My Musings

Top Ten Classic Paintings

Top Ten Classic Paintings

I may want to change this list tomorrow, but for today, here are the ten greatest paintings of all time, in my humble opinion.

  1. Samson (and Delilah), 1887, by Solomon Joseph Solomon (English, 1860-1927), oil on canvas, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. See Judges 16. Samson is under intense assault by Philistines as the delighted, vindictive Delilah taunts him with his severed hair in her hand.
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So Goes the Church

So Goes the Church

America is currently experiencing a decline in church attendance and health. Buildings are being sold, young people are bolting and biblical literacy is evaporating. With sincere concern, many are rearranging deck chairs as the ship continues to sink. Some seek a more polished strategy to stem the decline but in many cases, it doesn’t. Others feel helpless and sing, “Nearer my God to Thee.”

Is the Church the Culprit?

In the face of tumultuous change, many churches turned inward and ...

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A Full 180

A Full 180

What sort of fruit grows on a tree of “the knowledge of good and evil?” What looked so irresistible to Eve that it made her disobey God? Was it an apple, a pear, a pomegranate or what?

Wrong question. The fruit (undoubtedly delicious) did not produce the sin. Something went wrong deep inside the hearts of Adam and Eve when they fell for the forbidden fruit. Eve tried to blame the serpent and Adam blamed Eve, but in fact, they ...

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We Must Discriminate!

We Must Discriminate!

A shocking magazine cover on display in a public bookstore in Minnesota a few years ago featured a man with both arms raised and the middle finger of both hands raised higher. I approached the information desk and asked the manager, “Do you intend to keep this crass cover on public display?”

A clerk trying to impress his manager proudly replied, “Yes, we don’t discriminate! We have gay magazines, sex magazines and so on. If we took this one down, ...

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Politics or Principle?

Politics or Principle?

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama said, “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian … it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”

When he reversed this position for the 2012 campaign, no one asked if he still thought marriage was a “sacred union” or if God was still in the mix. Over 16 years, Obama went from supporting same-sex marriage, to being “undecided,” to ...

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[Not] Going to Heaven, Part III

[Not] Going to Heaven,  Part III

Having performed countless funerals over 30 years, I can say that the idea of not going to heaven is one that rarely occurs to most people anymore. Most Americans think that all we have to do to go to heaven is to expire. The idea that accountability for sin, absent repentance, extends beyond this life is becoming rare. In the Bible, however, it is clear:


“Each of us will give an account of himself to God.”
(Paul, Romans 14:12).

The Christian ...

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Going to Heaven, Part II

Going to Heaven, Part II

The same professor who told me it is egocentric to want to go to heaven when you die (see Going to Heaven, Part I) proceeded to ask me where heaven is—not that he wanted to go, mind you. It’s not often a man asks for directions, so I opened up my “map” to help me reply. The thoughts below are adapted from my response.

Picturing Heaven

Sometimes, the Bible uses fixed terms for heaven (a place with “pillars”, “foundations”, “gates”, ...

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Going to Heaven, Part I

Going to Heaven, Part I

This came to me in a personal e-mail from a Stanford University professor:

    I view the focus on going to heaven as a selfish aspect of Christian faith that I refuse to embrace…l I’m not convinced that what matters MOST is going to heaven, not if that leads to hell on earth.

POW returning home

Is it selfish ...

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America’s First Lady!

America’s First Lady!

She was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to a riverboat engineer and his musician wife in 1898. She learned to love music and wanted to teach it. In 1918, a voice contest intercepted her and sent her on an amazing journey through Chicago, New York, and Hollywood.

Near the end of her journey, in 1985, Irene Marie Dunne (1898 – 1990) was awarded the highest possible honor bestowed upon a performing artist for her contributions to the arts and humanities: The ...

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Post Valentine’s Day Reflections

Post Valentine’s Day Reflections

CHOCOLATE LOVE:

With Valentine’s Day behind us, rose petals falling and the chocolate running out, let’s take a second look at how we use the word “love” these days.

To describe our feelings for a dog, a daughter, a dad, a deity, or the décor in our home, the word “love” often comes to mind. It doesn’t matter how deep our commitment is, we just love it! Even if something does not exist, we can still “love” it (or “her” as ...

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