How bad is the flooding in Australia?

Sharks spotted swimming through flood-hit streets of Australian town. I worry what the flooding will mean for the habitat of Queensland’s salt water crocodiles–affectionally known as “salties”–one of the most dangerous creatures on earth. And we mustn’t forget the even deadlier floods in Brazil, which have, by last count, killed more than 500 people. Read more

The “I have a dream” speech

Happy Martin Luther King Day! Clarence Jones, an aide to Martin Luther King, Jr., recounts the background of the famous “I have a dream” speech, which really is a spectacular piece of oratory.  According to his account, Dr. King worked on a policy-type speech, showing it to a number of different individuals and getting their input.  But when he actually got up there at the Lincoln Memorial to speak, the great gospel singer Mahalia Jackson was in the crowd and… Read more

Ike’s warnings

Today is the 50th anniversary of President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address.  Ike was dismissed at the time as not being that great of a president, but historians now have rehabilitated his reputation and are realizing what a good president he really was. The Washington Post, which also printed a story about the composition of Martin Luther King’s famous speech (see my other blog entry) also printed an account of Ike’s farewell address written by  his granddaughter Susan Eisenhower: I’ve always… Read more

Packers/Bears; Steelers/Jets

The playoffs have gotten very interesting, especially for us Packer fans. Green Bay utterly destroyed top-seeded Atlanta. They never even had to punt! The Packers seem like a relentless machine. And now they will play their division arch-rivals the Chicago Bears, who defeated all of the ex-Packers in Seattle, with the prize a trip to the Super Bowl. Those teams both know each other very, very well. They split the two games they played this season, the last one being… Read more

The Incarnation is not enough

Yet another good sermon from Pastor Douthwaite: Last week we heard that after John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, the heavens opened, the Spirit of God descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove, and a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3:17). This week, we hear what John did and proclaimed after that. When he now sees Jesus, he points to Him and proclaims: “Behold, the Lamb… Read more

The Bible in one sentence

Dane Ortlund asked a number of prominent evangelical pastors and writers to sum up the Bible in one sentence.  Here is a sampling (see more at the link): Dan Block: God was so covenantally committed to the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him may have eternal life! Craig Blomberg: God is in the process of recreating the universe which has been corrupted by sin and has made it possible for all those… Read more

Why democracy is in trouble

Herbert London, a conservative academic drawing on Plato and others, gives six reasons why he thinks American democracy is in trouble: First, and perhaps most notably, a democratic republic depends on an educated populace and adherence to certain norms of behavior. It is evident, however, that Americans have a far greater interest in amusing themselves than in educating themselves. Even the extraordinary number of college graduates reveals little about educational attainment since so many are trained in incapacity. Many colleges… Read more

Forbidden descriptions

Now pundits are drawing back from their initial claims that Sarah Palin and company were responsible for the Tucson shootings, since it’s evident that the gunman Jared Loughner was simply mentally ill and never paid attention to political rhetoric.  But now they are attacking Palin for describing the way she was blamed for the killings as a “blood libel.” That phrase specifically refers to the old anti-semitic libel that Jews mix the blood of Christian children in their matzoh balls. … Read more

Theological bankruptcy

Christianity Today has a thoughtful editorial on the bankruptcy of the Crystal Cathedral and what that means (or should mean) for contemporary Christianity: This past October, the megachurch prototype of the late 20th century filed for bankruptcy. A 24 percent drop in donations and a $50-$100 million debt owed to more than 550 creditors forced the Crystal Cathedral to file. It was a poignant moment in the history of modern evangelicalism. Robert H. Schuller’s famous Crystal Cathedral was built on… Read more

Anger at God leads to atheism

Joe Carter reports on a study that shows that atheists are angry at a God they don’t believe exists.  Or, rather, their anger at God motivated them not to believe in Him: A new set of studies in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology finds that atheists and agnostics report anger toward God either in the past or anger focused on a hypothetical image of what they imagine God must be like. Julie Exline, a psychologist at Case Western… Read more

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