Friday, March 21, 2008

Chuck Colson--Death on a Friday Afternoon

Easter for many of us is a day of family gatherings and a celebration, not only of Christ’s resurrection, but also the coming of spring. Today, on Good Friday, let’s not rush the celebration before coming face-to-face with the paradoxes that are at the heart of the Christian faith.

Those paradoxes are the subject of a wonderful book Death on a Friday Afternoon: Meditations on the Last Words of Jesus written by my friend Father Richard John Neuhaus.

A paradox, as G. K. Chesterton famously put it, is “Truth standing on her head to get attention.” Our aversion and resistance to truth is so strong that God often finds it necessary to employ extreme measures to get us to see past the lies we have embraced.

Never was this truer than on what Christians call “Good Friday.” As Neuhaus writes, “If what Christians say about Good Friday is true, then it is, quite simply, the truth about everything.” That “everything” starts with telling the truth about the human condition. And how does God do that? By paradoxically punishing the offended party, instead of the guilty one.

As Neuhaus tells us, we are all aware that “something has gone terribly wrong with the world and with us in the world.” It is not just history’s best-known list of horribles. It is also “the habits of compromise . . . loves betrayed . . . lies excused . . .”

Yet, instead of acknowledging our complicity in the world’s evil, we minimize our own faults and regard our sins as “small.” Good Friday puts the lie to that claim. If the Son of God had to suffer such a horrible death, then our sins cannot have been “small.”

The Cross reminds us that “our lives are measured,” not by us or by our peers, but “by whom we are created and called to be, and the measuring is done by the One who creates and calls.” Instead of glossing over our sin with an understanding nod, the Cross renders “the verdict on the gravity of our sin.”

Our unwillingness to see our sins as they really are—that is, as God sees them—leads us to embrace another falsehood: that is, that we can make things right. Even though our culture is, in many respects, post-Christian, it still clings to the idea of redemption. However, just as with our ideas about sin and guilt, our ideas about redemption are pitiful and impoverished.

On Good Friday, God made it clear “that we are incapable of setting things right.” He made it clear by taking our place. On the Cross, “the Judge of the guilty is Himself judged guilty.” This is, of course, the great scandal, one that paradoxically points to the great truth at the heart of Good Friday. We are powerless to set things right, and only God, the offended party, could undo the mess we created.

The Cross—God’s way of bearing witness to the truth about our condition—is as offensive today as it was 2,000 years ago. Now, as then, we insist on misinterpreting the events of that Friday afternoon, but to no avail. Our sin has been judged, and God Himself bore the punishment. And that is the truth about everything.

Related audio and links

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rembrandt Knew

Jesus allowed Himself to be placed on the cross for our sins. Rembrandt knew that, so he placed himself in the painting as one of those helping to raise the cross.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bring Back Men's Hats

I love fedoras. I love old movies that show men in snappy suits and sharp hats. Hats lend style. Hats make an outfit sing!

Unless they're baseball caps. I'm really sick of those, especially on men who refuse to take them off in restaurants.

The Art of Manliness recently posted Bringing Back the Hat, declaring that hats are due for a full resurgence. Huzzah! I hope the prognosticator is right. The fedora is there, oh yah, but I can do without the porkpie (too doofy looking). The article also shares style hints and proper hat wearing etiquette, something sorely lacking today.

Okay, the fedora doesn't always have to be worn with a suit.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Astronomy of Easter

He is not here: for He is risen! - Matthew 28:6
Every Christian knows that Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem at the time of the Passover, and in this way became the perfect Passover sacrifice, "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). Since the early centuries of the church, Christians have honored the death and resurrection of Jesus in the celebration of Easter. And while the observance of Easter has changed over the centuries, it is based on the Hebrew Passover.

* Hebrew Roots *

We read in the Book of Exodus how the LORD used Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt. In Exodus 12, the LORD sent the final plague, smiting the firstborn of all Egypt. The Israelites were saved by sacrificing a lamb and covering their doorframes with its blood, so that the LORD would "pass over" the house and not smite the firstborn of Israel. And the LORD commanded that the Israelites remember the Passover in a seven day feast....

And this day shall be unto you a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. - Exodus 12:14.

Please finish this fascinating article at Classical Astronomy.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Whoa! Narnia Forever!

From Yahoo Financial News:

HarperCollins Deploys Web 2.0 Initiatives for Narnia With 'Read It Before You See It' Campaign
Thursday March 13, 8:00 am ET

NEW YORK, March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Today HarperCollins Children's Books announces the launch of its "Read It Before You See It" global digital campaign for C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia. The massive web presence focuses attention on the seven books in the series as a lead in to the Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media release of 'The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian' film on May 16, 2008.

HarperCollins and online agency Special Ops Media are taking Narnia to where the readers live-online, working together to create a viral campaign that takes a 50-year-old classic brand to Web 2.0.

Extensive promotions on Facebook and MySpace, a custom Prince Caspian widget and "Enter to Win" consumer contests are among the Web 2.0 initiatives that will reach new and existing fans of Narnia in surprising interactive ways, presenting an enhanced look at the beloved world that is Narnia.

"Our comprehensive, highly-targeted "Read It Before You See It" online campaign allows us to leverage all our Narnia assets to create interactive, viral platforms. These will expand our audience by further engaging it and increasing its user-experience with the franchise, to grow readership in advance of the film," said Diane Naughton, Vice President of Marketing, HarperCollins Children's Books.

The Narnia "Read It Before You See It" campaign includes:

-- Extensive promotion on social community sites Facebook and MySpace;
including profiles for Prince Caspian and Narnia.
-- A custom widget for MySpace with streaming daily content: movie info,
trivia quiz and a countdown clock.
-- A special application for Facebook-the Narnia Trivia Challenge-
utilizing new technology. Fans can "join the battle" with Prince
Caspian as one of their favorite Narnians, answer up to 100 questions,
unlock unique content, and challenge a friend to beat their score.
--"Read It Before You See It" dedicated microsite
features a sweepstakes, games, information about the books, author, illustrator and much more.
-- "Read It Before You See It" "Enter to Win" consumer contest (March
11th-April 11th)
-- Grand Prize: 2 tickets to the NYC premier of Prince Caspian the
-- 1st Prize: A Narnia treasure chest filled with Narnia books, games,
toys, plush, costumes.
-- 2nd Prize: A complete library of Prince Caspian movie tie-in books.
-- 3rd Prize: A Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Wii video game.
-- Online advertising on and (1,080,000 impressions).
-- interactive game: "Which character are you?" for kids on with advertising and links to the microsite, trailer and
special features.
-- Multiple partnerships with major online portals beginning with Yahoo!
Kids (4 million unique visitors each month) to feature e-cards from the
Pevensie children, and KOL, the kids division of America Online, (1.2
unique visitors each month) which will offer a read-a-long of a chapter
a week with prizing.

Background and contact info follow at Yahoo Financial News

Monthly Classical Lecture Rescheduled

Classical Christian Education and the Early Church Fathers
Wes Callihan

* rescheduled *

March 27th, 2008
5-7 PM Pacific Time

If you would like to attend, please follow these instructions.

Please go to Click on the tab at the top left of your window that says Meeting Center. You will see a list of all the meetings currently running. If the conference run has been opened, you will see “conference room” on the list. Click join next to this room.

When prompted, enter your first and last name and email and then use the password “Antigone” when prompted. The software will take a little while to download when you enter the first time, so please be patient if nothing appears to be happening. Once you are in the room you will be asked if you would like to join the VOIP audio conference- you need to join this to hear the audio, so please accept it. We will be having a question period during the lecture, so you will need a microphone on your computer if you would like to participate in that. You also need a high speed internet connection to participate- dsl, cable or satellite.

If you are having technical difficulties, you can call the webex tech support number - 1-866-229-3239. Please do not call tech support unless the conference room is running. I will attempt to leave the conference room running as much as I can this week, so you can practice entering before the time of the actual meeting.

Thank you for your interest,
Fritz Hinrichs

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

We Can't Do Everything!

Oh, this is hilarious! Its sung to the tune of Veggie Tales "The Pirates who Don't Do Anything."

All 3 Moms:
We are the home school moms who can't do everything
We just stay at home and plan a lot
And if you ask us to do everything
We'll just tell you
We can't do everything

Well, I've never been to Boston and I've never shot a musket, and I've never built a cabin using nothing but an axe, and I've never skinned a possum, and I've never staged a battle, and I've never started homeschool before fall!

We are the home school moms who can't do everything
We just stay at home and plan a lot
And if you ask us to do everything
We'll just tell you...

We can't do everything!

Mom 2:
And I've never distilled water, and I've never bandaged birdies, and I've never built an ant farm 'cuz I can't stand things that crawl, and I've never dug a fossil, and I've never owned a test tube, and I've never started home school before fall!

We are the home school moms who can't do everything
We just stay at home and plan a lot
And if you ask us to do everything
We'll just tell you

We can't do everything

Mom 1:
And I've never slaughtered chickens, and I've never milked a go-oat,and I've never gone to 4-H or the local county fair, and I've never sewn a jumper, and I don't look good in denim, and I've never started home school before fall!

Huh? What are you talking about? What's a milk goat and denim jumpers got to do with being a home school mom?

Hey, that's right! We're supposed to sing about academic-ythings!


And who ever sews school uniforms? That's impossible! Why even bring it up? Am I right? What do you think?

Mom 3:
I think you should do your laundry.

Huh? Why do you think that?

You should...

Don't wanna!

You wore that shirt yesterday!

That's it, you're going to help me!

Says who?

Says ME, that's who!

Oh yeah? Well I'm not picking up your socks! (pinches her own nose)



And I've never done gymnastics, and I've never danced the polka, and I've never painted daisies 'cause I cannot paint at all, and I've never made a schedule, and my house is never perfect...

It'll never happen!

And we've never started home school before fall!

We are the home school moms who can't do everything
We just stay at home and plan a lot
And if you ask us to do everything
We'll just tell you
We can't do everything

Pass the pencils! Who's got the teacher's guide?

Here it is! (holds up shredded paper)

(groans, then smiles with sudden inspiration) Time for recess!

It's definitely time for Scotch tape.

Oh, I don't like that stuff...

Hey, look! I found a crayon!

Hat tip to Anna May's Boy's Blog.

More Reasons to Learn Greek is reporting this exciting news:

Scholars Find Treasure Trove of Greek NT Manuscripts

Normally, two or three New Testament manuscripts handwritten in the original Greek are discovered each year. Last summer, the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) found a treasure trove of them during a trip to Albania. The Center, based in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas, devotes itself to the high-resolution digital preservation of these early copies of the New Testament. Scholars tried for decades to gain access to the National Archive in Tirana with little success, partly because Albania is a former police state. Until now, only two manuscripts of the 13 there known to Western scholars had been photographed. Recently though, Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, the CSNTM director, received permission to send a team of four men to Albania to photograph the manuscripts with state-of-the-art digital methods. By the end of their first day in Tirana in July, they realized there were more than 13 manuscripts -- far more. The catalog at the National Archive listed 47 New Testament manuscripts, and at least 17 were unknown to Western scholars. Evidence suggests that some of the other manuscripts had been presumed lost elsewhere in Albania, but no final determination has been made. For more information on the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, visit CSNTM.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cornerstone Curriculum Update

Dear Friends of Cornerstone Curriculum,

Helping parents to build the lives of their children upon the Biblical World View has been our goal since 1984 when we started Cornerstone Curriculum. We are a home school family seeking to serve our Lord Jesus Christ by assisting parents prepare their children to walk by faith into the 21st Century culture with true and firm convictions. Through the use of our curriculum we pray that God will "Stir Hearts, Renew Minds, and Change Lives" one family at a time. God's blessings on your family.

It has always been our desire to provide excellent curriculum at the lowest possible prices for home school families.

For 2008 we find it necessary to raise our prices effective April 10, 2008 on a few items.
We will continue giving families the same discount on additional copies of the workbooks/syllabi I have written.

Internet orders received by April 10, 2008 will receive the 2007 prices.
We hope this will help you in preparing for your upcoming school year.

Please forward this email to any of your friends that would be interested in teaching their children according to the Biblical world view.

We thank our God for you always!

God's blessings to you and your family,

David and Shirley Quine
Cornerstone Curriculum

There will be no price increase on:
Making Math Meaningful
Principles from Patterns
Science: The Search
Music and Moments with the Masters

WINTER SAVINGS of up to $75.00!

Current Cornerstone Price: $175
Current Retail Price: $229
Current Amazon Price: $210
Cornerstone Price as of April 10, 2008: $200

PURCHASE BEFORE APRIL 10, 2008 and SAVE $15.00!
Current Retail Price: $178
Current Amazon Price: $167
Cornerstone Price as of April 10, 2008: $150

WORLDVIEWS Year I Package Price--SAVE $55.00
PURCHASE BEFORE APRIL 10, 2008 and SAVE $55.00!
Current Cornerstone Price: $495
Current Retail Price: $602
Current Amazon Price: $573
Cornerstone Price as of April 10, 2008: $550
The Year I Syllabus prices will remain the same.

World Views Year II Package Price--SAVE $75.00
PURCHASE BEFORE APRIL 10, 2008 and SAVE $75.00!
Current Cornerstone Price: $550
Current Retail Price: $666
Current Amazon Price: $640
Cornerstone Price as of April 10, 2008: $625
The Year II Syllabus prices will remain the same.

PURCHASE BEFORE APRIL 10, 2008 and SAVE $75.00!
Current Cornerstone Price: $600
Current Retail Price: $739
Current Amazon Price: $689
Cornerstone Price as of April 10, 2008: $675
The Year III Syllabus prices will remain the same.

Thanks. David and Shirley

Monday, March 10, 2008

My Dog Breed

What dog breed are you? I'm a Jack Russell Terrier! Find out at

It's true, except for the exceptional athletic ability. That's just hilarious when applied to me.