Category Archives: Culture

How Science Fiction Becomes Mundane

In the mid-1980s a bank had a series of commercials set in a foreign country. A small boy ran about shouting “ATM, ATM” in such a way that at first one imagined he was shouting someone’s name as he looked … Continue reading

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The Bible: Thoughts on the History Channel Miniseries

My wife and I managed to watch only the first 20 minutes of the series The Bible, on the History Channel. We found the acting poor and overdone; the cultural and historical setting and background were lacking, and the behavior … Continue reading

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An Excerpt

An excerpt from my novel, John of the Apocalypse, available as an e-book for the Kindle: * * * “So what was that last thing you heard Jesus say?” demanded Albertus. “I wish you’d stick with Greek, you know; or … Continue reading

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Scolds

H. L. Mencken once characterized Puritans as people possessed by the “haunting fear that someone, somewhere might be happy.” Puritans come in all sorts of political and religious flavors. They are not just people who dress in black and thunder … Continue reading

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Culture and the Bible

God is interested in communicating to his people and he chose to do so through literature. And he chose to do it through a specific culture. Sometimes, that culture is very, very alien and hard to comprehend. Consider this peculiar … Continue reading

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Chasing Fads

The prophet Ezekiel had to act out many of his prophesies. Think performance art. This ranged from being stuck lying on one side for months at a time (Ezekiel 4:4-8), to laying siege to a brick (4:1-3), to God making … Continue reading

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Implications

The number of confirmed planets circling stars other than our sun is now above 800. Seven of those planets are somewhat similar in size to Earth and swing about their stars in what’s called the “habitable zone”–meaning that water would … Continue reading

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Christmas Yet to Come

Forty-four years ago this Christmas three men became the first human beings to travel to the moon. The astronauts of Apollo 8—James Lovell, Frank Borman, and Bill Anders—did not land on the moon: they merely orbited it ten times. But … Continue reading

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Biblical Family Values

When I hear talk about “biblical” family values, the words from the movie Princess Bride roll through my mind: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Biblical family values? The Bible … Continue reading

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Universals

Some commentators have suggested that since our ideas of human rights are strictly western concepts, it is an example of both ethnocentrism and cultural imperialism for us to insist that eastern nations — for instance China — be bound by … Continue reading

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