Sunday Inspiration from the High Calling: Is It Right to Rejoice When Injustice Is Avenged?

Is It Right to Rejoice when Injustice is Avenged? Psalm 58:1-11 The godly will rejoice when they see injustice avenged. They will wash their feet in the blood of the wicked. Psalm 58:10 A few days ago, the United States military killed Osama bin Laden, a mass murderer who was plotting the death of innocent [Read More...]

Tech Trends: E-Books Outsell Print Books at Amazon; Thumbs Up for Kindle!

Amazon's Kindle, 3rd edition

Well, it’s happened. It wasn’t unexpected. But it happened sooner than many pundits had predicted. The New York Times reports that Amazon since April 1, 2011, Amazon is selling more e-books than print books (hardcover and paperback combined). “We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this [Read More...]

Painted Bunting! Nature at Her Finest

A male painted bunting, front view.

I had a marvelous surprise this past week. While I was working away on my computer, my wife called to me: “Mark, did you see that bright red bird in the tree?” “Was it a cardinal?” I asked. “No,” she said, “it was smaller and even more brilliant red.” I grabbed my binoculars and camera [Read More...]

Don’t Worry About the End of the World! The Concealed Handgun Reception Will Go On!


Hey, there’s no reason to worry about the end of the world. While some folks are preparing for or worrying about the end of the world on May 21, the Convention & Community Center in my town of Boerne, Texas, will have business as usual. Check it out. On May 21st there will be: The [Read More...]

Centers for Disease Control: Be Prepared for a Zombie Apocalypse


The New York Times heading certainly got my attention: “Zombies Upstage a Routine Public Health Bulletin.”  This is the Times, for goodness’ sakes, not the Onion. Here’s how the story begins: Pity poor Tom Skinner, a top spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who has been valiantly trying to interest reporters in [Read More...]

Is the End Near? Is Tomorrow Judgment Day? When is the Kingdom of God Coming?

   A screenshot from the Family Radio website.

Is the End near? Is Judgment Day approaching? Will it come tomorrow? Harold Camping of Family Radio answers with an enthusiastic “Yes!” In fact, he is sure that tomorrow, May 21, 2011, will be the Day of Judgment, the day when the kingdom of God begins to come in all fulness. According to Camping, we’ll [Read More...]

Reading the Times: What’s Beyond Happiness?

John Tierney reports on a change of mind from the founder of the positive psychology movement. Here’s how his story begins: Is happiness overrated? Martin Seligman now thinks so, which may seem like an odd position for the founder of the positive psychology movement. As president of the American Pyschological Association in the late 1990s, [Read More...]

Where is the Kingdom of God? Is It In Your Heart?

Part 9 of series: What Was the Message of Jesus? On Monday, I began to consider the “location” of the kingdom of God. My first point was: 1. The kingdom of God is not what we call heaven. God’s reign surely encompasses what we call heaven. But when Jesus speaks of the kingdom of God, [Read More...]

Reading the Times: Poor Quality College Education; Internet Censored in Turkey

Your So-Called Education Sociologists Richard Arum (NYU) and Josipa Roksa (UVa) report on the discouraging findings from their study of undergraduate education. Parents, brace yourselves: We would be happy to join in the celebrations if it weren’t for our recent research, which raises doubts about the quality of undergraduate learning in the United States. Over [Read More...]

“There Is No Heaven” – What the Faith of Stephen Hawking Misses


In yesterday’s post, I began to consider the “faith” of Stephen Hawking. He expressed this faith in a recent interview with the Guardian: “I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I [Read More...]

Reading the Times: Religion and Financial Destiny; Hats off to Yale!

Yale University

Is Religion Your Financial Destiny? David Leonhardt reviews the recent findings of Pew survey. It finds a high correlation between certain relgious traditions and our financial status. Do you want to be well off? Better become a Reform Jew. Here’s a paragraph worthy of further consideration: Many factors are behind the discrepancies among religions, but [Read More...]

“There Is No Heaven” – The Faith of Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which leaves him almost paralyzed and in a wheel chair.

I am taking a slight detour from my series on the message of Jesus because of a fortuitous (providential?) coincidence. Yesterday, I asked: “Is the kingdom of God the same thing as heaven?” The answer, according to Jesus in the New Testament Gospels, is “No.”  Heaven is encompassed within God’s reign, but the kingdom of [Read More...]

Reading the Times: Facebook and Google with Egg On Their Faces

    Mark Zuckerberg

According to recent articles in the New York Times, Facebook and Google have egg-covered faces. Both digital giants, it seems, have been acting in ways that contradict their own pledges and policies. Facebook, Foe of Anonymity, is Forced to Explain a Secret According to Miguel Helft, Facebook, which prides itself on openness, has been engaged [Read More...]

Where is the Kingdom of God? Is It Heaven?

Heaven? No, this is just an In-N-Out restaurant in LAX in Los Angeles. But, when In-N-Out opened its first Texas restaurants last week, patrons had to wait in lines for hours. Did they think it was heaven? Or just that In-N-Out has heavenly food?

Part 8 of series: What Was the Message of Jesus? This post could have been entitled “Where the Kingdom of God is Not.” It deals with the first of two common misunderstandings of the kingdom of God as proclaimed by Jesus. I’ll address each of these, one today and one tomorrow, by stating something that [Read More...]

Sunday Inspiration from The High Calling: God is On Your Side

God Is On Your Side! Psalm 56:1-13 My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know: God is on my side! Psalm 56:9 In Psalm 56, David cries out to God for mercy because “people are hounding me. My foes attack me all day long” (56:1). In particular, David’s enemies [Read More...]

Reading the Times: Social Media in Class; Persecution of Christians in China

Students enjoy using cell phones in class

Speaking Up in Class, Silently, Using Social Media Trip Gabriel, writing for the New York Times, examines the growing use of social median in classrooms. Here’s an excerpt: With Twitter and other microblogging platforms, teachers from elementary schools to universities are setting up what is known as a “backchannel” in their classes. The real-time digital [Read More...]