survived.  (Go here for what else is missing.)

But archaeologists have discovered a large library from the Roman city of Herculaneum, which was destroyed by the volcano that devastated Pompeii.  The hot volcanic ash both preserved the library’s scrolls but also made them impossible to read.  Attempts to unroll them to see what they contain makes them disintegrate.  But now a technology has been developed that may allow us to read them.  So far, the works that have been deciphered are ones we have already,  but who knows what else the library may contain? [Read more...]

Republican lawmakers cave on fetal pain bill

The Republicans now control both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  The pro-lifers who helped win them their majorities were promised a vote on a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, when the unborn child is capable of feeling pain, as well as in many cases surviving outside the womb.  The bill passed the House in the last session, and polls show it having widespread support (including 71% of women).  But after media criticism, the Republican leadership pulled the bill.

Read what Mollie Hemingway has to say about this.  [Read more...]

A king dies, but the new king has dementia

Saudi Arabia is trying to hurt the American domestic oil industry by pumping so much oil that it drives down prices so as to make fracking unprofitable.  And yet, that helps Americans with low gasoline prices.  Saudi Arabia is the center of arch-conservative Sunni Islam, but has been a key American ally against ISIS.  Saudi Arabian despotism creates Islamist rebels, but American foreign policy sees it as a force for stability in the Middle East.  Saudi Arabia outlaws Christianity within its borders, but tends to be on the side of America’s government.

Now this important but contradictory nation is suddenly facing a crisis.  Its king, 90-year-0ld King Abdullah, has died.  Its odd laws of succession give the kingship to the various sons of the founding monarch, and, thanks to Islamic polygamy, there are 35 of them.  So the throne goes to the various brothers of the previous king, rather than to the next generation.  So the new king of Saudi Arabia is 79 years old and reportedly suffers from dementia. [Read more...]

Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

Today is the March for Life, a day to protest the Roe v. Wade decision, which opened the door to the abortion of untold millions of children.

Last Sunday was designated as “Life Sunday.”  One of the readings was about the calling of Nathanael (John 1:43-51), whose first words when Philip told him about Jesus was “can anything good come out of Nazareth” (1:46)?  You have got to see how Pastor Douthwaite tied that to life issues. [Read more...]

Our dynastic politics

Under monarchies, the throne is kept in the family, with subsidiary power passed on through powerful aristocratic families.  Under our democratic republic, a good many of our presidential contenders so far are the scions of political families:  Clinton, Bush, Romney, Paul.

Columnist Dana Milbank has some interesting things to say about this phenomenon. [Read more...]


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