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

A Christmas Sermon From Luther (sort of)

Hear the estimable Rod Rosenbladt preach a Christmas sermon that consists of Luther’s writings on the subject, as constructed by Luther scholar Roland Bainton: Dad Rod Thursdays – A Christmas Sermon From Luther – White Horse Inn Blog. HT:  Justin Taylor Read more

Christmas tree as a “dangerous, rash act”

North Korea has backed off of its military threats, after shelling South Korean territory, but the South Koreans are still angry and defiant.  In addition to mobilizing their military, the South Koreans have resumed a practice that had been halted for seven years out of deference to the North’s sensibilities.  The South Koreans have allowed the lighting of a giant Christmas tree within sight of  communist territory.  The atheist regime is outraged. As troops stood guard and a choir sang… Read more

Negative rights vs. Positive rights

E. Thomas McClanahan explains an important distinction in the context of the health care reform law and the economic turmoil in Europe: During the health care debate, it was common to hear people piously assert that health care should be a right, perhaps unaware of the full implications. The ongoing strikes and riots in Europe, however, represent the long-term risks of the progressive vision, in which government-delivered social benefits are portrayed as personal rights. No wonder they’re rioting in Europe…. Read more

Quarter of Army recruits can’t pass entrance exam

We apparently no longer have universal education in this country.  Even high school graduates cannot be assumed to have even the most basic educational skills.  That’s what the army is finding.  At least the army is maintaining its educational standards: Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can’t answer basic math, science and reading questions, according to a new… Read more

Suspects arrested in murder of our friend

Thanks to Tom Hering for this update to my post about the murder of our friend, a missionary in Israel: Two men allegedly involved in the stabbing of two women, one fatally, near Beit Shemesh on Saturday have been apprehended. Police are maintaining a media blackout on the investigation, though they said they believe the attack was nationalistically motivated and not a random act of violence. Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday night that no… Read more

Social capital

We’re in Oklahoma for the Christmas holidays, traveling around visiting relatives and revisiting the places of our past.  Part of it has me feeling melancholy, as I see beloved locations rich with memory falling into neglect, disrepair, and decay. My wife, who has been studying the social sciences, introduced me to a term that helps me understand what I am seeing:  Social capital.  This refers to what builds up a sense of community, relationships with neighbors, and social networks.   The… Read more

Reapportionment Favors Republicans

The constitutionally-mandated reappportionment of congressional delegates (and thus electoral votes) according to the latest census is looking good for Republicans. States gaining Congressional seats: Arizona (1), Florida (2), Georgia (1), Nevada (1), South Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1). States losing Congressional seats: Illinois (1), Iowa (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), New York (2), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (1). via Pajamas Media » Reapportionment Favors the Red States. Of those gaining representatives,… Read more

Someone I know has been martyred!

That American tourist who was murdered in Israel–I knew her!  Kristine Luken.  She worked for Patrick Henry College for awhile, helping us with accreditation issues.  (She had previously worked for the Department of Education as a liason with colleges.)  She became friends with my wife.  A Jewish convert to Christianity, Kristine began to feel a strong calling to go to England to work with a ministry there involved with evangelizing Jews.  That was surely a calling to her martyrdom. Kristine… Read more

Brits to take on internet porn

Great Britain’s new get-serious coalition government is concerned with the sexualization of children and may have found a way to thwart internet pornography.  Instead of setting up systems to “opt out” of certain kinds of content, adult users would have to “opt in” before  getting access to pornography. THE UK Government is to combat the early sexualization of children by blocking internet pornography unless parents request it, it was revealed today. The move is intended to ensure that children are… Read more

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