Category: Bookish Stuff


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The Two Most Obvious Facts of Life

Here’s my ex-temp ramble in response to the line “momentum succumbs to entropy” seen elsewhere … “On the one hand … but then on the other hand …” + and you can say entropy succumbs...

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Should We Promote a Biblical Worldview or Holy Hearts? Is There a Difference?

This is my response to a comment about a certain church’s Christian – or Biblical – Worldview training. The original post was at “SlopeSitter’s” new blog.   Hey, nice to find this blog! Yes....

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“Faith … a Busy, Active, Powerful Thing” – Luther

Martin Luther apparently liked to write about faith. Do we not have to admit that faith in the ever-active, ever-creative, ever-loving, ever-redeeming God of the Bible would quickly produce some repurcussions of good-will in the...

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God – Comfort and Radical Challenger

Here’s a 24-year old (“Jeff G.”) talking about his relationship with God. God, for me, is like someone who’s already up when you’ve come downstairs in the morning and you’re stumbling to get...

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Reputation: Portraits in Power [a book review]

This is a reveiew of Reputation: Portraits in Power, by Marjorie Williams, 2008, PublicAffairs. I wrote it for LibraryThing.com It might have been a little frightening to find oneself the subject of an article Marjorie Williams...

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Pre-Marital Counseling – We Could Probably All Use Some. [a book review]

Through LibraryThing.com I now and then get review copies of books newly or nearly published, in exchange for writing a review. This is one of those. It’s not very political, to say the least, but it does have a lot to do...

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Think.

Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of...

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Spiritual Refreshment – A Musical Bath for Our Souls

A man saw the whole world as a grinning skull and crossbones. The rose flesh of life shriveled from all faces. Nothing counts. Everything is a fake. Dust to dust and ashes to ashes and then an old darkness and a useless silence....

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What Jesus Emphasized Is Not What Churches Like to Emphasize

John Howard Yoder vigorously believes that Jesus’ teaching was very practical and very this-worldly. The spiritual, metaphysical, theological, religious meaning of his life and teaching – in Jesus’ mind and in...

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The Soul of Prayer – Peter Taylor Forsyth on Spiritual Genuis

“Prayer changes things.” It puts us into direct contact with God, and thus brings God into more active contact with our personal lives and surroundings. That more intimate, active presence of God does indeed tend to...

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Does Prayer “Work”? “Scientific & Pastoral Perspectives…”

Here’s a review of another book on prayer as promised a couple of days ago. [Here’s a more recent review of a book on prayer – P T Forsyth’s Soul of Prayer] My second acquisition at Pastors’ Seminar...

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Prayer: Paying Personal Attention to God

At a pastors’ seminar recently I bought two books on prayer. Another pastor asked me to give him my reaction to one of them when I’d read it, so here goes. (I’ll review the other one in a few days.) First I got...

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Prince Caspian: Violence and Magic, and the Turning of the Tide

“Violence and magic” – that sounds like the recent American approach to foreign policy. There’s been a lot a violence, considerable fantasy, and hope for, but precious little experience of, magic. The new...

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“Bombs are the same…” – C. S. Lewis

She was beautifully, delicately made, So small, so unafraid, ‘Till the bomb came. Bombs are the same, Beautifully, delicately made. — C. S. Lewis...

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Science and Religion – from John Paul II

Thanks to Maribeth Milner for providing these two quotes from John Paul II. Good stuff. The Bible itself speaks to us of the origin of the universe and its makeup, not in order to provide us with a scientific treatise, but in...

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Who Are More Moral – the Rich or the Poor? Ruskin: Unto This Last

That’s not an easy question to answer. The Bible criticizes the wealthy, sometimes individually, sometimes for specific behaviors, sometimes even as a group. But it also has harsh words for some of the poor, sometimes...

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Jesus: Kingdom Source

Over and against these senseless modern myths … there is the “myth” of the God of goodness who has chosen people to prepare a kingdom of justice, truth, and love on earth. This myth dies hard. Why should we...

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Retired Army Colonel Asks Us To Watch “Road to Guantanamo”

Colonel Ann Wright is registering strong protest against us keeping our prison operating at Guantanamo. This is a Biblical moral issue. Hebrews 13:3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who...

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The Two Most Obvious Things

I. Question A question for the new year: What do you think are the most obvious facts about this Creation? – this human world, or the natural world, the universe(s) that we live in? II. Answer I think there are two very...

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Our Enemies’ Opinions

A worthy subject for personal contemplation as well as for national contemplation: Our enemies’ opinion of us comes closer to the truth than our own.-La...

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Living in Society vs My Mental Health

Here’s another quote picked up on our recent trip to Omaha – from a conversation with a well-educated friend. Our society is structured to induce mental...

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Moral Values in Teaching and Nursing

Here, from a nurse’s blog, are some values I certainly agree with. It makes no mention of Christian values, Biblical values, or “family values.” Does it represent those things as you understand them? So, just...

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Tut’s Tomb and Costly Choices

We visited the Tutankhamen exhibit at the Field Museum in Chicago with my daughter and her family on Tuesday. Of course the Field is awesome, and the Tut exhibitions are moving. But I had two reactions that I’ve not had...

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Who’s Pro-life?

Sent to me by a friend: “Pro-life” + no helpful legislation = pro-choice So you “vote pro-life” eh? And what good has that done? There are many steps we could take to significantly reduce abortions in...

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Quotable – from Recent But No Longer Republicans

Dick Armey, former Republican House Majority Leader: “Dobson and his gang of thugs are real nasty bullies.” Charles Barkley, former NBA star: “I was a Republican until they lost their minds.” And 9...

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Letter From A Mother

Here are excerpts from a letter JeanValJean posted in a comment. See the full letter here. If you want to tout your own morality, you’d best come up with something more substantive than your heterosexuality.I am the mother...

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“One Nation” In It Together?

On the sharing of America’s fabulous economic gains, on the sharing of the horrific price for Bush’s war in Iraq, on the sharing of the universal need for good health coverage – we clearly are no longer in it...

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Another Testimony from a Convert from the Republican Party. “Controlling all the offices.”

I got to the point where it seemed the Republican Party was only looking at controlling all the offices instead of looking at resolving all the problems challenging this state. Kate Witek, Nebraska State Auditor, former State...

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“The Liberal Media.” Really?

I saw this somewhere. It explains a lot. The media are only as liberal as the conservative businesses that own them.

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A Good Quote is Worth a Thousand Words

Thanks to Information Clearing House for these. Ehren Watada has refused orders to Iraq. I refuse to be silent any longer. I refuse to be party to an illegal and immoral war against people who did nothing to deserve our...

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“Devil Music” Telling the Truth

Thanks to Rob for this: This isn’t news, but it still is incredibly appropriate today. But… Guns ‘N Roses is “devil music”, so why is this true? Did i perhaps get brainwashed by the tail end of the...

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When The Money and the Power are One

I’m not an Ayn Rand fan, but you have to acknowledge some wisdom in this selection. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion, when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission...

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Lenny the Misfit – Survival and Achievement!

[Thanks to the Wizard of Ads for this story.] Caterina dumps baby Lenny on her boyfriend, then moves to town and gets married to someone else. Neither Lenny’s father nor his mother is willing to give Lenny their family...

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18 Questions: The Reaction to the Lists

I promised to share some responses I got in church when I read two lists of questions from the pulpit a couple of weeks ago. (The two lists are at the bottom of this post.) I had asked the congregation to watch for differences...

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Bob Roberts Had It Down – We Were Well On the Way in 1994

We watched the movie Bob Roberts last night. Netflix’s review calls the movie “goofy.” Wrong word. This fictional candidate for US Senate from Pennsylvania had today’s neo-fascist (self-described neo-con...

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A Game of 18 Questions:What Differences Do You See?

Sermon Title: What Should We Emphasize In Order to Promote True Christianity in This Country? I “preached” Sunday. (Some say what I do is not really “preaching”, but that’s another question.) We...

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Books for a Desert Island

Someone at LibraryThing.com asked which five books I’d like to have with me if I were to be stranded on a desert island. Not an easy question. Here’s my answer. (Obviously part of my standard was sheer size, assuming...

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Yes, But How Do You Know? (Epistemology for Sensible People, or Finding God’s Will)

One of my sons said he has to write a paper on how he knows what he knows. That got me going. It’s a very fundamental part of being a Christian in practical terms in this world. Here’s what I wrote … I’m...

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