The difference one person can make

Some say history is made by vast social and economic forces.  Others say that even vast forces are launched by the actions of individual human beings .  Yesterday’s newspaper, in two separate articles, showed the difference made by two individuals, one whose actions led to the deaths of millions; the other whose actions led to saving the lives of billions. [Read more…]

Converting the barbarians

Today we express our appreciation to the Irish for saving civilization.  St. Patrick converted the Irish, who copied books from classical literature through the Bible and kept alive the ability to read them, as the barbarians ravaged Europe after the Fall of Rome.  The consequent “Dark Ages” (not to be confused with the Middle Ages!) lasted until the Irish and others  converted the barbarians to Christianity.

No offense to the “barbarians”–as they were termed by the Greco-Romans–who did, actually, have civilizations of their own, but these pagan warlike tribes really did settle down, once they accepted Christianity, giving us the High Middle Ages and the various nations of Europe.  So let’s give credit to St. Patrick, but also to those other missionaries who brought the Gospel to the ancestors of us European-Americans: [Read more…]

Happy 25th birthday to the Internet

The “world wide web” came into existence 25 years ago today, making the internet as we know it possible.  It’s only been 25 years!  What did we do without it?  Write letters, go to actual stores to buy things, read newspapers, visit friends at their houses–can you believe people way back then actually had to live that way?  How else has the internet affected you, positively or negatively, over the last 25 years?

After the jump, results of a Pew study about how people today use and view the internet. [Read more…]

‘Cosmos’ calls out Bible believers

The much-hyped remake of Carl Sagan’s  TV documentary series Cosmos premiered on Sunday, replete with much-improved special effects, up-to-date scientific marvels, and an introduction by President Barack Obama.  But a major theme of the series is apparently to beat back creationists of every stripe.

From Bradford Thomas, at TruthRevolt:

The host of Seth MacFarlane’s new series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, argues that while religion and science can be compatible, religious scriptures like the Bible should not be confused with scientific textbooks, something he says “enlightened religious people” understand.

Cosmos—which features an introduction by President Obama—has already stirred controversy with a lengthy segment in the first episode which deliberately pits religion against science, providing an animated story about the Catholic Church’s persecution of the 16th-century monk and astronomer Giordano Bruno, which TIME argues provides a clear message to viewers: “there is a right side and a wrong side of intellectual history, and Cosmos is not afraid to say that science is on the right one.”

The thing is, though, the series completely confused the history of Giordano Bruno.  He wasn’t burned as a heretic for asserting the existence of “multiple worlds”–as if he anticipated today’s multiple universe hypotheses, though without any kind of scientific evidence for his assertions–but for his numerous theological heresies.  Details after the jump. [Read more…]

Fasting for 40 days before Easter

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.  There are those who claim that these too have pagan origins, which is particularly ludicrous.  In his ongoing dismantling of the claims that Christian holidays have pagan origins,  Pastor Joseph Abrahamson tells about the true origin of Lent, the 40 day fast (not counting the six Sundays, which are feast days) before Easter.  See the details after the jump.

Lent always does me good.  Resolutions with a limited time frame are easier to keep.  The small acts of self-denial and self-discipline are good from me, as are eating less (and healthier) and my custom of reading some heavy-duty theology.  (This year:  Martin Chemnitz on the Two Natures of Christ.)  And observing Lent really does set up a joyous Easter.

I’ve noticed that even many Christians who do not follow the church year all that much are starting to observe Lent.

What about you?  What do you do for Lent, if anything?  What does it do for you?

[Read more…]

Luther quotes that Luther didn’t say

Justin Taylor has a useful post entitled 6 Quotes that Luther Didn’t Actually Say.  After the jump, see what they are.  (To be fair, some of them are close to what he said, as loose translations or summaries.  And what he attributes to me on the “wise Turk” quote actually comes from the regular  commenter here Carl Vehse, who has done quite a bit of work in tracing such apocryphal quotations.) [Read more…]


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