The date of November 22, 1963—50 years ago tomorrow—is forever etched on the American consciousness as the date of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I imagine that most Americans remained in a state of shock beginning shortly after 12:30 p.m. (CT) that Friday, when Walter Cronkite broke the story, and into the long weekend which culminated in the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby on live television Sunday morning. I myself was only four years old at the time, and have no direct recollection of those days, but I felt their reverberations throughout the rest of the ’60s. It was such a momentous event, coming as it did at the height of Cold War and arousing suspicions that still persist, that I wouldn’t be surprised if it was some time before most Americans realized that President Kennedy was not the only important 20th century figure to die on the 22nd of that month.
I have sat in many-a-pew down through the years listening to an untold number of preachers, and on more than one occasion I have heard bold declarations that made me wonder what possible value they had for my Christian life, not to mention what possible connection they had to the rest of the message. Sometimes these homiletical gaffes can be chalked up to inexperience; other times…well, not so much. Continue reading
For quite some time now I have desired to read my way through two multi-volume Reformed systematic theologies: The Institutes of Elenctic Theology, by Francis Turretin (James T. Dennison, Jr., editor, George Musgrave Giger, translator, 3 volumes, [Phillipsburg, NJ, USA: P&R Publishing, 1992-1997]), and Reformed Dogmatics, by Herman Bavinck (John Bolt, editor, John Vriend, translator, [Grand Rapids, MI, USA: Baker Academic, 2003-2008]). Both are widely-acknowledged theological masterpieces. Continue reading
This is far from the first book to explore the history and mythology behind the relationship of Christianity to American culture and government. To apply a meteorological metaphor: the topic acts like a stationary front hovering just off our coast, but occasionally coming ashore visiting political gusts, cultural storms, and rare incidents of violent behavior upon our land. So much has been written that one hardly knows where to begin. Continue reading
With this post I am plunging into Plato’s (c. 424-c. 347 B.C.) classic, The Republic (c. 380 B.C.), the Greek name of which is Πολιτεία (Politeia), a word which generally refers to those things pertaining to citizenship or government, but in Plato focuses more on “civil polity, the condition or constitution of a state,” or “a form of government” (from the Liddel-Scott-Jones [LSJ] intermediate lexicon, H.G. Liddell, R. Scott, H.S. Jones and R. McKenzie, eds., An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, [Oxford, England, UK: At The Clarendon Press, 2001], 654). In Greek, Plato’s title is understood simply as “The State.” Continue reading
Normally books on addiction fall under the heading of psychology, medicine, or (most often) the ever-popular “self help.” The first word in that last category aptly summarizes the predominant focus and foundational value of the addiction literature genre, which has little if anything in common with any worldview that one might derive from Scripture. Continue reading