What did the biblical writers know and when did they know it? That question formed the title of a recent book by William G. Dever. At issue is the historical veracity of the so-called historical books of the Hebrew Bible, particularly the early parts of the narrative that begins in the Book of Genesis with creation and concludes in the Book of 2 Kings with the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem.
Though no cinematic masterpiece, Cheaper by the Dozen is not predictable Hollywood schlock. It is unpredictable Hollywood schlock. Loosely based on the 1948 memoir about two “efficiency experts” and their joyfully haphazard family of 12, Cheaper stretches “family” beyond the usual sentimental formulas of carefully controlled parenthood.
Robert D. Putnam became widely known in the 1990s for his influential article “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital” (Journal of Democracy, January 1995) in which he explored the significance of “social capital”—the social networks that are formed by church groups, bowling leagues and service and fraternal organizations.
I have lived with Martin Luther for 76 years, since I was christened with the reformer’s name. My father was a Lutheran teacher and organist. Lutheran chorales have provided the cantus firmus for my life. But in only in the past few years, as I worked on a short biography of Luther, did the reformer become a constant companion.