April 15, 2019

The events commemorated in Holy Week, which began yesterday, are not just ancient history.  We need to take them personally because, by virtue of our baptism and faith in Christ, we are connected to those events. The words of the old spiritual ask, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord? . . .Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?. . . Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb? . . .Were you there… Read more

April 12, 2019

Did you know that our military has the capability of shooting down artillery shells?  Even small, close-distance mortar shells?  This staggering technology has been used in Iraq and Afghanistan, saving countless lives.  This also represents a new phase in military history, with its constant pattern of developing new offensive weapons and then defensive weapons to counter them. I’m visiting my cousin, Bob Foote, a retired engineering professor who served at West Point, who sometimes comments on this blog.  He was… Read more

April 11, 2019

We used to think that science is reductionistic, that once we have a “scientific” explanation we now understand it, the mystery is banished, it’s no longer a big deal, and we can move on.  But now science has come so far that the more we understand the physical world, the more mysterious it becomes.   I am currently awestruck that scientists have photographed a black hole–described as “perhaps the most profoundly mysterious objects in the universe”–and that we can actually see one… Read more

April 10, 2019

Can Christians build a perfect society on earth?  If not, does that mean that we do nothing to battle the evils in society and improve the world around us?  Shouldn’t we at least try?  How about in our personal lives?  We must strive to obey God, yet our sinful nature often spoils our best efforts.  How can we function in this fallen world without succumbing to its pressures, rejecting our this-worldly  responsibilities, or repudiating God’s creation? Marc LiVecche, the executive… Read more

April 9, 2019

One of the differences in Western Christianity, in both its Catholic and Protestant versions, and Eastern Christianity, the Orthodox tradition, is their positions on the relationship between the church and the state.  Specifically, Orthodoxy emphasizes a radical submission to the earthly rulers.  Whereas in Western Christianity, Christians often defy the state. So says Mark Tooley in an interesting article in an interesting journal, Providence:  A Journal of Christianity & American Foreign Policy. From Tyranny and Russian Orthodoxy: In the West, the church… Read more

April 8, 2019

Amazon Prime is producing a television series based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, a prequel to The Lord of the Rings, drawing on the author’s voluminous tales of his imaginary world. Amazon paid the Tolkien estate $250 million for the rights, and the budget for the series is reportedly $1 billion, making it the most expensive project in television history. The production is underway, and the show is slated to be released for streaming on Prime in 2021.  Five… Read more

April 6, 2019

April 6 is the Day of Commemoration in the Lutheran calendar for artists Lucas Cranach (1472-1557) and Albrecht Dürer (b. 1471, who died on April 6, 1528).  (Anglicans honor them, along with Matthias Grünewald, on August 5).  Since Cranach is the patron of this blog, we need to celebrate today! These Christian artists not only made significant contributions to Western art, they also expressed the faith and the worldview of the Reformation. Rev. Joshua Pfeiffer, pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Adelaide, Australia,… Read more

April 5, 2019

Knud Skov, a confessional Lutheran from Denmark, sent me an essay that he had written about the origins of current assumptions about oppression, sex, and gender.  I thought that what he says about the Frankfurt School, Michel Foucault, and Judith Butler would be of interest to all of my readers.  He gave me permission to post the essay in its entirety. Knud works with Lutheran Mission, an Inner Mission organization (recall my blog posts about Scandinavian Christianity).  He is a… Read more

April 4, 2019

Writer and radio host Dennis Prager has written a hilarious–but also dead serious–essay entitled How the Left Keeps Me Religious. Prager, who is Jewish, said that he isn’t a particularly “spiritual” person.  But that the Godless left puts forward such absurd beliefs, is so morally blind, and is so creatively bankrupt, that he has become convinced that there must be a God after all, and that religion–which has a far better record–must be true. Read the whole essay, published by National… Read more

April 3, 2019

The United States of America is not a democracy.  And it was never supposed to be.  Our constitutional order has built in protections against majority rule, lest the greater numbers run roughshod over individuals, minorities, and holders of unpopular ideas.  Among those safeguards against democracy are the electoral college, the Senate, the Bill of Rights, and the Supreme Court.  Currently, Democratic presidential candidates, in accord with the name of their party, are calling for all of these constitutional protections to… Read more

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