Freedom and Government

To the list of great political theorists, I would like to add director John Ford. I’d like to raise for your consideration a comment I made on the “Who holds the deed to your house” post: We watched “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence” last night in my film class. The lawless “state of nature” does NOT promote private property or free enterprise. Rather, in that movie, the lawless cattle ranchers, with their power and gunslingers, were taking the property… Read more

The foreign money accusation

Election rhetoric has become gotcha-games of name-calling and insinuation, a matter of building up one’s own image and damaging the image of your opponent.  This debases the positive argumentation that is necessary for a democratic republic.  Yes, both sides do it.  The latest gambit is Democrats playing the xenophobia card, raising the sinister specter of foreigners buying the American election by funding Republicans, all without a shred of evidence. The President himself is doing this! George Will analyzes a charge… Read more

Wrestling with God

Our Scripture in church yesterday was another one of those enigmatic, yet profoundly evocative texts:  Jacob wrestling with the LORD (Genesis 32:22-30).  Pastor Douthwaite’s sermon, again, unfolded and applied it in some striking ways.  Read the whole sermon here:   St. Athanasius Lutheran Church: Pentecost 21 Sermon.  I will just quote a few sentences: We find out that God was there with Jacob. In fact, it was God who was wrestling with Jacob! God appearing in hostile form, in order to… Read more

Happy belated Cranach day!

Saturday, October 16, was the day the patron of this blog, Lucas Cranach, the artist of the Reformation, died in 1553, at the age of 81.  (His formal day of commemoration is April 6, set aside to honor him along with other Reformation-era artists, Albrecht Durer and Michelangelo.)  Read about him and contemplate his self-portrait in the sidebar to the right.  He embodies what we keep talking about when it comes to vocation. How should his day be celebrated? See… Read more

Oklahoma Sooners are #1

So say the computers, as the first BCS rating, which averages in the human polls with statistics on strength of schedule and other number crunching, has anointed my alma mater’s football team #1! Score an early round for Oklahoma. And for computers. The Sooners trail Oregon and Boise State in college football’s human-driven polls. But they posted higher computer ratings virtually across the board, and emerged Sunday atop the Bowl Championship Series’ first ratings of the season. Oregon came in… Read more

Reformation Week on “Issues, Etc.”

The web-based radio program Issues, Etc. is planning a special series of programs for an early Reformation week, October 18-22, at 5:00 p.m. Central Time. The structure is following the chapters of my book Spirituality of the Cross.  Here are the topics and the guests: October 18 – The Doctrine of Justification with Dr. Carl Fickenscher October 19 – The Means of Grace with Pastor Paul McCain October 20 – The Theology of the Cross with Dr. Scott Murray October… Read more


That’s how old I am today. I am at the end of the middle ages and one year from being ancient. (Notice how that goes through time backwards.) I remember the advent of the personal computer, the video-recorder, the microwave oven. I went off to college before my parents bought a color TV. I remember the collapse of communism, the moon landing, the assassination of JFK (and RFK and MLK). On the days after one memorable birthday, my 11th, I… Read more

Who holds the deed to your house?

You have probably heard of the moratorium on home foreclosures due to sloppy paperwork in the mortgage industry. But there is potentially a far bigger problem, one that may affect your own paid-up mortgage. A court in Kansas has ruled that the old practice of registering titles to property in the local courthouse is, in fact, the law of the land. This was largely ignored during the mortgage book, with its high-tech mortgage repackaging and speculating. Let’s let the New… Read more

Latest marriage findings

The news reports about this Pew Research study focuses on how more college graduates are getting married than non-college graduates, reversing an earlier trend. But there are a number of other curious findings: For the first time, adults are more likely to wed by the age of 30 if they obtained a bachelor’s degree than the young adults who have not, according to a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center. . . . The situation was more favorable… Read more

Blog arguments

Friends, way back on September 28–that’s last month, 16 days ago–I posted about our pastor’s sermon on a parable:  The Rich Man & Lazarus | Cranach: The Blog of Veith.  That innocent little post has now chalked up a record 422 comments at last count.  What happened is that a very heated debate broke out between Lutherans and non-Lutherans on the true meaning of John 20:23.  Before long, Luther was getting bashed, and non-Lutherans were getting bashed, and feelings were… Read more

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