January 2, 2019

I missed Holy Innocents Day on December 28, which commemorates King Herod’s slaughter of the infants of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16-18) in a vain attempt to kill the Christ child!  This has become a day in the church year to reflect on the evil of abortion in our time. I came across a thought-provoking article on the subject in the Catholic World Report.  The author, Peter Stravinskas, makes connections between the rage of Herod and the rage of pro-abortion advocates.  He makes good use… Read more

January 1, 2019

How felicitous it is that the secular holiday New Year’s Day is also the day of the church year dedicated to the Name of Jesus!  Beginning the year in the name of Jesus is quite appropriate. On the seventh day after His birth (hence, seven days after Christmas), the baby Jesus was circumcised–entering into the covenant of God’s people, an action parallel in the church to infant baptism–whereupon He was officially given His name. The angel was very specific when… Read more

January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!  It is now the Year of the Lord 2019!  What do you think will happen this year?  Today, New Year’s Day, in addition to watching the Rose Bowl Parade, recovering from the previous night’s revelry, and eating your regional good-luck food (black-eyed peas here in Oklahoma), we celebrate by making predictions. Our annual contest begins.  Here are my explanations from last year: The custom on this blog on New Years Day is for readers to predict what… Read more

December 31, 2018

It’s New Year’s Eve, the last day of the year, when the ball drops in Times Square and the Cranach blog reviews readers’ predictions for the year just past.  This exercise culminates in awarding the virtual, nonexistent traveling trophy for the best prediction of them all. The predictions for 2018–you can see them here–were thoughtful and, though most were wrong, were not too far wrong.  A number dealt with the Mueller investigation, which is still dragging on, so we don’t… Read more

December 31, 2018

I am saddened at the death of Bre Payton, one of my students at Patrick Henry College, who became a superstar writer at The Federalist.  She died suddenly from swine flu.  She was only 26! I appreciate the tributes she is receiving, including writeups in the New York Times, BBC, CNN, and Fox.  (See especially what her Federalist colleagues have to say about her: this and this.)  She was a fine example of a Christian who lived out her faith in vocation. … Read more

December 28, 2018

Lots of people make predictions, but few check them for accuracy.  We here at the Cranach Institute do!  Be here on Monday for our review of the 2018 predictions made at this blog, at which time we will also virtually crown the winner of the best prediction.  And be here Tuesday to make your predictions for 2019, in hopes of winning the competition on the next New Year’s Eve. In the meantime, Zack Stanton and Derek Robertson at Politico have also… Read more

December 27, 2018

This is the time of year for retrospectives, for journalists to look back on the top stories of the year.  What strikes me is how different the lists are.  And what they reveal about those who make them. Consider the Associated Press list.  The AP is the leading American news agency, providing stories syndicated to virtually all of the country’s newspapers, television networks, radio stations, and online news sources.  So the AP list, which is voted on by the nation’s… Read more

December 26, 2018

Merry second-day-of-Christmas, a.k.a. Boxing Day, a.k.a. Two Turtle Doves Day!  The week between Christmas and New Years’ is a good time to look back on the year that has gone before and to look forward to whatever might be next. We’ll do that on the Cranach blog, building up to one of the great contests of the blogosphere:  Our readers’ annual predictions for the New Year and our virtual prize to whoever had the best prediction for the Old Year…. Read more

December 26, 2018

Looking back on 2018 and ahead to 2019 for President Trump, it appears his presidency has transitioned to a new phase. The Generals who were supposed to give President Trump their guidance, the benefit of their experience, and their wisdom are all gone.  Former national security advisor Gen. Flynn is headed to jail, a victim of the Mueller probe.  Gen. Kelly, the president’s chief of staff who was supposed to bring order to the White House staff as the “adult… Read more

December 25, 2018

We hear Christmas songs during Advent, so here is an Advent Song for Christmas:  O Lord, How Shall I Meet You by the unutterably great hymn writer Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676).   My Christmas gift to you! I wasn’t that familiar with this hymn, but our pastor started the practice of featuring a hymn, then having us sing it every Sunday for a number of successive weeks so that we make it our own.  We sang this one every Sunday in Advent, but… Read more

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