Top cultural developments of 2010

What do you think were the most notable cultural events, trends, or developments of the fast-fading year? By “culture,” I mean any combination of “high culture” (notable novels, works of art), “pop culture” (mass produced work such as movies and popular music) and sociological culture (develops in our society, such as the new and increasing social acceptance of homosexuality). Read more

In defense of Christmas “materialism”

[It’s still Christmas. . . .] I keep reading articles and posts complaining about Christmas being too materialistic, criticizing all of the shopping and gift-giving.  Many Christians are indignant that non-believers have the presumption to celebrate our holiday.  Some are saying that we should just have two separate holidays, a spiritual one for Christians marking Christ’s birth and a materialistic Winter holiday for everyone else. I reject that!  I take the highest satisfaction when non-believers glorify Christ, even against their… Read more

The top news stories of 2010

The week before New Year’s Day is always a time of retrospection for me, in which I look back on the soon-to-pass year and contemplate what it means, from a number of different perspectives.  I invite you to help me do that.  In the days leading up to New Year’s, we’ll discuss different facets of 2010. First, let’s see what we can come up with in journalism’s annual wrap-up of the top news stories of 2010.  But with a twist: … Read more

Vocation vs. Churchianity

I love to see what happens when people discover Luther’s  doctrine of vocation.  Here Chaplain Mike at Internetmonk looks at St. Paul’s exhortation for the Christian life and contrasts it with what we hear from most pulpits today: Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to… Read more

Ngrams

You’ve got to check out the Google Ngram Viewer.  It allows you to tabulate, in the form of a graph, the number of times a word or phrase is mentioned in the vast number of titles in Google Books, from 1500-2000.   Those periods of time are statistically evened out, so that the far greater number of titles available in the last few decades does not overwhelm the relatively fewer number of titles in earlier centuries. This allows users to explore… Read more

The Christmas story in Revelation

[It’s still Christmas. . . .] Ray Hartwig, who holds the office of the Secretary of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, draws attention to a Christmas account in the Bible that gets hardly any notice.  It’s in the Book of Revelation: And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and… Read more

A great new drug called “placebo”

This reminds me of an old Steve Martin routine, when he played a “wild and crazy guy” in a white suit with a fake arrow through his head.  He was going on about how he found this new drug that gave a mind-blowing high.  It’s called “placebo.” Imagine your doctor gives you fake medication and tells you it’s nothing more than a sugar pill. Would it still work? Incredibly, according to a new study of patients with irritable bowel syndrome,… Read more

China will bail out Europe

Towards the Chinese Century and world domination: China has said it is willing to bail out debt-ridden countries in the euro zone using its $2.7trillion overseas investment fund. In a fresh humiliation for Europe, Foreign Ministry spokesman Jiang Yu said it was one of the most important areas for China’s foreign exchange investments. The country has already approached struggling European countries with financial aid, including offering to buy Greece’s debt in October and promising to buy $4billion of Portuguese government… Read more

A serious Christmas

We’ve been shaken by the death of our former colleague Kristine Luken. I’ve known lots of people who have died–by disease, by accidents–but I can’t think of anyone I’ve known who has been murdered. And as a missionary at the hands of terrorists of whatever variety. Also strange has been the “international incident” dimension, so that I’m reading about this in newspapers from all over the world. Now we’ve learned that the father-in-law of my brother Jimmy (who has been… Read more

Why December 25 is Christmas

As I keep posting about, Christmas on December 25 is NOT due to there being a pagan holiday on that day.  Repeat:  Christmas is NOT based on the Roman festival of Sol Invictus.  Substantial scholarship has shot down that theory, but we keep hearing it–in the press, in books that try to debunk Christianity, in churches that oppose following the church year, and even in some comments on this blog. Now the authoritative Biblical Archaeology Review weighs in, citing more… Read more

Follow Us!



Browse Our Archives