To be a rich nation, you must produce more than you consume. America is going the wrong way on that score. #rsrh
http://ow.ly/2af0M Bonhoeffer by @ericmetaxas is extremely well done. A much needed volume.
This is a response to an especially vociferous Twitter contestant quite self-assured that Jesus never lived.
Shamelessly borrowed from the very valuable Bede’s Library in the UK:
Secular scholar Will Durant, who left the Catholic Church and embraced humanism, dismissed the idea Jesus never lived in Caesar and Christ (the third volume of his Story of Civilisation):
- The Christian evidence for Christ begins with the letters ascribed to Saint Paul. Some of these are of uncertain authorship; several, antedating A.D. 64, are almost universally accounted as substantially genuine. No one has questioned the existence of Paul, or his repeated meetings with Peter, James, and John; and Paul enviously admits that these men had known Christ in his flesh. The accepted epistles frequently refer to the Last Supper and the Crucifixion…. The contradictions are of minutiae, not substance; in essentials the synoptic gospels agree remarkably well, and form a consistent portrait of Christ. In the enthusiasm of its discoveries the Higher Criticism has applied to the New Testament tests of authenticity so severe that by them a hundred ancient worthies, for example Hammurabi, David, Socrates would fade into legend. Despite the prejudices and theological preconceptions of the evangelists, they record many incidents that mere inventors would have concealed the competition of the apostles for high places in the Kingdom, their flight after Jesus’ arrest, Peter’s denial, the failure of Christ to work miracles in Galilee, the references of some auditors to his possible insanity, his early uncertainty as to his mission, his confessions of ignorance as to the future, his moments of bitterness, his despairing cry on the cross; no one reading these scenes can doubt the reality of the figure behind them. That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so loft an ethic and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospel. After two centuries of Higher Criticism the outlines of the life, character, and teaching of Christ, remain reasonably clear, and constitute the most fascinating feature of the history of Western man.
I have always hated the mullet. I have never had a mullet nor have I aspired to have one.
However, the recent move by Iran to ban the mullet hairstyle has caused powerful protective feelings to rise from within my soul.
I recall Nicholas Cage in the David Lynch film Wild at Heart wearing a bizarre jacket to which he is very much attached. At various points in the story, he is moved to speechify:
This is a snakeskin jacket. For me it is a symbol of my belief in individuality and personal freedom.
And then he beats up whoever made fun of it. So, too, the mullet.
I am ready to stand up for the mullet in the face of this outrageous blow against “individuality and personal freedom” set up by the petty tyrants in Persia. Don’t they know that the mullet can never be destroyed by LAW??? It can only be conquered by good taste and proper breeding.
I recently read a biography of Henry Luce. He was the co-founder of Time magazine and founded Life, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, and other prime American media properties. He co-founded Time with a Yale classmate who died young.
The book, Henry Luce: His Time, Life, and Fortune, probably doesn’t do justice to its subject, but Luce is so interesting I found myself hungry to know more. The author of this volume clearly disagreed, to some extent, with Luce’s conservatism. I think the writer, John Kobler, saw Luce as a retrograde businessman with a genius for publications.
Luce grew up as a missionary kid in China. His father was a Presbyterian with a vision for a Christian university in China. As a child, Luce grew up with a powerful sense of the value of American culture and, as he called it, the American proposition which was a mixture of “courage, private initiative, responsibility, honesty, and independence from government aid and interference.” His country had a destiny to fulfill in providence and had “a constitutional dependency on God.”
His first prospectus for Time (in the early 1920′s) contained the following “catalogue of prejudices”:
- A belief that the world is round and an admiration of the statesman’s view of all the world.
- A general distrust of the present tendency toward increasing interference by government.
- A prejudice against the rising cost of government.
- Faith in the things which money cannot buy.
- A respect for the old, particularly in manners.
- An interest in the new, particularly in ideas.
Luce was especially repulsed by the philosophy Oliver Wendell Holmes espoused when he suggested men had little more significance than “baboons or grains of sand” or that truth is defined by the nation with the ability to “lick all the others.” He rejected Holmes’ cynical “materialism, militarism, relativism, and agnosticism” and he worked hard to see that his publications promoted a different set of values. One of the interesting things about the book is to see Luce trying to control the content put out by his media empire while at the same time respecting the right of his writers to call things as they saw them. While he was a Republican, most of the writers he hired were Democrats. Perhaps, it was true then as it is now that journalism draws the more liberal minded.
Growing up in China formed him in ways other than ideology. He ate substandard food so many years that even when he became wealthy, he had little interest or enjoyment in eating. He looked at food as fuel necessary for life and ate whatever was brought to him. He also maintained an interest in global events. Having grown up on the other side of the world kept him well aware that the United States was not the only theater for news.
It is also fascinating to consider his personal and spiritual life. Luce grew up with a strong family all of whom sacrificed a great deal to promote the gospel in China. He kept that faith all of his life, working to the glory of God, giving every ounce of energy to personal industry and excellence. Yet, he casually divorced his wife in order to marry the beautiful and talented Clare Booth. She later became a committed Catholic and never won him away from his devout Presbyterianism.
They shared a great love of America and worked hard in the fight against Communism. The chapter about Clare’s work as the American ambassador to Italy is particularly interesting. She worked to kill American contracts for companies that had a majority of workers affiliated with the Communist party. Both Henry and Clare engaged their work with seriousness about results as well as intent.
Something else is interesting about the book. By reading, you learn that Luce was able to generate great publishing successes by thinking deeply about what the magazines would be about. As an example, he insisted that Sports Illustrated couldn’t be a reality until the team had a handle on the philosophical foundation for their coverage of sports. What is the philosophy of leisure? Luce wanted to know. He was incredibly curious about everything. The author presents his constant peppering of people with questions as an annoying personality characteristic, but his desire to be informed appears laudable.
Luce seems to be a bit of a forgotten man for those of us living in the 21st century. I’d love to hear from those who are aware of an authoritative treatment of his life.