Archive for 'History'

LIFE TOGETHER:
The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community

LIFE TOGETHER: <br>The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community

The church has her fair share of critics. Some are unbelievers but others are spiritual leaders putting a noble spin on their points, as if their passion for intimacy with God is the reason they criticize the church, or leave her. Loving Jesus and serving the needy, some claim, are such full time jobs that little time is left to commit to a church with programs, services, budgets and “churchy” people. Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s classic Life Together (1937) takes a ...

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“What is Truth?”
(A Case Study in Pragmatic Politics)

“What is Truth?”<br>(A Case Study in Pragmatic Politics)

Pontius Pilate was a politician. He was the Roman governor of Judea and like many first century Romans, he was a pragmatist. His job was to keep the peace and he had five infantry cohorts and a cavalry regiment under his command (5,000 men) to maintain order.

The Jewish rulers who convicted Jesus of blasphemy needed Pilate’s authority to get a death sentence. And they were willing to disturb the peace. The accusations the chief priests, temple officers, scribes ...

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Our Puritan Parents

Our Puritan Parents

Many great things about America came through the Puritans. Below are a few of the torches they carried to their posterity. I share them not to idealize them (they were human) but to quicken our grip on a priceless legacy.

ADVENTUROUS LIVING!

Dr. Harry S. Stout, the Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Christianity at Yale University, said; “To understand the Puritans, you have to adopt their attitude that life is a great adventure.” They saw crossing the Atlantic (like the Red ...

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An Exceptional Heritage

An Exceptional Heritage

On September 10, 2013, President Obama made his case for using military force against Syria in response to internal war crimes. He closed it thusly: “I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional.”

Five years earlier, while overseas, Obama said: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” In other words, there is nothing exceptional about our belief that ...

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SAM HOUSTON (1793 – 1863)
“The Raven”

SAM HOUSTON (1793 – 1863) <br>“The Raven”

At the Battle of Horseshoe Bend during the War of 1812, a young Sam Houston (all 6’3” of him) charged through withering fire into hand-to-hand combat, sustaining a near-mortal wound. He and others tried repeatedly to wrench a long arrow out of his thigh until a final attempt succeeded leaving him in a pool of his own blood. When General Jackson called for another assault, the severely injured and badly limping Houston roused himself with musket in hand to lead ...

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Dan Quayle is no Jack Kennedy

Dan Quayle is no Jack Kennedy

(A Profile in Moral Courage)

Then Senator Dan Quayle was 41 when he ran for Vice President in 1988. So, it was legitimate to question his readiness to hold high office and it was legitimate for Quayle (in the 1988 VP debate) to confidently and correctly point out that he and Jack Kennedy (JFK) had spent the same amount of time serving in congress prior to running for high office.

Benson responded; “Senator, I served with Jack ...

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Presidential Greats

Presidential Greats

This February, let us honor three great Americans who profoundly define the American spirit.

President Ronald Reagan’s birthday – February 6, 1911
President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday – February 12, 1809
President George Washington’s birthday – February 22, 1732


Ronald Reagan's official portrait

Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004)

In the 1990s, I saw ...

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The Renaissance: A Short History Book Review

The Renaissance: A Short History Book Review

Johnson, Paul. The Renaissance: A Short History. USA: Modern Library, 2002.


If you are interested in the dynamics of cultural rebirth, read Paul Johnson’s short history of The Renaissance, a period from the 14th to the 17th century A.D. that moved Western culture toward a greater love of knowledge, beauty ...

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