The street and the altar

The Lutheran pastor, Christian Führer, whose prayer meetings became a catalyst for the protests that overthrew Communism in East Germany died Monday at age 71.

I was struck by this quotation from him:  “It is not the throne and the altar, but the street and the altar that belong together.”  That’s an interesting version of the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms.   That concept is often taken to refer just to the relation of the church to earthly governments.  That’s part of it, but I think it applies more broadly to society and culture as a whole, where God is also active in vocation and in caring for His creation. [Read more…]

The father of modern journalism: Martin Luther

World Magazine editor Marvin Olasky writes about how an independent press has its roots in the Reformation.   Modern journalism began, he says, with an unusually skillful writer named Martin Luther. [Read more…]

FDR’s D-Day Prayer

Once D-Day was underway, 70 years ago, President Roosevelt got on the radio and asked the American public to join him in this prayer:.

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph. [Read more…]

D-day + 70 years

Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when allied troops landed at Normandy on the French coast, the beginning of the end of World War II.

I remember a number of years ago visiting Normandy and looking down at Omaha beach from the remains of a German bunker that overlooked a tall bluff to the beach below.  The landing crafts and the soldiers who somehow made it to the beach were sitting ducks and thousands of Americans died in those first waves of the attack.  And yet, somehow, they kept coming and eventually climbed up the sheer cliff and took that bunker and the others like it.

The heroism shown by the American, British, Canadian, and other allied troops is nearly unimaginable.  Each beach had its own story.  Read about two of them and link to the rest after the jump. [Read more…]

25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, in which the Chinese Communists crushed the pro-democracy movement that had prevailed in the Soviet Union.

[Read more…]

How the Egyptians moved those big stones

No, it wasn’t aliens who moved those massively huge blocks for the Pyramids.  An ancient drawing shows builders dragging a monument on a sledge with someone pouring water in front of it.  Egyptologists interpreted that as some kind of purification ritual.  But scientists have discovered that pouring water on sand reduces the friction so that it would be possible to drag a multi-ton object on a sledge through the desert sand.  See the picture and an account of the research after the jump. [Read more…]


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