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[June 14, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Ted Giese
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the continuing story of Peter Quill/Star Lord and his band of intergalactic misfit anti-heroes. In this installment of the Marvel franchise Quill finally meets his biological father who his mother insisted was “an angel composed out of pure light.” This extraterrestrial being named Ego turns out to be something called a “Celestial” and lives up to his name. The character Quill interacts with is only a manifestation of the real Celestial entity named “Ego the Living Planet.” Yes, that’s right, Quill’s …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, Movie Review

[June 12, 2017 | No Comment | ]
"Elijah in the Desert." (Washington Allston, 1818).

by Mathew Block
The Prophet Elijah was hiding in a cave when the Word of God came to Him and asked him what he was doing. “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts,” Elijah said. “For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life to take it away” (1 Kings 19:10). The despair he feels is evident. Not much earlier, in fact, he …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, Table Talk

[June 2, 2017 | 2 Comments | ]

by Paul Schallhorn
“Just the facts, Ma’am.” Millions of people in the 1950’s tuned in weekly to hear Jack Webb, aka Sergeant Joe Friday on Dragnet, say his famous catch phrase. Over the years it became part of everyone’s vocabulary as people trying to sound clever would interject: “Just the facts, Ma’am.” It was as famous as another line from that era uttered by Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, “Play it again, Sam.” There’s only one problem: neither line is factual; they are both misquoted and were never said in the way …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, National News

[May 17, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Ted Giese
The Promise is a sweeping historical drama set in 1915 at the beginning of the Armenian Genocide at the hands of Turkey’s Ottoman Empire. The current Turkish government and its predecessors publicly deny this holocaust took place. Viewers need to know that even now the Turkish government doesn’t want people to see this film or any film detailing the events surrounding this attempt to wipe out the Armenian Christian population that lived within its borders.
Viewers need to know that even now the Turkish government doesn’t want people to …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, Movie Review

[May 9, 2017 | No Comment | ]
Luther burns the papal bull. (Detail from 19th century lithograph by H. Schile, after the original of H. Brüchner.)

by Mathew Block
What began in 1517 as a theological argument over the nature of indulgences quickly kindled to far greater flame. By July 1519, Luther was publicly denying at the Leipzig Debate that the pope (or councils, for that matter) had authority to create new doctrines of faith. Scripture alone, he argued, had that power. He was also defending Jan Huss, who had been burned at the stake in 1415 as a heretic for denying the primacy of the pope, among other supposed errors.
This was enough for John Eck—Luther’s opponent …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, History of the Reformation, Reformation 500

[May 3, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Robert Bugbee
Down the years people have remembered Luther’s Reformation in countless ways. In some places, Lutheran Christians emphasized the virtues of Luther and his co-workers in a way that almost made it seem like we are “better people” than folks on the other side of the dispute. As a seminary student decades ago, I visited Luther sites in communist East Germany where official government tour-guides stressed how Luther—the “little guy”—stood up to corrupt power-structures of his time. They made him sound like the original Marxist, if I can put …

In: Feature Stories, Headline, Presidential Perspectives, Reformation 500