Rich Shipe, longtime reader and commenter on this blog, referred to this video in a chapel message that he gave, making the point that our perceptions often fall far short of the truth.   I had to show it to all of you.  (As you watch, try shutting your eyes and notice how the “fa’s” turn back to “ba’s.”) The point seems to be that when what we see conflicts with what we hear, our brain goes with what we see. … Read more

Science Daily reports on a Canadian study of homeschooling, one that comes across as objective and unbiased, finding that kids homeschooled with a structured curriculum really do perform better than their public school peers.  “Unschooling,” though, the approach to homeschooling that is even more progressive than public schools in doing away with structure altogether to just let kids do what they want, does NOT work. A new study from Concordia University [in Canada, not a part of the LCMS university… Read more

Yet another potential Republican candidate that some people were hoping might enter the fray has said, “no.”  Sarah Palin has announced that she will not run.  On top of that, Florida governor Marco Rubio has he won’t even accept a nomination for Vice-President. Over 300 million people in this country and the Republicans can’t find anyone they like to run against Obama? Ed Driscoll » Palin’s Not Running. Update: Marco Rubio Out As Veep?. Read more

Iranian officials say that the execution of the Iranian pastor who has refused to recant his faith in Christ is not imminent.  But now that they are accusing him of other heinous crimes–ones never mentioned in his actual trial and that are not even consistent from spokesman to spokesman–makes me think that his life is still in serious jeopardy: It appears that Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani will avoid the hangman in Iran for the time being. Nadarkhani, once the leader… Read more

The recent post on “The Pope on Luther” led to a discussion of Luther’s views of Mary, in which noted Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong weighed in.  (I am continually amazed at who all reads this blog.)  He cited evidence that Luther had a relatively “Catholic” view of Mary  early in his career, though after the Diet of Worms, in 1521.  (The source of that evidence was somewhat confused, though, which the discussion helped to sort out.) One of the issues was… Read more

Chris Christie announced that he will not run for president.  Meanwhile, Rick Perry is fading fast, and Herman Cain has caught up with him, moving into a tie for second place.  In first place by a lot:  Mitt Romney. Here are  details from the latest polls: Among announced candidates — without Christie or Palin in the race — Romney leads with 25 percent, which is identical to his support from a month ago. Perry and Cain are tied for second… Read more

Now that we can remake humanity’s most basic institution at will, or so we think, we can come up with all kinds of improvements.  Mexico City is considering marriage licenses that have an expiration date. Leftists in the city’s assembly – who have already riled conservatives by legalising gay marriage – proposed a reform to the civil code this week that would allow couples to decide on the length of their commitment, opting out of a lifetime. The minimum marriage… Read more

Jurgen Habermas is a prominent European intellectual–an influential neo-Marxist, a postmodernist critic, and more recently a neo-Enlightenment philosopher.  But now, surprisingly, he is singing the praises of Christianity.  Lutheran sociologist Peter Berger tells the tale, drawing on some recent scholarship about Habermas: [Philipe] Portier distinguishes three phases in Habermas’ treatment of religion. In phase one, lasting up to the early 1980s, he still viewed religion as an “alienating reality”, a tool of domination for the powerful. In good Marxist tradition,… Read more

Michael Baruzzini at First Things has a thoughtful discussion of novelist Walker Percy, bourbon, and existentialism.  But it all comes down to vocation: Will Barrett, the protagonist of Walker Percy’s novel The Last Gentleman, complains that he cannot figure out “how to live from one minute to the next on a Wednesday afternoon.” Even Christians, with a solid theological and philosophical grounding, can find the question troubling. So you believe in God, and you believe the Second Person of the… Read more

Ralph Peters writes that the world has only one towering figure in the halls of power, one ruler of genius:  Vladimir Putin. There is one incontestably great actor on the world stage today, and he has no interest in following our script. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin — soon to be Russia’s president again — has proven remarkably effective at playing the weak strategic hand he inherited, chalking up triumph after triumph while confirming himself as the strong leader Russians… Read more

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