I was driving down Main Street and saw a tent pitched outside of a residence that was next to the downtown business district.  A bunch of teenagers were milling about.  There was a podium, and it looked like someone was reading from it.  A sign said, “I ate them.com.” Of course that aroused my curiosity, so I went to the site and saw that the reference was to Jeremiah 15:16, about “eating” the Word of God.  What was going on… Read more

We’ve blogged about those translations of the Bible for Muslims that avoid little terms like “Son of God” in order, supposedly, to attract followers of Islam.  It turns out that such Bible translations are only one strategy in a whole new approach to mission work, one that encourages Christian converts to continue as members of their old religion!  Bill Nikides explains in Modern Reformation: The most explosive issue in global missions within the evangelical church today is something called “Insider… Read more

Here is a fascinating essay by Ed Driscoll on different theories about why the modern/postmodern world has gone wrong.  Is the culprit moral relativism?  the omniscient state?  Or the assumption that we can reinvent everything from ground zero? Or all of the above? That “begin from ground zero” characteristic is, perhaps, the one that most of us will not have thought about, but which is most telling now that we have thought about it.  It explains everything from modern art… Read more

More counter-intuitive mysterious health findings: A new study says that parents are less apt to the common cold than those without children. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that those with kids were half as likely to develop colds with that number increasing with each additional child in the household. Yet, the study shows that a strengthened immune system is not what protects parents. Rather, researchers say that “mental toughness” stemming from parenthood helps them to fight off the virus,… Read more

Useful and broadly applicable paradigms from Pastor Matt Richard: During the time of Martin Luther there were theological presuppositions that had been ingrained in the lives, thoughts and actions of the people. For the sake of simplicity, two things summarized the theological culture and attitudes of the day: ascent theology and the theology of active righteousness. It was commonly held from medieval teachings that mankind needed to ascend to God. It was taught that one needed to climb a metaphoric… Read more

The cover of Books & Culture, the Christian culture journal, features Lucas Cranach, and the cover story by Daniel Siedell is a review of a new book on the artist and patron of this blog.  The book is called The Serpent and the Lamb: Cranach, Luther, and the Making of the Reformation by the important Reformation scholar Stephen Ozment.  It breaks new ground in asserting the importance of Cranach and his art for Luther and for the Reformation.  A major… Read more

As I keep saying, there are different kinds of conservatism.  Michael Gerson makes that point in his discussion of Supreme Court Justice John Roberts’ ruling on Obamacare: His health-care ruling did expose a division between two varieties of judicial conservatism — institutionalism and constitutionalism — that can lead to very different outcomes. Roberts has emerged as the great institutionalist, concerned primarily about the place of the Supreme Court in American political life. In this view, the court maintains its power… Read more

We went to the 4th of July parade here in our small northern Virginia town.  I love the way such institutions usually include politicians marching down the parade route, waving and smiling to voters no matter how hot it gets.  It is a sign of American liberties that we don’t have to kiss up to our rulers–our rulers have to kiss up to us! Anyway, Virginia is one of those battleground states, a toss-up that will help determine who wins… Read more

Andy Griffith died at age 86.  It turns out, he was Moravian, a church with Reformation roots going back to John Hus, with a big influence of Lutheran Pietists.  From journalist Andrew Herrmann: Griffith’s story was rooted in the Moravian Church, a Christian sect started in Eastern Europe that sent missionaries to the U.S. in the 1700s — one group founded Winston-Salem, N.C. As a teenager, Griffith was attracted to Grace Moravian Church in Mount Airy, N.C. because the minister… Read more

David P. Goldman offers a close reading of our national anthem, which is not just a hard-to-sing-song but a striking and meaningful poem, one that connects the survival of Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812 to the survival of the nation in every generation: . . .It behooves us to sing a national anthem that begins and ends with questions. In this respect, “The Star-Spangled Banner” is an unusual poem. To begin a poem with a rhetorical question is… Read more

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