- Tim Challies has an interesting helpful post, Random Thoughts on Reading
- The Wall Street Journal has an article which is reaffirming what is apparent–there is a basic continuity between the Bush’s and Obama’s foreign policy. A recent episode from Dan Carlin’s “Common Sense” podcast also illustrates this. It is titled The Continuity of Errors and well worth a listen.
- The Mises Institute has a fantastic survey of the history of wage and price controls in the Ancient World
- Carolyn McCulley has an interesting post responding to a question on “Set-Ups”. She has some advice for the matchmakers and also the people being set-up. Her advice comes from a mainly female perspective.
Undoubtedly, much has been made of Obama’s high approval rating. However, he’s lost some ground recently, and it turns out he really isn’t as popular as people think.
According to the Gallup organization, no president since before Nixon has had a higher disapproval rating after one month in office other than Bill Clinton. And his 1 month in office approval rating is a clear 8 percentage points under that of Jimmy Carter. In fact his approval rating is hovering somewhere around where the two Bush’s were at their one month point.
This illustrates that Obama simply hasn’t in any substantial way removed the deep poltical divide that permiates American society. He’s another partisan candidate, heavily depending on the Left-Right political dichotomy in the U.S.
“Contrary to popular impression, the Puritan was no ascetic…he never praised hair shirts or dry crust. He liked good food, good drink and homely comforts; and while he laughed at mosquitoes, he found it a real hardship to drink water when the beer ran out.” — Edmund Morgan, The Puritan Family
“worldly things are good in themselves and given to sweeten our passage to heaven” — Richard Sibbes
“[In] the writings of the Puritans, marriage and the sex act within it are affirmed as gifts from God. This was a progressive view, for it contradicted the prevalent medieval teaching that religious celibacy was more virtuous” — Betsy Hart
“We must picture these Puritans as the very opposite of those who bear that name today: as young, fierce, progressive intellectuals, very fashionable and up-to-date. They were not teetotallers; bishops, not beer, were their special aversion.” — C.S. Lewis
“the typical Puritans were not wild men, fierce and freaky, religious fanatics and social extremists, but sober, conscientious, and cultured citizens, persons of principle, determined and disciplined excelling in the domestic virtues” – J.I. Packer
“These are things to be gloried in. If we find our sins pardoned, our persons accepted, and our nature renewed; we may comfort ourselves in health, in wealth, in wife, in children, in anything, because all come from the favor of God.” — Richard Sibbes
“It is an honest and a lawful, though it may not be a very desirable employment, that you have undertaken: you may glorify God in your employment, if you will, and benefit the town considerably.”
– Cotton Mather to an Ale House owner
Foreign Policy & War
- This Tuesday, President Obama ordered two more brigades for the struggle in Afghanistan. He will be increasing the combat force by 17,000. I think this is pretty good evidence of what is already pretty much known, that President Obama’s election will either result in the continuance of the Afghanistan situation or perhaps even its escalation
- Obama’s defense secretary Robert Gates is requesting another $83 billion for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another sign that Obama’s administration is committed to continuing the Bush’s administrations aggressive foreign policy
- Who would have guessed? Government stimulus spending is not improving the world markets
- Seven Baha’i leaders have been imprisoned in Iran on charges that imply that they were spies for Israel. Amnesty International says they are “prisoners of conscience, detained solely because of their conscientiously held beliefs or their peaceful activities on behalf of the Baha’i community. If convicted, they would face lengthy prison terms, or even the death penalty.”
Books and History
- Peter Leithart has an interesting post called Anti-anti-Constantinianism, which deals with some things pertaining to Anabaptism and Yoder
- If you are a history buff, you’ll probably find Canon Press’ Q&A: Ben House on the Irrelevance of History interesting
The White Horse Inn has a fantastic interview with Os Guinness on pursuing civility in a Post-Christian culture. How can a Christian best make their case in the public square? Why have Christians failed miserably as they have attempted to do this in recent years?
For all the couples out there on this here Valentine’s Day, I present to you “Just For Me And You” by Poco in 1972. I think you’ll like it if you like country rock
Richie Furray, who is the lead singer and also wrote this song, came from Buffalo Springfield (Neil Young’s first major band) and later became a Calvary Chapel pastor in Colorado. And another band member, Timothy Schmit, went on to join The Eagles.
In his exposition of the discussion about wineskins in Mark 2:18-22, Charles Erdman has the following to say:
[Christianity's] very essence is a new life, imparted by faith in Christ; it controls men, not by rules but by motives; its symbol is not a fast, but a feast, for its pervasive spirit is joy
(The Gospel of Mark: An Exposition by Charles R. Erdman, Westminster Press, p61)