Time Magazine’s Person of the Year

Time Magazine‘s Person of the Year is German Prime Minister Angela Merkel.

Interesting choice:  Prime Minister Merkel is a Lutheran, a conservative (relatively speaking, for Germany), a woman, an economic hard-liner, by all accounts a skillful leader.  She has been compared to Margaret Thatcher, a formidable figure, though now she is being accused of being too generous when it comes to immigration.

Who would you have chosen for Person of the Year, the individual who has most impacted the world for better or for worse in 2015?

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Top 25 Christian Classics

Christian History surveyed 70 of its authors to compile the 25 most influential Christian writings, after the Bible.   Martin Luther had three titles, second only to St. Augustine, who had four.  See the list and links after the jump.

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Hitler’s worldview

In the course of a column about whether a nuclear Iran can be trusted not to attack Israel, George Will reviews Yale historian Timothy Snyder’s  Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning.  I woud just add that his account of Hitler’s worldview and why he hated the Jews is in accord with my book on the subject. [Read more...]

Killing Reagan’s reputation

Bill O’Reilly is considered a conservative, but he is challenging one of American conservatism’s biggest icons.  In his bestselling book Killing Reagan, O’Reilly maintains that the assassination attempt 69 days into his presidency caused Reagan to be mentally impaired for the rest of his terms in office.  O’Reilly describes the president being in a state of semi-dementia, with only moments of lucidity, to the point that his staff considered invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office on the grounds of being unable to perform the powers and duties of his office.

These charges have provoked an out-and-out shouting feud between O’Reilly and columnist George Will, who attacks O’Reilly’s research, says that the memo he used as evidence has been discredited, and says that actual historians and Reagan intimates (including his wife, a Reagan staffer) never witnessed any kind of impairment in the Great Communicator. [Read more...]

Treasure from the grave of a Greek warrior

Archaeologists have made an astounding discovery:  the tomb of a warrior at Pylos from 1,500 B.C., before the Homeric era, filled with gold, jewels, and priceless artifacts. [Read more...]

What St. Paul (and others) looked like?

A Spanish site linked to my post of long ago on the forensic research that reconstructed what St. Nicholas looked like.  The site includes renditions (unfortunately without links to the original sources) of nine other historical figures who received the same treatment, including Copernicus, Dante, Bach, and Richard III.

Especially striking was the reconstruction of the appearance of King Tutankhaten, the young Pharaoh whose looks reflect the messed-up genetics of sister marriage, as often practiced in the ancient Egyptian royal line, including Tut’s parents.  But there is also a reconstruction of one of his father’s other wives, Queen Nefertiti, who is revealed to have been a stunning beauty.

But the most interesting reconstruction is that of the Apostle Paul, based on bones recovered at a site where he was said to have been buried as tallied with portrayals in early iconography. See St. Paul after the jump. [Read more...]