A Visit to the Howard Center

For some years I knew of the work of the Rockford Institute. I also knew of some of the trials that impacted that work in the early 1980s. Yesterday I visited the Howard Center in Rockford, Illinois, which sits next door to the Rockford Institute. The Rockford Institute publishes the often eccentric magazine Chronicles, which I read each month with … Read More

The Chicken or the Egg?

Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? The debate goes on year after year. I thought about that question over the weekend while I browsed through a new Pilgrim Press book catalog. Pilgrim is the publishing arm of the United Church of Christ (UCC). I asked myself, "Which came first, the books in the catalog or the denominational leadership … Read More

Christian Values in the Culture

My last few days have been spent at home, with my mother visiting us so we could celebrate her ninetieth birthday, as well as our family Thanksgiving Day meal. We have eaten way too much, enjoyed a lot of good conversation and watched more news television than I usually see in two months. The big deal on the chat circuit … Read More

The Sad Story of Judge Lefkow

Most of the nation is aware of the story of Judge Joan Lefkow. She is the federal judge in Chicago who came home on the evening of February 28, 2005, to find her husband and mother shot to death in her basement. The killer was a deranged man who was striking back against the judge for a ruling she rendered … Read More

On Political Courage

Judge Frank J. Williams is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the state of Rhode Island. I have come to know him though his leadership of the Abraham Lincoln Forum. Judge Williams is not only a brilliant jurist but a devoted Lincoln scholar. He moderates various sessions at the annual symposium in Gettysburg and did so again last … Read More

Did The Catholic Church Kill Lincoln?

One of the more  interesting things about my time at the Lincoln Forum in Gettysburg (November 16-18) last week was the theme of this year’s event: The Assassination of President Lincoln on April 14, 1865. As with the Kennedy assassination in 1963 a host of theories have surrounded Lincoln’s death for over 140 years. For example: 1. Did John Wilkes … Read More

Lincoln's Assassination

I am attending the tenth annual Lincoln Forum Symposium in Gettysburg this week. The event brings together both professional historians and ordinary readers who just love to talk about Lincoln. I am in the second category. The theme this week is the assassination of President Lincoln, which took place 140 years ago. Theories regarding his assassination, as you probably know, … Read More

Engaging the New World

I wrote yesterday (November 15) about the aging baby boomer generation and the way this massive group of people (78 million) has altered our culture dramatically. The generation that is coming behind the boomers is very different, radically different in many cases. Some see this as a terrible development. I am not of such an opinion. The younger generation, especially … Read More

The Generation That Changed America

Newsweek devoted a cover story this week is to the "boomer" generation (the people born between 1946 and 1964) who are turning 60 very soon! Now there’s a cause for celebration. The richest, most self-centered, most conflicted generation in America’s history is aging, and not so gracefully it seems. The real problem, notes columnist Ruben Navarrette (Washington Post Writers Group), … Read More

Purpose Makes the Difference

If history is to have real meaning it must have purpose. It must be going somewhere. If no specific end is in view then all things loose their meaning and life becomes pointless. Humans have known this from time immemorial. And Christians, of all people, need to remind the modern world of this regularly. If all we do is live … Read More