I am going to make you cry.  To mark the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Bull Run, a.k.a. The Battle of Manassas, the Washington Post wrote a story about and reprinted the letter written by Maj. Sullivan Ballou to his wife a week before he was killed in that battle.  It shows a man highly devoted to his different and sometimes conflicting vocations as husband, father, soldier, citizen, and Christian: July the 14th, 1861 Washington D.C. My very dear… Read more

A 32-year-old Norwegian described as “a Christian fundamentalist with right-wing connections” bombed a government building in Oslo, killing seven, and then went to a Labor Party youth camp and shot to death 84 young people! See Norway Shooting and Bomb Attack Leaves at Least 91 Dead – NYTimes.com. We’ll learn what they mean by “right-wing fundamentalist.”  At any rate, get ready for yet more discrediting of conservative Christians and conservative politics.  In the meantime, we must feel for Norway, which is going… Read more

You have GOT to read Mollie Hemingway’s column in the Wall Street Journal, which should definitively put to rest the media’s shocked discovery that Lutherans believe that the papacy is the antichrist.   The piece has the best lede (journalese for opening paragraph) that I’ve read in a long time: American political reporters aren’t known for their vocal support of Roman Catholic teachings. But when they discovered recently that Minnesota Congresswoman and Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann was once a Lutheran,… Read more

I’m becoming a regular high-tech kind of guy, though at least I’m a late adopter.  I now have a Kindle.  (My wife wanted one for Mother’s Day, so I obliged, whereupon since I was always borrowing hers, she bought me one for Father’s Day.  Our devices are hooked up to the same account so that when either of us buy a book it is “archived” on the other’s device, allowing us to download each other’s books for free.)  I carry… Read more

I didn’t realize books could be like movies and have trailers, but here is a trailer for a book I really enjoyed, West Oversea: A Norse Saga of Mystery, Adventure and Faith, by Lars Walker, a longtime commenter on this blog. (If the video doesn’t come up, click “comments” and it will. Also, you can order the book by clicking the link.) Read more

A Muslim woman is calling for the legalization of sex slavery–which she describes as the temporary marriage of concubines–on the grounds that Islam permits it and that it is a cure for adultery.  From the International Business Times: Sex slaves are OK in Islam, according to a former candidate for the Kuwaiti parliament, who is advocating for the legalization of sex slavery. . . . In a video posted on YouTube earlier this year [see below], Salwa Al-Mutairi proclaimed that… Read more

David French is an Iraq war veteran and Nancy French is his wife. Together they have written Home and Away: A Story of Family in a Time of War. From an interview with the authors: ‘Men were coming home on leave to find their wives gone from their houses,” David French writes about the strain of deployment on marriage. “Other men were getting the modern equivalent of the ‘Dear John’ letter via Facebook message or e-mail. Some guys discovered wives… Read more

Canadian historian Francois Furstenberg reminds us of the economic depression that America had to struggle through in the 19th century: Much like our time, the Gilded Age was an era of economic booms and busts. None was greater than the financial crisis that began in September 1873 with the collapse of Jay Cooke & Co., the nation’s premier investment bank. Like many other firms, Cooke & Co. overextended itself by offering risky loans based on overvalued real estate. Cooke’s collapse… Read more

It is being reported that presidential candidate Michele Bachmann suffers from “incapacitating” migraine headaches.  The implication is that this disqualifies her from office.  Is this a concern?  Or an example of the punditocracy, having already discredited her religious background, being willing to bring up anything to damage the prospects of a conservative candidate? See Bachmann’s Headache | Stress-Related Condition | Pill Use | The Daily Caller, which broke the story, and The Fix at the Washington Post, which makes a… Read more

Remember our recent discussion about “Where are the Lutherans?”, responding to another blog complaining that Lutherans are invisible in the evangelical world?  Well, here is a post from Tullian Tchividjian.  He is a Reformed pastor, the grandson of Billy Graham and the successor to the late D. James Kennedy as pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian church.  He describes reading The Hammer of God  by the Swedish Lutheran bishop and novelist Bo Giertz.  The result?  A  “Copernican revolution” in his ministry: After sitting… Read more

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