March 15, 2011

“Justice!”  the man shouted.  I demand justice.  It’s a frequent cry these days in a world of all sorts of injustice, and the temptation is to take the law into our own hands.   But the Bible tells us that will come to no good end.  Indeed the Bible says that God declares “vengeance is mine. I will repay.”  In other words the justice issues should be left by Christians in God’s hands.  But when we think of justice from a… Read more

March 14, 2011

(Disclaimer:   The following verbatim of the live press conference has various typos and errors in it, nonetheless, it is of value to give a strong sense of the discussion about the Pope’s new book.   So, wade through the errors of the transcriber, and see what you think).  BW3 Besides reading the transcript below, you can listen to the tele-conference at this link. http://www.ignatius.com/promotions/jesus-of-nazareth/ Maximus Group Moderator:    Alexis Walkenstein March 9, 2011 2:00 p.m. ET Operator:               Good afternoon my name is… Read more

March 13, 2011

Steven Saylor, Empire. The Novel of Imperial Rome, (St. Martin’s Press, 2010), 589 pages  $25.99 (hardback edition).   There are a number of excellent novelist whose baileywick is the ancient Roman world,  including Lindsey Davies and Colleen  McCullough,  but for my money none are better writers, or better informed about the period than Steven Saylor.   It is a difficult thing to cover ground other writers have covered rather well, and bring something entirely fresh to the account,  but Saylor manages… Read more

March 12, 2011

Paul Simon is one of our most masterful song writers and singers, and has been for about 50 years.  His new CD, besides have a gorgeous double helix cover, is loaded with discussions about God, the Afterlife, eternal love and angels, and includes excerpts from a famous sermon.   See his comments in the video  below. Read more

March 11, 2011

The phone rang, the email came, and a book landed on my doorstep last week.   Now this happens all the time at this household, but this book was different.  It was the proofs of the new book by Pope Benedict on the life of Jesus, entitled Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week:  From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection  (St. Ignatius Press, 2011, 362 pages, $14.67 in hardback).   What was extraordinary about the contact was that the publicist or press… Read more

March 10, 2011

Certainly one of the major trends in my life time, is the coarsening of the culture broadly speaking.  We have TV shows that could never have made it on the air, movies that could never have made it in the theaters,  and pornography all over the internet, which would long ago have been banned from the internet, had the internet begun in say,  1951 when I was born.   Not only so but civil discourse on politics has degenerated into shock… Read more

March 9, 2011

One of my former Asbury Seminary students, who is a violinist, came up to me in church this morning so excited.  She had met the master  (no not that Jewish Master, another Jewish master— musician) and gotten his autograph. She was simply bubbling over with joy.   I must admit I was as well after seeing him perform from the third row last Saturday night in Singletary auditorium in Lexington. The story of Itzak Perlman is a moving one.  Born in… Read more

March 8, 2011

Moyer V. Hubbard,  Christianity in the Greco-Roman World. A Narrative Introduction, (Baker, 2010), 344 pages,  $24.99. There are books which are coal mines, all you get out of them is stuff that quickly burns up— lots of heat, not much light, and too much blown smoke.   And you end up with soot on your hands.   Then there are books that are like tin mines— yes, they are useful, but its not the most precious metal and frankly its too… Read more

March 7, 2011

 Greg Bandy from Asbury University called me, and asked me to join a preview of this movie over a week ago.  Unfortunately I was on a plane to New Orleans when it was being shown.  There were no divine adjustments in my schedule permitting me to see it then.   And that brings us to our movie, which is well worth the time and money to see.   Is it about predestination?  Well,  not exactly, though it has been billed that way.  … Read more

March 6, 2011

I have seen some strange movies in my time.  You have to understand I grew up watching the Twilight Zone, so I know strange when I see it—– and Rango is got to be the strangest animated film posing as a children’s movie I have ever seen.  It is cast as a Western, albeit a Western set in modernity, so there is a tiny 19th century style town called Dirt, and the Mayor has a plot and a plan to buy… Read more

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