Jefferson and Hamilton: The Greatest American Rivalry

John Ferling, professor emeritus of history at the University of West Georgia, is a wonderful writer of history and biography. I know his name through his evocative treatments of major figures in early American history. His special interest has always been the War of Independence, and the more prominent figures of early American history. He has done it again in … Read More

The Emotive Cry for Community

Michael Novak, in his stirring memoir of a journey from left to right, devotes an entire chapter to community, as I noted yesterday. He writes: “One of life’s most time-consuming tasks is to achieve disagreement with an ideological opposite. Without blinking, you might object; ‘It’s not had to disagree. Heck! Most people do it all the time” (282). But aren’t … Read More

Michael Novak’s Liberal Origins and Friendships

Yesterday I gave an overview of Michael Novak’s superb new memoir, Writing from Left to Right: My Journey from Liberal to Conservative (Image: New York, 2013). For me, a teenage in the 1960s, this wonderful memoir seems like a political and economic account of an extraordinary life well-lived through a time of social and political turbulence, the times in which … Read More

Sandy Hook School One Year Later

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was one year ago today. The horror was unimaginable. The pain altered our nation, at least on one level. We must not forget this day. We must pray for those   who will live with this grief for the remainder of their days. We must pray for our nation, gripped … Read More

Philip Schaff and The Unity of Christendom – Part One

In the year in which he died (1893), Philip Schaff wrote what I take to be an extremely important piece on ecumenism with the title “The Reunion of Christendom.” It begins by quoting John 17:20–21 and then states the difficulty of the ecumenical problem by saying that the answer to the question the disciples asked Jesus, when they said – … Read More

The Mercersburg Movement: How Reformed Theology Helped Me Become a Missional-Ecumenist

Yesterday. I quoted nineteenth century theologian-historian Philip Schaff (1819–1893), a Swiss-born, German-educated Reformed Protestant minister who became a widely regarded church historian at the end of his life. Schaff spent most of his adult life living and teaching in the United States. His works are still read though his history is now dated by the simple fact that he died … Read More

The Moment That Changed America: My LIfe Fifty Years Later

TIME magazine’s November 25 (2013) cover story says it as well as any single storyline I’ve read the last two weeks: “The Moment That Changed America.” That moment, the assassination of our 35th president, John F. Kennedy, occurred fifty years ago today at 12:30 p.m. CST in Dallas, Texas. If you were alive at the time, and old enough to … Read More

“As Darwin Is My Witness”

The title of my blog today was given to me by a new friend, Paul Miller, who lives in the Seattle area. Paul recently came to spend a day with me in Chicago. We talked about a wide-range of issues, particularly relating to missions, culture and the power of the gospel. We talked briefly about the failure of Prohibition in … Read More

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama – The Legacy Lives (1)

Organized in 1873, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was the first black church in Birmingham, Alabama. Initially, the congregation worshiped in a small building but in 1880 the church’s meeting place moved to its present location at 16th Street and 6th Avenue North in downtown Birmingham.  A modern brick building was erected in 1884 that established the church’s presence in … Read More