The commandments and promises of God are easy to find: they're right there in the Bible. But my students have something else in mind when they refer to "God's will," though it's not easy to say what.
Carlyle Marney said that each of us is like a house, with a living room where we entertain and a dark basement where we store the trash. And each house has a balcony with all the people who have influenced and inspired us. The way to celebrate All Saints Day, he said, is to step out onto the front lawn and salute the people on your balcony. One of my balcony people died recently.
So was the Iraq war worth it? Sixty percent of Americans say no. The claims that originally bolstered the resort to war—that Saddam Hussein's regime threatened the U.S. with weapons of mass destruction and was aligned with al-Qaeda terrorists—were discredited early in the war.
So much seems possible when we are traveling. We encounter new people and get to know familiar people in new ways as we share meals, chores and adventures.
Religious freedom has become a potent rallying cry. That is an excellent development—provided we avoid turning the issue into a partisan weapon in the confrontation between Christianity and Islam.
In his love for the law, the psalmist is effusive and sensual; with a few word changes, verse 103 could be said to a lover.
The lepers all received healing. What a happy shock that must've been! But only one, a Samaritan, returned and thanked Jesus.
Wouldn't it be great if one of the world's best travel writers, after 60 years and fortysome books, went back through her work and notes and plucked out hundreds of haunting, revelatory, shimmering moments— brief encounters that "have been sparks of my work," she might say, "if often only in glimpses—a sighting through a window, a gentle snatch of sound, the touch of a hand . . . fleeting contacts [that] have fuelled my travels down the years, generated my motors, excited my laughter and summoned my sympathies."
Eighty years ago marital counseling was a brand new profession. Today millions of married couples and 40 percent of all engaged couples receive counseling.
Computers are changing the way we think. "Calm, focused, undistracted, the linear mind is being pushed aside by a new kind of mind that wants and needs to take in and dole out information in short, disjointed, often overlapping bursts—the faster, the better." This is probably not a good thing, says Nicholas Carr.
"No whining!" the plaque on my study wall all but shouts. Steven D. Smith does not whine as he invades a territory frequented by whiners.
Three new books give fresh insights into the complicated history of evangelical Zionism. Together they present a compelling argument that the founding fathers of the modern state of Israel were not just Theodor Herzl and his Zionist Congress, but American and British evangelicals who exercised tremendous political and economic power in the 19th century—power that modern-day evangelicals like Hagee and his allies can only dream of.
The Kids Are All Right has been on a roll since its premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. It is directed (and co-written) by Lisa Cholodenko (High Art, Laurel Canyon), a filmmaker who favors stories about characters who initiate change. Sometimes this change is intentional, other times inadvertent, but by the end the status quo is reshaped.