April 26, 2019

All the Democrats have to do to defeat Donald Trump is to hold onto the states won by Hillary Clinton and flip the historically-Democratic rust belt states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania that went for Trump.  That means winning over white blue collar voters, which used to be the party base but which has been supplanted by affluent liberals and the activists of identity politics.  Beating Trump is quite doable–unless Democrats, while denouncing Trump’s extremism and divisiveness, nominate a Trump… Read more

April 25, 2019

In the division of labor, different people do different kinds of work for each other, with each specialized task contributing to the common good.  The division of labor, with the means of exchange between each division, is a basic concept of economics.  For Plato, the division of labor is fundamental to society itself (The Republic, Book II).  Theologically, the concept calls to mind vocation, the way God ordained human life so that we must all serve each other. Kevin D…. Read more

April 24, 2019

There is anti-semitism.  There is Islamophobia.  A leader of Coptic Christianity, responding to the Sri Lanka church bombings, says that the world must also recognize “anti-Christianism.” From Christian Today (UK): The head of the UK Coptic Orthodox Church has called on faith communities to make a joint stand against “anti-Christianism”. Archbishop Angaelos made the appeal in the wake of horrific attacks on churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday in which at least 290 people died. He… Read more

April 23, 2019

First the Bible was read from long, continuous hand-written scrolls, one for each book.  Then pages were invented, and the new book-form of the codex made it possible for the still hand-copied and illuminated texts to be bound together in large volumes while making it easy to find specific passages.  Then the printing press was invented and the codex form could be mass-produced and made available to all.  Now we can read Bibles on electronic screens, whether on e-readers, computers,… Read more

April 22, 2019

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is iconic for lots of reasons.  Modernism began, according to Tom Oden, when the French revolutionaries in 1789 stripped the cathedral of its religious art and turned it into the “Temple of Reason” by installing in the bishop’s chair a prostitute symbolizing the “Goddess of Reason.”  So it’s hard to resist seeing the burning of Notre Dame–evidently caused by contemporary technology with an electrical short circuit compounded by a computer glitch–as likewise heralding a new… Read more

April 21, 2019

  Lucas Cranach the Younger, “The Resurrection of Christ,” Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=461782 Read more

April 19, 2019

  Michelangelo’s depiction of Mary holding the body of her dead Son, “The Pietà,” is one of the world’s greatest works of art.  I just read an essay by a woman who told how it was instrumental in her conversion to Christianity.  So I thought it would be appropriate to contemplate for Good Friday. One can appreciate the sculpture for its stunning artistry–how its 24-year-old artist makes stone drape like cloth; the dynamic triangular composition; the synthesis of classical form and… Read more

April 18, 2019

On this Maundy Thursday, when Christ instituted the Sacrament of His Body and Blood, it’s good to reflect on the significance of that gift.  Different theologies, of course, think of Holy Communion differently, but there would surely be a consensus that the sacraments work against the assumption that all we need is “spirituality,” which involves repudiating and escaping the material world. Christianity, unlike Eastern religions, has a high view of the material realm, with its doctrines of creation, incarnation, atonement,… Read more

April 17, 2019

Missionary Nik Ripken has written a moving account of Christians undergoing persecution in Muslim lands, drawing mainly from his experiences and inside contacts in Somalia.  The definitive act that sets apart Christians from Muslims and that invites persecution, he explains, is baptism. From Nik Ripken, Baptism: The Point of No Return: Within Islamic settings, Muslims equate baptism with salvation. Seekers from Islam investigating a relationship with Jesus Christ can explain away many of their activities. If they’re discovered reading the Bible,… Read more

April 16, 2019

In Great Britain, the LGBT+ ideology has free rein.  When a special curriculum promoting that ideology was implemented in Birmingham’s  public schools, conservative Christians didn’t like it, but that carried no weight.  Because of its teachings on transgenderism–that men must be accepted as women if they so choose–British feminists of the “trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERFs)” persuasion also opposed it.  But their objections carried no weight either.  But when the Muslim community rose up against it–pulling their children out of school… Read more

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