Jesus Christ

Generation Gap
May 12, 2011

Jon Huntsman, former governor of Utah, ambassador to China, and potential presidential contender, used to play the keyboard in a prog rock cover band called Wizard. In fact, he dropped out of high school, temporarily, in favor of music practices in a warehouse on the outskirts of Salt Lake City.

The Unlikely Key
February 10, 2011

“I have always loved the Holy Tongue”: Isaac Casaubon, the Jews, and a Forgotten Chapter in Renaissance Scholarship By Anthony Grafton and Joanna Weinberg (Belknap Press, 380 pp., $35) In March 1629, the lawyer and parliamentarian John Selden found himself in the Tower of London without any books to keep him company. England’s greatest man of letters, Selden had been arrested on orders from Charles I for denying the king’s authority to adjourn the House of Commons.

The Grounds of Courage
January 13, 2011

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy By Eric Metaxas (Thomas Nelson, 591 pp., $29.99) Early in January 1939, the precocious German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, age thirty-two, learned that all males in his age cohort had been ordered to register with the military. A dedicated opponent of the Nazi regime, he might have responded by declaring himself a conscientious objector, but there were two problems with such a course of action.

Loose Change
December 08, 2010

Of all the historical analogies urged on Obama following November’s drubbing—Truman in ’48, Reagan after ’82, Clinton after ’94—the one the White House has opted for is easily the most obscure. That would be Patrick in ’10—as in Deval Patrick, the recently re-elected governor of Massachusetts. Months after Patrick signed the state’s first sales-tax hike in 33 years, political chatterers gave him little chance of surviving to a second term.

Infinite Life
July 21, 2010

Naming Infinity: A True Story of Religious Mysticism And Mathematical Creativity By Loren Graham and Jean-Michel Kantor (Belknap Press, 239 pp., $25.95) A starry firmament, or sand cascading through one’s open fingers, or weeds springing up time after time: the first conception of infinity, of the uncountable and the unending, is not recorded, but it must have been stimulated by experiences such as these. It may have merged in the mind of an ancient progenitor with thoughts of a God, a possessor of unlimited might, an infinite being itself.

Infinite Life
July 21, 2010

Naming Infinity: A True Story of Religious Mysticism And Mathematical Creativity By Loren Graham and Jean-Michel Kantor (Belknap Press, 239 pp., $25.95) A starry firmament, or sand cascading through one’s open fingers, or weeds springing up time after time: the first conception of infinity, of the uncountable and the unending, is not recorded, but it must have been stimulated by experiences such as these. It may have merged in the mind of an ancient progenitor with thoughts of a God, a possessor of unlimited might, an infinite being itself.

Racial Diversity, Religious Intolerance
July 16, 2010

The Republicans' new non-white candidates have drawn a lot of attention, but Peter Beinart notes that the party's religious litmus tests remain in full force: Jindal was raised Hindu and converted to Catholicism; Haley is a Sikh who became evangelical. There’s no reason to doubt the sincerity of their conversions. But both also seem aware that maintaining the non-Western religious traditions of their birth would have imperiled their political careers. In 2007, when Congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution recognizing the Hindu and Sikh festival of Diwali, Jindal abstained.

I Didn’t Realize How Really Wacko The Aforementioned Mr. Rosenberg Is…
July 08, 2010

 …until my friend Noah Pollak e-mailed me a note he wrote on April 8 about an appearance of the senior fellow of this and that made at the supposedly honest New America Foundation. Read it all. But all you have to believe are Rosenberg’s own words. Why Are Americans Pro-Israel? They Hate Muslims NOAH POLLAK - 04.08.2010 - 4:04 PM M.J. Rosenberg is a leading light in the “progressive” scene. He was formerly at the Israel Policy Forum and today posts embarrassing rants at the Talking Points Memo blog and is a “Senior Foreign Policy Fellow” at Media Matters.

Tea Minus Zero
May 19, 2010

Liberals have responded to the Tea Party movement by reaching a comforting conclusion: that there is no way these guys can possibly be for real. The movement has variously been described as a “front group for the Republican party” and a “media creation”; Paul Krugman has called Tea Party rallies “AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events, manufactured by the usual suspects.” I can understand why liberals would want to dismiss the Tea Party movement as an inauthentic phenomenon; it would certainly be welcome news if it were.

Aftershocks
January 27, 2010

“Think of our new village here as the home of Jesus Christ, not the scene of a disaster,” the Reverend Joseph Lejeune told the smashed souls in a tent city in Port-au-Prince. “Life is not disaster. Life is joy! You don’t have food? Nourish yourself with the Lord. You don’t have water? Drink in the spirit.” One of the aftershocks in Haiti has been the revelation that belief may be immune to experience. The survivors are praying to the author of the destruction. Their metaphysics is their shelter, and I would not deny them their metaphysics as I would not deny them a bed.

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