03 March 2009

March snippets

  • Michael Jansen reviews Martin Packard's Getting it Wrong: Fragments from a Cyprus Diary 1964: How big-power agendas and 'green lines' have kept Cyprus divided. I've not yet seen the book, but the review leads me to conclude that reading it would not be good for my blood pressure.

  • Christian History has just published my review article: Foreign Policy as Spiritual Warfare. The book under review is Malcolm Magee's What the World Should Be: Woodrow Wilson and the Crafting of a Faith-Based Foreign Policy, a fascinating account of an American academic and statesman who was gripped by the conviction that the christian faith has implications for all of life, including politics.

  • I have just posted on my Genevan Psalter website and blog a video of Psalm 23 sung in Spanish. Some time ago I also posted a non-Genevan metrical versification of Psalm 95, set to an old Cypriot folk tune. My sister and I recorded this back in 1993 at St. Barnabas Church, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. (Text copyright © 1986 by David T. Koyzis; recording copyright © 1993 by David Koyzis and Yvonne Koyzis Hook)

  • In 1913 the 17th Amendment to the US Constitution provided for direct election of Senators to the upper house of Congress. Prior to then they were elected by the state legislatures and could thus be seen to represent the state governments. However, the democratization of the Senate increased the possibility of deadlock between the two chambers, because both could now claim a mandate from the electorate. One side effect has been an increase in the use of a tactic that was once rare: Filibusters: The Senate’s Self-Inflicted Wound. Some constitutions, e.g., Australia's, provide mechanisms for breaking a deadlock between two parliamentary chambers. Yet the chances of passing another amendment to rectify this problem in the US are slim, in my estimation.

  • Did Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal inadvertently prolong the Great Depression, and are there parallels to today? Listen to this and see what you think.

  • My friend, the Rev. Chuck Huckaby (aka Hukabyi Károly Pál), a minister in the Hungarian Reformed Calvin Synod, maintains a website devoted to his Heidelberg Catechism Project. With the author's permission, he has posted on this site my own metrical rendition of question and answer 1 of the Catechism: I Belong. I doubt that any historic catechism can equal the Heidelberg in terms of its beauty and winsome teaching of the message of the gospel.

  • Every academic discipline has its intellectual gate keepers, who undertake to determine who is in and who is out. The field of biblical studies is no different in this respect. Where it does differ is in the reality that its subject matter is considered by huge numbers of people to be sacred writ and the very Word of God. This poses difficulties to those for whom a certain conception of science demands that this Word be treated like every other word. The ensuing controversy can be traced through this recent exchange. First, R. R. Reno: Recovering the Bible. Second, John W. Martens: No Country for Biblical Scholars. And finally, Reno again: Whither Historical Criticism? Is it possible to bridge the peculiarly modern and postmodern cleavage between those who explore the historical settings of the biblical texts and those who focus on the redemptive meaning of Scripture as a whole?

  • This isn't really news: U.S. supports creation of Palestinian state: Clinton. Successive American and Israeli governments have claimed to favour this in recent years, and concrete moves have been made in this direction. Unfortunately, Palestinians have not been well served by their own leaders, who have repeatedly squandered opportunities aimed at an admittedly less-than-perfect solution.

  • Which brings us back to Cyprus. . . .
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    can be contacted at: dtkoyzis@gmail.com