A Phantom Army at the Fall of Jerusalem

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In The Histories, Tacitus describes the supernatural events that accompanied the fall of Jerusalem to the armies of Titus in 70AD: Prodigies had occurred, which this nation, prone to superstition, but hating all religious rites, did not deem it lawful to expiate by offering and sacrifice. There had been seen hosts joining battle in the skies, the fiery [Read More...]

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Why Obama’s Rhetoric About Christian Violence Was a Problem

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Saturday morning I wrote some thoughts about why Obama was wrong to drag Christian sins into his speech condemning Islamic terror. I spent that afternoon debating my points on social media with Sam Rocha, Mark Shea, and others, so I thought I’d expand upon my rationale a bit. I don’t really write about contemporary political [Read More...]

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Why Obama Was Wrong About The Crusades

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I wrote something on the Crusades flap for Catholic World Report. Here’s the beginning: It’s not hard for President Obama to stir outrage. Six years into his presidency, all he has to do is speak to make the opposition angry. Sometimes it’s justified, sometimes not. At the National Prayer Breakfast, following his condemnation of ISIS [Read More...]

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A Game for Training Missionaries About Indigenous Cultures

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The World of Playing cards is a terrific site with reproductions of historic cards from around the world. Most recently, they  shared Snapshots: A Missionary Card Game from the Church Mission Society circa 1910. It’s described as a basic set-building game of 48 cards with 12 sets from representing different cultural practices around the world. Each set has four cards, [Read More...]

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Coventry Carol: A Bit of History

One of the things ultimately killed off in the English Reformation were the regional “mystery plays”: local pageant cycles in which the common folk performed dramatized Biblical stories. (The York cycle is the most famous.) Many of the surviving texts derive from the flowering of Middle English in the wake of Chaucer and Langland, and are of [Read More...]

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“It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God”

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I’ve been reading Ron Chernow’s remarkable George Washington: A Life, which makes a case that was once obvious: even with his flaws, George Washington was the greatest and most important man in our history. He was more than a great man, however: he was a good man, and a man of deep Christian faith who was [Read More...]

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Baal Cultic Complex Discovered in Israel

This is a pretty big find, and the connection to Baal seems likely: A massive cult complex, dating back about 3,300 years, has been discovered at the site of Tel Burna in Israel. While archaeologists have not fully excavated the cult complex, they can tell it was quite large, as the courtyard alone was 52 [Read More...]

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Remarkable Digital Reconstruction of the Palace of Ashurnasirpal II

The Metropolitan Museum of Art created this video flythrough of the spectacular Northwest Palace of Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (reigned: 883 to 859 BC) in the city alternately known as Numrud, Kalhu, and, in the Bible, Calah. The ruins are about 20 miles south of Mosul, Iraq. The palace walls were covered n reliefs (many of them [Read More...]

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