12 March 2008

March snippets

  • The Knights of Malta, who lost their grand master, Fra Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie, last month, now have a new one, Fra Matthew Festing OBE, another Englishman and an art historian.

  • Is Pope Catholic? Perhaps not anymore.

  • As a teacher concerned for the future of our civilization, I find this article singularly depressing: Child-Man in the Promised Land. Perhaps it's time to bring back arranged marriages.

  • Mark Edmunson's Dwelling in Possibilities is subtitled: "Our students' spectacular hunger for life makes them radically vulnerable." The author argues that university instructors need to teach their students, caught up in hurried lives of too many choices and activities, to slow down and think. But this is really nothing new. The best teachers have always sought to move young people beyond the superficial and get them to think more deeply. This assumes, of course, that the teachers themselves have something better to offer, which is not necessarily the case.

  • Hope springs eternal: Cyprus leaders to meet next week. Nevertheless, Greek Cypriot leaders have become so adept at squandering opportunities that the habit may prove difficult to shake.

  • Although I was not one of those Christians influenced by Francis and Edith Schaeffer's l'Abri community, I know any number of people who were. As an outsider I admit to being at once fascinated and repulsed by the controversy over Frank Schaeffer's tell-all memoir, Crazy for God. Os Guinness takes on the younger Schaeffer, who responds here. One senses that someone needs to get over a difficult childhood and move on with life — certainly before he retires.

  • Speaking of Schaeffer fils, in this interview he modestly claims to have created the religious right in the United States, including the evangelical pro-life movement, which he now repudiates. That said, I rather imagine a lot of those in this camp have not heard of him and would be surprised at his claiming such a role.

  • American Christians will perhaps be pleased to learn that Thomas Jefferson was not a deist after all. Still it would be difficult to envision him singing praise choruses with upraised arms in a Dallas megachurch.

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