Showing posts from February, 2018

The Consequences of Ideas

A week and a half ago I cracked open The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer: a massive encyclopedia of a book that I have dabbled with in the past, but never finished. Shirer had a front row seat as a reporter to the pre-war years of Nazi Germany (1934-1940), making his history unique and riveting. He is also a very gifted writer.
But I love origins. One of the reasons I love history so much is I am fascinated with how great things, or incredibly terrible things come about. The “Fall” may not interest me as much, it is the “Rise” that really grips me. What were the influences on a young Austrian youth wandering the streets of Vienna? What was the literature this man digested? What was the worldview he developed? What were the cultural and philosophical ideas already long in motion in the German mind that set the stage for what Shirer calls the very “logical” development of the Third Reich? Such reading will unquestionably be very dark, but it is necessary to understand …

Coach Doug

As a life-long eagle fan, I remember not liking the Doug Pederson hire. To me it seemed like an over correction from the failures of the previous regime. And the jury was still out on Chip Kelly (the previous Eagle's coach) in my mind. The prestigious college coach with the innovative, speed of light offense had only just gone 7-9. Yes, he had wheeled and dealed some of my favorite players; but Kelly was also fun to watch. He had a vision of what his team wanted to look like—and I couldn’t help feeling that then that we should have given him one more season to see what he can do. I even wrote a blog post thanking him for "trying something" as I phrased it then.
But I was wrong, and not for the last time either. The Eagles brought in Doug Pederson, a former backup quarterback who had been coaching High School football only 8 years prior. An Andy Reid retread who led an unimaginative Kansas City offense the year prior. I decided at that time to rebel against my sensitive di…

The Burden of Truth

My pastor preached yesterday on the incredibly dark passage that is Jeremiah 20; and I am thankful that passage is in the Bible for our help.

It is not without reason Jeremiah is known to us as the weeping prophet. The man lived in a time where the people were living in open rebellion against God. In that context, it was Jeremiah who was given the unrewarding task of speaking the truth to a people opposed to the truth. Page after page is filled with the sorrowful message: Judgment, wrath, destruction is coming. But you can still turn. God is still a merciful God.

The people did then what people still do today: reject the truth.Jeremiah’s warnings were left unheeded and ignored, and in chapter 20 their response surpassed simple disregard. They attacked Jeremiah physically. The prophet of the Lord was first beaten and secondly put in stocks outside the Benjamin Gate where, as my Pastor noted, Jeremiah’s family would pass through and see him, only compounding his personal shame.

Here we fi…

Book in Review: "Anthem"

Ayn Rand is the antithesis to Karl Marx. Both are atheistic materialists in their philosophical understanding of the universe, and yet both come to complete opposite political applications of that same worldview they share. Marx saw injustice in his day with the division of labor and dreamed for a world that was different. Marx envisioned a world where man was not a slave to the bourgeoisie system, but free in a communal and equal economy. Rand (who grew up in the USSR) similarly longed for freedom, but a freedom in the reverse of Marx's Utopia. She dreamed of a freedom of the individual from the shackled obligation to the community; a freedom from the collective and towards the "god of I."

Anthem is a short novella which describes a dystopian world in which everything is spoken in terms of the collective “we.” The protagonist (named “Equality 7-2521”) refers to himself in the singular as “we” (which can make for a confusing read). He is given rules and restrictions throu…