Friday, May 31, 2024

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (By J. John)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, executed for his long-standing opposition to Hitler, is one of the great Christian heroes of the twentieth century.

Bonhoeffer was born in 1906 to an aristocratic German family. Evidently gifted, he chose to study theology, graduating with a doctorate at the age of twenty-one. In the first of what were to be many international links he worked for two years with a German congregation in Barcelona. He then went to the United States to study for a year at a liberal theological college that he found shallow and uninspiring. He was, however, impressed by the African-American churches he worshipped at, appreciating the congregations’ zeal and sympathising with the social injustices they endured.

Bonhoeffer returned to Germany in 1931, lecturing and pastoring a church. Horrified by the rise of the Nazis he spoke out publicly against Hitler from the moment he became Chancellor in 1933. His was not a popular view: many German Christians, encouraged by Hitler’s manipulative use of Christian language, saw him as the nation’s saviour.

Friday, May 24, 2024

President Reagan's Normandy Speech (1984)


As we approach the 80th anniversary of D-Day this year, I thought it might be beneficial to view President Ronald Reagan's thoughts on this famous battle in history. 

Friday, May 17, 2024

The Story of Job - Revisited

The story of Job is one of the great mysteries of the faith and one that most of us, if honest, really struggle with.  It’s tantamount to asking your dad “why” only to hear him respond, “because I said so”.  

We in our selfish nature want to attach to this story our understanding of justice and fairness.  Our finite comprehension of God wants to ask the same questions Job’s friends did.  We who read carefully want to inquire of God why it is the He pointed out Job to satan and why He removed His hand of protection from a man that the Bible describes as the most righteous man in all the earth at the time. Surely if Job was not spared what chance do we stand who would hardly be labeled as righteous?  

You see, we've barely even stepped off the porch to wade into the weeds and we have already raised massive theological questions about the character of God. And yes, it is true that when God finally answers Job, He almost taunts Him with his lack of knowledge and wisdom, daring him to try to counter a point that God has made. Such is the price for worshipping that which we cannot truly understand, as portrayed by C.S. Lewis in the Chronicles of Narnia, when confronted by the idea of Aslan, the lion, who is a picture of God, Lucy asks, "Is He safe?"

"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver."Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."

Mr. Tumnus also says, "He's wild, you know. Not a tame lion."

— C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55: 8-9)

Friday, March 01, 2024

The Second Coming (by William Butler Yeats)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre   

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst   

Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.   

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out   

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert   

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,   

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,   

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it   

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.   

The darkness drops again; but now I know   

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,   

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,   

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

by William Butler Yeats