Gettysburg — Why They Fought

Another excellent piece by David Brooks in The New York Times today. It is a reflection on the difference in soldiers from the Civil War to today. The language, the letters, the thoughts, are so completely different. We look so small today in comparison. In our current era, as the saying goes, we take that…

Language Shifts Indicate Cultural Shifts

David Brooks has a column today reflecting on language shifts over the last 50 years. His observations are interesting.    Usage of humility words like “modesty” and “humbleness” dropped by 52 percent. Usage of compassion words like “kindness” and “helpfulness” dropped by 56 percent. Meanwhile, usage of words associated with the ability to deliver, like…

The Oppressed and Spree Killers

The shootings in Aurora, CO, shock us once again. It is absolutely horrifying that someone plans that much detail just to kill as many people as possible. We will keep asking “Why” and the “why” may never come. We will have conversations about gun control and violence and so many more things. Well, we won’t…

Blue Chips and Junk Bonds

David Brooks is one of my favorite columnists. This column discusses politics, but it reminds me of a conversation I had regarding ministry as well. Brooks’s contention is that liberals have allowed short term gains to cloud their vision for long term good. The conversation I had regarding churches and ministry was much the same.…

Difficult Thoughts on Penn State

While I maintain the superiority of baseball over all other sports (and have fun doing so), I do love sports in general. And I had a passion for college sports over pro sports. There was certainly an admiration I carried for years for Joe Paterno because he seemed to do things the “right” way in…

The Loss of a Moral Compass

David Brooks’ column in The New York Times gives a synopsis of where we have come. Just yesterday in my Church History lecture I was talking with my students about the place tradition had in the Church for about 1700 years. While I will never argue that trusting tradition is always a good thing, I will say…

Learn from Failure

This column by David Brooks is tremendous. His columns are tremendous as a standard, in my book. As a culture, we have to come to a place individually where we admit our shortcomings and learn. Learn from FAILURE. But our culture has tried to shield us from failure. I am guilty of this as a…