December 14, 2015

Animals, I assume, are literalists. Metaphors, analogies: animals just don’t get them. I tried a few on my dog. No success. Culture is just lost on him. I’ve observed that philistines are literalists too. (I’ll let you make the connection.) There is something philistine to Protestantism, at least in its lowest expressions. I suppose that has something to do with being against things, i.e. “protesting”. The finer arts tend to be for things; they’re allusive. There’s a “this is that”ness about them. And… Read more

December 11, 2015

If you’re the sort of person who believes that the universe is hermetically sealed, with God, if there is a God, on the outside, nothing I am about to say will speak to you because what I am about to talk about is the Virgin Birth. I was asked to address the Virgin Birth a little while ago by a group of believers and their curious friends and the time of my delivery is at hand. As I thought about… Read more

December 9, 2015

“Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow, Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow. None has ever caught him yet, for Tom, he is the master: His songs are stronger songs, and his feet are faster.” Rod Dreher is well known for his interest in the Benedict Option. I share that interest, but there are times I despair for it. It’s a group effort after all. But what do you do when you’re group-less, when you’re as… Read more

December 7, 2015

I never pulled it off. When Jesus did it it wasn’t just a wonder; it was a sign. I didn’t see that until someone directed me to Revelation 21:1, “…and the sea was no more.” (ESV) That was an “Aha!” moment for me. My mind flew back to the second verse in Genesis, “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the… Read more

December 4, 2015

Grudgingly, I am coming to accept that you don’t choose the place; the place chooses you. I’ve moved around a lot during my time on the planet, first as luggage, then as the guy with the luggage. But I’ve been sitting on the same spot for the last ten years or so. The spot is in the Connecticut River valley, the rusted heart of industrial New England. The mills are largely gone; the gun makers are leaving, and if we… Read more

December 3, 2015

I’m not a fan of Ask This Old House, the spin-off of the PBS home improvement program, This Old House. Formerly the companion series to This Old House was The New Yankee Workshop, hosted by master carpenter Norm Abram of, you guessed it, This Old House. I enjoyed The New Yankee Workshop, partly for the avuncular Norm Abram, but also for the craftsmanship on display. I remember an episode in which Norm made a roll-top desk. (If that does not… Read more

December 2, 2015

Recently some astronomers discovered two earth-sized planets orbiting Kepler-20, a star roughly 1,000 light years away. Congratulations to them; their detective work was nearly as awe-inspiring as the news. A flurry of articles followed the find, speculating on the nature of these worlds, along with a little speculation on whether or not we will ever get to them for some firsthand research. Almost immediately another flurry followed, speculating on the significance of the find for our world. Predictably, the religious… Read more

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