Six trends about Bible reading

The American Bible Society has partnered with the Barna polling organization to study trends in the way people read and approach the Bible.  The study has identified six trends. [Read more...]

Accept gay marriage or lose your job

You have probably heard about the CEO of Mozilla (makers of the open source Firefox browser) losing his job when it was learned that he had given some money to support that referendum in California a few years ago that would block gay marriage in that state.  Since the contribution records have been made public, lots of other people could conceivably lose their livelihoods in this new activist climate. Peter Wehner has some good observations about this whole mindset of punishing people for their beliefs. [Read more...]

George Herbert’s struggles with his vocation

We’ve blogged about Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, who wrote in the London Guardian that the poetry of George Herbert helped to convert her to Christianity from atheism.  She is following up that essay with a series of articles on particular poems from George Herbert, exploring them and showing how they are relevant to people’s spiritual conditions today.  We blogged about what she said about Herbert’s treatment of Prayer.

After the jump, an excerpt and link to her discussion of Herbert’s poems on his spiritual struggles, particularly with his vocation as a pastor. [Read more...]

Bible reading in the digital age

In answer to my question about how reading conditioned by the internet might affect the way people read the Bible, Rev. Lucas Woodford (my former pastor) pointed to this article by Robin Phillips published in Touchstone in 2012, which also gets into the various ways reading itself has already changed over the centuries.  An excerpt after the jump. [Read more...]

The winners of the Cranach basketball pool. . .

. . .are NOBODY.   No one in our contest predicted that the University of Connecticut would win the NCAA championship.  (UConn also just won the NCAA women’s championship!)  No one predicted the Final Four.  That’s too bad because I worked out a special deal with Warren Buffett that the winner of our little pool would win one BILLION dollars.  I will give honorable mention credit, which unfortunately receives no monetary reward, to those who predicted ONE of the Final Four:  Saddler, Edward Kettner, and Sam P. said that Florida would be in it, and Pete said that Wisconsin would be.   Since Florida was ranked #1 in the final postseason poll while Wisconsin wasn’t even in the top 10 (#15 in the USA Today poll; #12 in the AP), I declare the best guesser to be Pete!  (Oh, and a belated April Fool’s about that billion dollar bit.)

More turmoil in Ukraine

Ethnic Russians in Ukraine–especially in the eastern regions where they are in greatest numbers (though not necessarily a majority) have seized public buildings, are arming themselves, and have declared a separatist republic.  All in the hopes of being annexed by Russia like the Crimea was.  Some say the uprisings are sponsored by Russia in the hopes of establishing a pretext for another invasion.  This time the Ukraine is gearing to defend itself. [Read more...]

George Herbert on Sin, Love, & the Sacrament

Miranda Threlfall-Holmes discusses one of my favorite poems, The Agony by George Herbert.  It is about how we try to measure everything, neglecting what cannot be measured; namely, sin and love.  But these can be known in their depths as they come together in the Cross of Jesus Christ.  The poem concludes with these lines on the Sacrament:

Love is that liquor sweet and most divine

Which my God feels as blood; but I, as wine.

[Read more...]

Does the internet degrade our ability to read?

There is some evidence that the way we read on the internet–skimming, surfing, hopping from link to link–is interfering with the ability to read complex, content-rich books that require reading slowly and thoughtfully.

Do you think?  Having just finished the 1500 page unabridged Les Miserables for free on my Kindle (an overwhelming experience that I’ll blog about later), I say not necessarily.  But still, I can see the danger.  I wonder what the eye-bite approach would do to Bible reading.

[Read more...]

Managers vs. leaders in the Secret Service

The country keeps getting embarrassed by Secret Service agents who have been caught cavorting with prostitutes, getting drunk, and passing out in hotel lobbies.  Former agent Dan Emmett says the main problem is bad leadership.  He tells about the Secret Service’s practice of promoting people who are “well-liked” to management positions, rather than those who demonstrate leadership ability.  His distinction between “managers” and “leaders” has applications  beyond the Secret Service. [Read more...]

The movie vs. the flannelboard

We saw the movie Noah.  It had some good cinematic touches (such as the imagery with the seven days of creation), and I don’t begrudge some of the imaginative liberties (such as having the animals be in suspended animation on the ark).  I was even finding myself liking it for awhile.  Some of the criticisms, I saw, were ill founded.  (That they made Noah a vegetarian?  Well, compare Genesis 1:28-30 and Genesis 9:2-4, which suggests that God gave permission to eat animals after the flood.)  But the flaws in the movie kept getting more and more damaging.  Like an ark that has a few leaks, which let in more and more water, the force of which makes the leaks bigger, until the sides stave in and the vessel goes down to the watery depths. [Read more...]