Sunday, April 25, 2010

William Cowper


William Cowper (pronounced Cooper) died on today's date in 1800. One of his most well known poems was later set to music:

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mark Twain

One hundred years ago today, Mark Twain (aka Samuel Langhorn Clemens) died at the age of 75. Here is a sampling of some my favorite Mark Twain quotes:



 

  • A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read.
  • Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to.
  • Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
  • 'Classic.' A book which people praise and don't read.
  • Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
  • I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel that they have not said enough.
  • Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

On Preaching

"But he [Christ] would have us stoop to the understanding of the meanest, and not give the people a comment darker than the text: he would have us rather pierce their ears than amuse their fancies; and break their hearts than please their ears." - John Flavel, The Fountain of Life (p. 105).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Century Turns

To see the dawn of a new century is a once-in-a-lifetime event. The transition from the 20th to the 21st centuries will be examined for years to come in scholarly works and articles. The new millennium has ushered in many changes in our world. Entire books could be written on the changes in technology, medicine, science and culture during the last decade of the previous century and the first decade of the current century. William J. Bennett writes about this same period of time but his focus is mainly on politics – the arena to which he has given his adult life. A Century Turns is a survey of the major political events that shaped our nation during this crucial period.


Bennett writes from a decidedly conservative perspective. He shows his affection and admiration for George H.W. Bush, a president who Bennett claims was more prepared for the job than most of the men elected president in his century. Yet though he is conservative, he does not fail to criticize Republicans or praise Democrats when warranted. As a conservative, he does not hesitate to express his admiration for Barack Obama. He clearly states his disagreement with nearly all of President Obama’s political positions. Nonetheless he is impressed that, in our country, a black man who could not obtain credentials to attend the Democratic National Convention could rise to become president 8 years later. He is likewise encouraged that Obama’s election has blunted much of the racism that often adheres to the political process.


Bennett’s writing is clear and engaging. This book is a page turner. For those who are not necessarily interested in politics, this book is an enjoyable read. I highly recommend this work.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bonhoeffer

Ever since I learned that I had an uncle (who I never knew) who died at Normandy liberating Europe from Nazi tyranny, I have had an interest in WWII, particulalry the Third Reich, Hilter, and the Holocaust. This post today from Justin Taylor is worth reading.
65 years ago today Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged to death—stripped naked and strangled by a thin wire at Flossenb├╝rg concentration camp. Three weeks later the Soviets would capture Berlin and Hitler would commit suicide. Three months later the Allies would assume control of Germany.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sam Harris: Religion = Insanity

Sam Harris speaks on CNN giving reasons to ditch religion. According to Harris, religion gives bad answers to questions that we cannot answer. Religious people act as though they know that there is something outside of the natural world that makes a difference in life. Of course, it escapes Harris and his followers that maybe naturalism gives bad answers to questions that can not be answered by purely naturalistic means.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Too Much for Words

This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen (other than the evangelist who kicks the guy with abdominal pain in the gut because the Holy Ghost told him to). Has Ps. 2:11 been edited from his Bible?