July 26, 2019

The Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth long venerated as the burial shroud of Jesus Christ.  The blood-stained cloth bears an image–later discovered to be, in effect, a photographic negative–of a man who had been crucified. Physicians confirmed that the image showed an actual scourged and human body that had been nailed to a cross and stabbed with a spear.  Archaeologists, historians,  and pollen experts placed the artifact in ancient Palestine.  In 1981 researchers said that the image is… Read more

July 25, 2019

Ernst Lohmeyer (1890-1946) was a Lutheran pastor and scholar in Hitler’s Germany.  He opposed the Nazis–particularly the “German Christian” movement that sought to purge Christianity of its “Jewish” elements (that is, the Bible)–and after the war opposed the Communists, who took over where he lived in East Germany.  The Nazis sent him to the Eastern Front.  The Communists murdered him. The theologian James R. Edwards tells his story in a new book entitled Between the Swastika and the Sickle: The Life, Disappearance, and… Read more

July 24, 2019

High tech entrepreneur Elon Musk–who has given us PayPal, Tesla, the Hyperloop, and SpaceX–is also the founder of Neuralink, which seeks to connect human brains directly to computers.  He has announced plans to begin implanting computer chips into human brains as early as next year. Musk believes that a brain/computer interface can treat brain disorders, but his bigger agenda is to solve what he thinks is the threat of Artificial Intelligence, which he worries has the potential of taking over… Read more

July 23, 2019

    I received a review copy of a new Bible translation:  the Evangelical Heritage Version.  It is the work of a group of scholars, pastors, and laypeople associated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) and is being published by Northwestern Publishing House. The translators say that the EHV is not intended just as a “Lutheran Bible,” but that–like Luther’s pioneering translation which served as a model for the whole array of vernacular… Read more

July 22, 2019

Many young adults, artists, and intellectuals feel a need to rebel against the dominant society.  This manifests itself in “transgressive” styles–attempts to defy, shock, and outrage the conventional culture.  This impulse has given us the “bohemian” lifestyle of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the “sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll” youth culture of the 1960s, the blasphemous art of the late 20th century, and the whole array of punk, goth, queer, and hipster sub-cultures today. But how are those transgressive anymore? … Read more

July 19, 2019

The oldest Christian document from Greco-Roman Egypt, apart from the Bible, is a letter written in 230 A.D.  It gives a brief but vivid picture of life in a Christian family in the days of the early church.  In some ways, it goes against the conventional picture of Christians in the Roman Empire, suggesting some applications for Christians today.  Including the centrality of vocation. The manuscript, written in Greek, is part of a large collection of ancient manuscripts in Basel,… Read more

July 18, 2019

When you went on family vacations, did you visit historic landmarks?  Did your parents take you–or did you take your children–to Civil War battlefields, the restored houses of prominent Americans, and the sites where great events took place?  Have you been to Colonial Williamsburg, Independence Hall, Plymouth Plantation, Lincoln’s Tomb, or Mt. Vernon?  Have you seen the Liberty Bell, the U.S.S. Constitution, the Battleship Missouri?  Have you been to presidential libraries, museums about national or local history, period villages populated… Read more

July 17, 2019

When we were raising our children, there were some words that we did not allow to be spoken in our house.  One was the F-word:  “Fair.”  As in, “That’s not fair that he gets to go to bed later than I do!”  Such a claim would result in a discourse from me on the nature of justice:  “Justice does not mean getting what you want, which you seem to assume, but getting what you deserve.  What have you done to… Read more

July 16, 2019

The New York Times put out a video op-ed on the “mythology” of American greatness, maintaining that since other countries are also free and some have better standards of living than we do, America is not “great,” just “OK.”  In the course of his response to that video, in which he basically takes apart its argument and the assumptions behind it, columnist Marc Thiessen cites some facts that I hadn’t realized. Today, he says, a majority of the world’s nations are… Read more

July 15, 2019

Billionaire hedge-fund manager Jeffrey Epstein has been indicted by New York federal prosecutors for the sex-trafficking of children.  He is charged with molesting underaged girls–some as young as 14–and making them part of a sex network.  This is not just another case of a prominent individual behaving badly.  Epstein made the girls available to wealthy businessmen, celebrities, and politicians. Epstein would reportedly fly guests on his private jet to sex parties at his various residences around the world.  His Boeing… Read more

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