Problems with the food supply

Just in case you need something else to worry about, global food prices are skyrocketing (here not so much–yet), due to increased demand and shorter supplies: Since last summer, several events — floods in Australia, blistering drought in Russia, the threat of a poor winter wheat crop in China — have compounded concerns about the food supply and pushed world prices to the highest levels measured since the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization began calculating its index in 1990. For... Read more

The Calvinist case against Lutheranism

Darryl Hart, a Reformed theologian who favors  “confessional” Protestantism over against the new American varieties–including  “neo-Calvinism”–takes up and interrogates the Calvinist critique of Lutheranism.  He quotes the venerable B. B. Warfield: Just as little can the doctrine of justification by faith be represented as specifically Lutheran. It is as central to the Reformed as to the Lutheran system. Nay, it is only in the Reformed system that it retains the purity of its conception and resists the tendency to make... Read more

The world has become fragile

Steven Pearlstein reflects on our recent disasters, all of which took us by surprise and none of which we were prepared for: In just the past decade, we’ve had the attacks of Sept. 11, the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, Hurricane Katrina, the global financial crisis, a global flu pandemic, the earthquake in Haiti, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and devastating floods in Australia and New Zealand. Now, Japan has been hit with a triple whammy of... Read more

Disaster and national debt

Japan’s and ours. . . As Japan begins the complex and costly job of rebuilding the areas of the country that were destroyed, the task will be made more difficult by the government’s vast debt. Japan has the highest level of debt relative to the size of its economy of any major industrial nation — 234 percent of gross domestic product this year, the International Monetary Fund estimates, compared with 99 percent for the United States. With the cost of... Read more

Online Apologetics Conference

And speaking of Apologetics Conferences, here is one sponsored by Anthony Horvath at Athanatos Ministries.  It will be held completely online, April 7, 8, & 9.  The overall topic will be “Defending Christianity and God’s Plan for Marriage, Family, and Life through Creative Arts such as Film and Literature.”  I’ll be the keynote speaker.  Here is the lineup: Keynote:   Gene Edward Veith, Jr. Provost and Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at... Read more

Luther and the universalism debate

The evangelical blogosphere is all abuzz over a new book entitled Love Wins by the influential evangelical pastor and author Rob Bell, in which he argues for universalism, the notion that God will save everyone, whether or not they have faith in Christ.   I had assumed that this debate did not concern us Lutherans, since we have our theology thoroughly worked out and this is just not an issue in our circles.  But now I learn that Bell enlisted... Read more

St. Patrick and other missionaries

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, so wear green or get pinched.  You may recall my crusade to use this day to honor ALL missionaries. Those of us of European descent had ancestors who also were brought to faith by missionaries no less than our fellow Christians in Africa, Asia, South America, and the rest of the world.  So lift a glass to St. Patrick who brought the faith to Ireland.  And lift a glass to St. Augustine of Canterbury who... Read more

Relics

Some people go to Cancun on their Spring Break; others go to Myrtle Beach.  We went to Baltimore.   My wife and I are both interested in medieval art, and the Walter Art Museum there is featuring a big exhibit of medieval reliquaries.  That is, containers for relics, bones and other remains of saints that played a big part in medieval spirituality, and, indeed, in Roman Catholicism to this day. The containers ranged from mini-tombs to realistic statuary.  (The arm... Read more

Michigan considering suspension of democracy

Thanks to Kirk Anderson for putting me on to what is happening in Michigan, which is considering passing a bill that would allow the Governor’s office to replace elected local officials. Kirk explains:  “There’s a bill working its way through the Michigan legislature that would give the governor authority to place “emergency managers” in financially troubled localities to help get their governments back on the fiscal track.  The thing is, these managers have the power to remove elected officials like... Read more

The Cranach Nuclear Watch

As Japan and the rest of the world worry over what will happen to the earthquake and tsunami damaged nuclear power plants, you should know that here at the Cranach blog we are getting some expert commentary.  MarkB used to work with nuclear power plants, and Carl Vehse–whom you might know merely on this blog as a conservative flamethrower–is by vocation a nuclear chemist. I appreciate their ongoing explanations of the information that is coming out. See what they say... Read more
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