Still more from that brilliant column by Peggy Noonan, America’s Crisis of Character: There is the Secret Service scandal. That one broke through too, and you know the facts: overseas to guard the president, sent home for drinking, partying, picking up prostitutes. What’s terrible about this story is that for anyone who’s ever seen the Secret Service up close it’s impossible to believe. The Secret Service are the best of the best. That has been their reputation because that has… Read more

I met an Anglican priest the other day who, it turns out, was a big fan of Spirituality of the Cross and my other “Lutheran” books.  As I talked with him, I was astonished at how much he was into Lutheranism.  He explained that there is currently a strain in Anglicanism that is seeking to recover its Lutheran roots. He said Anglicanism generally has had four theological strains:  (1) The mainline Protestantism of the Episcopal Church in America; (2) Anglo-Catholicism;… Read more

Peggy Noonan cuts to the heart: People in politics talk about the right track/wrong track numbers as an indicator of public mood. This week Gallup had a poll showing only 24% of Americans feel we’re on the right track as a nation. That’s a historic low. Political professionals tend, understandably, to think it’s all about the economy—unemployment, foreclosures, we’re going in the wrong direction. I’ve long thought that public dissatisfaction is about more than the economy, that it’s also about… Read more

David Browder quotes from a keynote speech Bruce Springsteen made at the SXSW shindig in Austin in which he gives his reflections on the great Hank Williams and the music of his tradition: I remember sitting in my little apartment, listening to Hank Williams Greatest Hits over and over. And I was trying to crack his code because at first it just didn’t sound good to me. It just sounded cranky and old-fashioned…with that hard country voice. With that austere… Read more

An evangelical conclave has recommended that churches encourage their single members to take contraceptives as a way to cut down on Christians getting abortions: Two weeks ago, younger evangelical leaders gathered in Washington D.C. to reflect about the shape Christianity should take in the world. Q, the conference hosted by Gabe Lyons, is one of the more interesting spots in the evangelical landscape. Self-conscious in its cultural (which is to say, not political) orientation, conference attendees are an interesting cross-section… Read more

Michael Hirsh, writing in the National Journal, in the course of a discussion of the Obama administration’s new Middle East policy quotes an unnamed State Department official as declaring that “the war on terror is over.” The Obama administration is taking a new view of Islamist radicalism. The president realizes he has no choice but to cultivate the Muslim Brotherhood and other relatively “moderate” Islamist groups emerging as lead political players out of the Arab Spring in Egypt, Tunisia and… Read more

Levon Helm, the lead singer and drummer of the group so iconic that they just went by the name “The Band,” has died.  They were first known as Bob Dylan’s backup band, but they went off on their own and virtually invented the genre of Americana.  Their Music from Big Pink was one of my favorite albums back in the day. Here is a fine tribute from an excellent website (the home of, shall we say, Lutheran Anglicans):  Catch a… Read more

Phil Humber of the Chicago White Sox pitched a perfect game last Saturday against the Seattle Mariners:  no hits, no runs, no walks.  He was only the 21st person in baseball history to achieve that feat.  It turns out that Humber is an outspoken Christian, like Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin.  See | Perfection | J.C. Derrick | Apr 21, 12.   Read more

Charles Porterfield Krauth was an American Lutheran theologian of the 19th century.  His book The Conservative Reformation is a classic of theology and church history.  You may perhaps have heard what he said about the three stages of error–from the request for toleration to a demand for equality to the imposition of superiority over truth–but thanks to Pastor Mark Schroeder for posting the actual quotation: “When error is admitted into the Church, it will be found that the stages of… Read more

More from Pastor Douthwaite’s sermon last Sunday, on the connection between Scripture and Jesus: Luke tells us: “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” Like the parent who after embracing her child opens the closet to show him that there are no monsters, or who kneels and shows her that there is nothing under the bed, so Jesus next opens the Scriptures to show His children the truth – the truth of His Word. That what happened the… Read more

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