There are many permutations of where a person can stand politically. Texas congressman Ron Paul, who has just raised a boatload of money, is running for the GOP presidential nomination as a socially-conservative, pro-life libertarian. He is anti-Iraq war and anti-illegal immigration. He is a champion of civil liberties and of limited government. He believes that the government should do nothing that is not specified in the constitution. And he is an active, conservative Christian, raised as an ELCA Lutheran… Read more

Well, evil won over good in the Patriot’s victory over the Colts, so Western civilization is doomed, but we already knew that. Meanwhile, the Packers have the same record as the Colts, with Brett Favre enjoying a remarkable second wind in his stellar career. As an Oklahoma Sooner, I am proud of how team-alumnus Adrian Peterson broke the NFL single-gamerushing record by pouring on 296 yards for the Vikings, and this as a mere rookie! Another ex-Sooner distinguishing himself is… Read more

I observed, as an outsider and a guest, a congregational voters’ meeting that was trying to decide whether to call as their school’s principal a pastor or a teacher. Strangely missing from the discussion was the doctrine of vocation. A member asked me to blog about this, so as to solicit my readers’ famous insights. An earlier version of this post gave my views, but I decided to cut them out for now. What do you think? In light of… Read more

How good it was to be back at our congregation on Sunday, after a spate of weekend travelling. We celebrated the feast of All Saints’ Day, singing that great Ralph Vaughn Williams hymn “For All the Saints” with what for me has always been a striking line, speaking of the great company of saints in Heaven: “We feeble struggle; they in glory shine.” Our Pastor reminded us, though, that, according to the day’s text from Revelation, they too were only… Read more

I have written elsewhere about how our martial spirit–so common in nations of the past–has been sublimated into sports. We are allowed to support our troops only by pitying them, not celebrating their prowess when they kill their enemies. But we can celebrate the victories and even the brutality of our sports teams. Here is a perfect illustration, a terrific sports column by Sally Jenkins on the New England Patriots, whose clash with the also undefeated Indianapolis Colts should be… Read more

The global revival of Islam is more than just jihadi terrorists. The other facet is untold oil wealth, which translates into power. Yes, the jidhadists despise the authoritarian sheiks, but the scale of the latter’s riches is staggering. Read this about the emirate of Dubai. Then go here for a slide show of its grandiose, opulent, and rather creepy architecture, including plans for the world’s tallest building, all designed by the world’s most cutting-edge postmodernist architects and built on the… Read more

One of the biggest selling novels in Turkey is entitled Metal Storm, which imagines a war between the United States and Turkey. The war is precipitated by Kurdish terrorists from Iraq, as in recent real-life developments, but it is motivated by the Americans’ desire to conquer the world (with a sinister “evangelical Christian” president advised by the evil Condoleeza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld). After suffering terrible devastation from U.S. bombing, a coalition of Russia and the European Union block the… Read more

Apple is sponsoring a filmmaking contest in which, at a certain time, specific requirements are posted (the film must show a park bench, use an edit known as a match cut, etc.). Entrants then have 24 hours to make a 3-minute movie. They submit it online, then the world watches it and rates it. Those that rate the best get a laptop and a viewing from Hollywood professionals. Some of my students did an entry and you’ve got to see… Read more

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On the old site, we blogged about a church growth guru who came to admit that contemporary worship is NOT an effective evangelism tool. Now, the church growth pioneer, Bill Hybel of Willow Creek, is admitting that his techniques for building megachurches do NOT make for mature Christians. That confession is in a new book by Willow Creek staff members Greg L. Hawkins and Cally Parkinson entitled <a href="Reveal Where Are You?”>Reveal Where Are You?. Says Hybels: Some of the… Read more

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