On this day, February 14, 270 A.D., a man by the name of Valentine, a religious leader in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was executed.
According to History.com, The Roman Emperor, known as Claudius the Cruel, “was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns.” Apparently, he was having a difficult time getting men to join his army because of their attachment to the wives and families. So, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome.
According to one of the legends, Valentine, “realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.” Continue reading
Henry Ward Beecher was an American minister and social reformer known for his support of the abolition of slavery.
Beecher tells the story of a man who once came to their house and confronted his father, regarding a personal grievance with him. The young man in Beecher’s words was “ red with wrath” and boiling over with rage.” His father “listened to him with great attention and perfect quietness until he had got it all out, and then he said to him in a soft and low tone, ‘Well, I suppose you only want what is just and right?’” Continue reading
Yesterday’s news was dominated by two major stories: What we can do to stop school shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida, last week and the death of evangelist Billy Graham.
Oh, there was NBC’s coverage of the winter Olympics, but even that network had considerable national and local coverage regarding the other two major events.
In watching and listening at various intervals throughout the day it occurred to me there was quite a striking paradox taking place. Continue reading
C. S. Lewis from his book, “God in the Dock, offers this interesting bit of dialogue regarding prayer.
“Praying for particular things,” said I, “always seems to me like advising God how to run the world. Wouldn’t it be wiser to assume that He knows best?”
“On the same principle,” said he, “I suppose you never ask a man next to you to pass the salt, because God knows best whether you ought to have salt or not. And I suppose you never take an umbrella, because God knows best whether you ought to be wet or dry.” Continue reading
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience,” once wrote Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist.
While experience is something, as one sage expressed it, that we sometimes wish happened to someone else, it is a necessary part of life. Experience teaches us and provides personal knowledge that helps us acquire skills. Gain insight. Develop maturity. And grow in wisdom. Continue reading
Suffering is a part of the human experience. Jesus told the apostles in John 16:33, “In this world, you’re going to have trouble. You’re going to have tribulation.” But he didn’t explain why.
In midst of his pain and anguish, Job observed, “Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). But he still didn’t understand why.
Yesterday, we began answering a question from one of our readers regarding the issue of suffering in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting and as it relates to the book of the Job. If you missed yesterday’s post, read it first for context. Continue reading
Filed under Evil, Suffering
Did you hear about the fellow who walked into First Suburban Church wearing an expensive suit and a baseball cap?
After he sat down, an usher walked up discretely, introduced himself, and said, “Pardon me, but we don’t wear hats in the auditorium during worship.” The well-dressed man nodded — and left the cap in place. Continue reading