The Screwtape Letters

The Screwtape Letters, by CS Lewis

Have you ever read The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis? I’ve read the whole thing a couple times. The audio version, which is brilliantly narrated by John Cleese, is also available on Youtube. I’ve listened to that as well.

In this book, Lewis created a character called Screwtape who is the uncle of a junior tempter named Wormwood. They are both demons, in the traditionally Christian sense. The setting is entirely Christian, but from a demonic point of view. Screwtape has some position of authority within the demon hierarchy, “an under-secretary of a department.” The nephew has been assigned to tempt a young man so that he ends up in hell. Screwtape writes letters to his nephew containing instructions and advice towards that end, and he does this as both an uncle and as an under-secretary.... [Read More]

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Won’t you be my neighbor?

Did any of you see the Mr. Rogers movie with Tom Hanks? It wasn’t really even about Mr. Rogers. It was about a man who interviewed him for Esquire magazine in about 1998, and is based on that story. I made sure I had tissues in my purse because I suspected I’d need them, and sure enough I did. Reminded me of me when my life was a lot more simple, before it got really complex and lonely. The main character undergoes some spiritual and emotional growth as a result of spending time with Rogers. It’s a good story, wholesome and true.

Anyway, did you see it? Did you like it?... [Read More]

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Pushy Religion

In the [Barna] study of 1,067 US adults, a quarter of respondents said their view of evangelicals was “somewhat negative” or “very negative”, compared to just under a third (30%) who said their perception was “somewhat positive” or “very positive”. 

Of the 268 respondents with a negative perception of evangelicals, two thirds (67%) said this attitude was because they felt evangelicals were “too pushy with their beliefs“.  Sixty-one per cent said that evangelicals were “hypocritical”, while half said they were “homophobic” and a similar proportion (51%) said “their beliefs are outdated”.  …One result that surprised Barna was the large proportion of Millennial Americans (52%) who have a neutral attitude towards evangelicals. ... [Read More]

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Boycott Chick-fil-A

A few days ago Ratburgher Robert A. McReynolds posted his frustration that many conservatives were slow to turn on Chick-fil-A after the news broke about how Chick-fil-A was putting a knife in the back of the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I was one of the slow ones; I have seen conservatives, many times led by NeverTrump Quislings, rush to judgement to condemn other conservatives. As a conservative, one of my traits is ‘look before you leap.’

Now additional information is available, and I am fully on board with Robert McR.

Chick-fil-A is not to be boycotted just for the way they have flipped on legions of loyal customers who were fiercely supportive on account of the way Chick-fil-A had stood up to Leftist pressure and had resisted the Social Justice anti-Christian culture.  In addition to that, Chick-fil-A has rolled over; they negotiated with terrorists and paid extortion money to agents of the Enemy.

Continue reading “Boycott Chick-fil-A”

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Catholic Trump Voters

One thing that keeps Joe Biden at the top is his appeal to Catholic voters, and the fact that Democrat Big Donors think that his appeal to Catholic voters will be essential to making the necessary margin in 2020. Biden has equivocated and dodged and provided ambiguous statements on abortion, in an attempt to retain as much of his Catholic support as possible.

Aside from Joe Biden, other Democrat candidates either aren’t Catholic, have no traction for other reasons, or are such abortion hawks that they will lose a significant share of Catholic voters, probably more than Hillary lost. The other Catholics in the race for the Democrat Nomination:... [Read More]

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Sacred Names

Nomen Sacrum” is the term used for certain abbreviations that are found in ancient manuscripts of the New Testament books. These abbreviations for the “sacred names” are well known by church historians, theologians and text critics but not much known outside of those circles. I thought that Christian Ratburghers would be interested in the way the earliest Christian scribes abbreviated the names for God and Jesus.

This post is a follow-up to my post last month, which was a book review of The Earliest Christian Artifacts, by Larry Hurtado.   That book was a historian reporting on what he found when he spent some time speaking with the papyrologists who study the earliest New Testament manuscripts, and what he saw when he examined these precious fragments of early Christian culture.

Continue reading “Sacred Names”

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Iconoclast protesters loot Catholic churches

This is a story from Chile.  Or, perhaps it is a non-story from Chile.

Street protests turned violent in Santiago last week, and have persisted into this week.  Anti-government protesters have been wearing masks, looking like AntiFa anarchists, and attacking government buildings.

Of course, once Leftist mobs turn violent, it is unlikely that their energy will maintain focus.  They soon attacked another target.   Catholic churches became prey for the mob.  Several were looted for materials to add to street barricades.  Statues of Jesus and Mary were destroyed.

Continue reading “Iconoclast protesters loot Catholic churches”

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Catholic Barr

Attorney General William P. Barr spoke last month to the Law School at Notre Dame. It was a long speech, and I did not take the time to listen to it. But it stirred up some controversy, so I stashed the transcript and eventually got around to reading it. The speech is focused on religious liberty and American society. I thought it was a great speech; Leftists attacked it as “theocracy!” of course. Here are long excerpts; I thought it was so good that I have only cut it down by half or so. I will put a link to the full transcript in the first comment if you would rather have the full Barr. This is the excerpted version:... [Read More]

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Almajiri

I recently learned a new word. We already were familiar with “madrassa,” which is an Islamic school. An “Almajiri” is also an Islamic school. The word comes from Nigeria and specifically refers to a boarding school. Almajiris are in the news because the Nigerian military recently raided a number of schools.

This has been building up for months. President Buhari spoke against the Almajirai in speeches in June and July. There was a fanfare that quickly faltered in August, about some reforms in government schools.

But for a month now, Nigeria has been rocked by raids on private schools, almajirai, and the exposure led to additional raids, with some school owners, headmasters and teachers arrested, and other owners, headmasters and teachers on the run. It turned out that stolen children were being hidden in several almajirai, kept as slaves in shackles, and, in some cases, subjected to rape in addition to beatings.

Continue reading “Almajiri”

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Xi v. Christians

China demolished a church.   Not just any church; this was an impressive megachurch that was built for massive worship services.  There was no warning.   Demolition crews and police showed up during a worship service, started tearing the building down with a large track crane, and evicted the worshippers.   The next day they arrested the pastors:

“…officials detained the church’s pastors, Geng Yimin and Sun Yongyao, on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disturb social order.””

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Bringing back our girls

No, not those girls from Chibok.   At least 150 of those girls have never been heard from.

This was 22 girls who were freed by the Nigerian military, along with 125 boys, from a “school” where they were imprisoned hostages.

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Papyrus Manuscripts

You learned in school how the Egyptians took the pith from papyrus sedges and used it to make a writing product like paper. We study ancient Egyptian society because they were literate and left a lot of written records. Also, their dry climate preserves papyrus, so that Egypt has yielded a lot of ancient writings. This makes Egypt a favorite field of archaeological study.

Some of the most-studied artifacts of the ancient world are papyrus copies of New Testament books. Scholars study, debate, quarrel, and publish frequently regarding these precious bits of early Christian culture.

        Christian “book culture”

There are some interesting things that can be learned about the early Christians from their manuscripts. This is to pass along a few things I have learned that may be of use to some of you.

Continue reading “Papyrus Manuscripts”

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Trolling the NPCs

Normies and NPCs* freak out in Massachusetts over signs posted around town that read “Islam Is RIGHT About Women.” The most fun element of this is the confused looks on the faces of the individuals interviewed and the news-robots reporting. They don’t understand the message but they’re certain it’s hate speech.

... [Read More]

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Our Simulation

The universe we inhabit is a simulation. It was created by a being that has power to meddle within the sim, but chooses to tweak the sim on relatively rare instances. The Creator did create the sim with a purpose in mind, and characters in the sim develop into final form through the process of interactions in the sim with elements of the sim and interactions with other characters.

 ... [Read More]

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Bereitschaftspotential and Free Will

The headline reads “A Famous Argument Against Free Will Has Been Debunked.” It was prominently displayed at the top of the default Google News Spotlight for several days. The article was at The Atlantic.

The headline is wrong, but the underlying story describes a blow to Determinism that I want to bring to your attention. The news hook behind this particular story is new research getting underway to investigate findings originally reported in a 2012 paper. It provides a needed corrective to a meme that has been going around since the 1980s.

Continue readingBereitschaftspotential and Free Will”

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