Monthly Archives: January 2015


“The vast accumulations of knowledge—or at least of information—deposited by the nineteenth century have been responsible for an equally vast ignorance. When there is so much to be known, when there are so many fields of knowledge in which the same words are used with different meanings, when every one knows a little about a great many things, it becomes increasingly difficult for anyone to know whether he knows what he is talking about or not. And when we do not know, or when we do not know enough, we tend always to substitute emotions for thoughts.”
T.S. Eliot, The Sacred Wood

(HT: Greg Thornbury)


Psalm 46:10 is a wonderful verse, but take some time to meditate on the entire chapter AND BE ENCOURAGED!

46  God is our refuge and strength,

a very present help in trouble.

2  Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,

though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,

3  though its waters roar and foam,

though the mountains tremble at its swelling. 

4  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy habitation of the Most High.

5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;

God will help her when morning dawns.

6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;

he utters his voice, the earth melts.

7 The Lord of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress. 

8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,

how he has brought desolations on the earth.

9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;

he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;

he burns the chariots with fire.

10 “Be still, and know that I am God.

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth!”

11 The Lord of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress. 


One thing many religious people have in common is that they don’t know the tenets of their own religion.  As a Christian minister, I know this among my fellow Christians.  I continue to be amazed how thin the understanding of some many is.  Others from different religions have noticed the same.  Here is a quote from a Muslim teacher which just appeared in The New York Times:

In turn, young Muslims are identifying more strongly with their religion, Mr. Khorchide said, citing the growing number of young women wearing head scarves “as an act of solidarity with their sisters in faith,” or the young men he met while doing research for his master’s degree in Vienna.

“They would say, ‘Islam is really important for me,’ but they had just dealt drugs,” he recalled. “They had a Quran in their backpack and said, ‘With the Quran, I am strong.’ But if you asked whether they had read it or knew what it contained, they said no.”

“I call this a hollow religiosity,” he added, like “the thin and fragile peel” of a fruit.

The rest is here:

HT: Alan Jacobs


Christianity Today: But what about the old saying, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church”?

Historian Philip Jenkins: That was said by Tertullian, who came from the church in North Africa, where the church vanished. If you were to look at the healthiest part of Christianity right around the year 400 or 500, you might well look at North Africa, roughly what we call Tunisia and Algeria. It was the land of Augustine. Then the Arabs, the Muslims, arrive. They conquer Carthage in a.d. 698, and 100 years later—I don’t say there were no Christians there, but there certainly was only a tiny, tiny number. That church dies.

The rest is here:


it was a dark and stormy night“The pen is mightier than the sword” was coined by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in for his play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy, 1839:

True, This! –
Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanters wand! – itself a nothing! –
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Caesars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless! – Take away the sword –
States can be saved without it!

Bulwer-Lytton may have coined the phrase but he was preceded by several others who expressed essentially the same idea:

George Whetstone, in Heptameron of Civil Discourses, 1582, wrote “The dashe of a Pen, is more greevous than the counterbuse of a Launce.”

In Hamlet, 1602, Shakespeare gave Rosencrantz the line “… many wearing rapiers are afraid of goose-quills and dare scarce come thither.”

Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy, 1621 includes “From this it is clear how much more cruel the pen may be than the sword.”

Thomas Jefferson sent a letter to Thomas Paine in 1796, in which he wrote: “Go on doing with your pen what in other times was done with the sword.”