Temporary Goodbye

August 10th, 2015 No comments

For now, this blog will be my last one.  I am taking a “temporary” leave of absence from blogging.    

As most of you probably know, the difference between a PhD degree and all other degrees is that a PhD degree is awarded for original research–research on a new subject or about new materials relating to a subject that has been written about earlier. I did that at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, being awarded a PhD degree in 1963 for research I did relating to the Old Testament and later Jewish literature prior to the time of Jesus (materials that were written during the Intertestamental Period, the time between the Old Testament and the New Testament).

Some additional materials have come to my attention that would continue my earlier research through the life of Jesus–through the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. As nearly as I can determine, this is original material that no one has delved into. It is a major undertaking, especially for an eighty-two year old man, whose Hebrew and Greek are a little rusty, but it is a scholar’s dream. I will not be working alone, but I will be the lead person. I estimate that it will be a full-time task that will take at least eighteen months–possibly longer–to complete. My wife and four children are very supportive of my taking on this academic endeavor about a religious subject that has been grossly misunderstood.

At this point in time, I prefer not to comment on the subject matter of this material, but from time to time I will keep you informed as to my progress.  For now, I will say a temporary “Goodbye.”



Opinions Versus Opinionated

May 12th, 2015 Comments off

I have opinions!  Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines opinion as: “A view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter.”  In describing how “opinion” is used, Webster says, “Opinion implies a conclusion thought out yet open to dispute.” 


Yes, I have opinions about: politics, which includes what I think of the performance of the U.S. Congress; the programs and actions of the President of the United States; our country’s handling of world affairs; how other nations feel about us, how they treat us, and why; the use of our military forces; our obligations as the superpower of the world; and the inability of the Democrats and Republicans to forget about being re-elected and the 2016 elections and concentrate on what’s best for the United States of America. 


I also have opinions about the laws Read more…

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Are Newspapers on the Ropes?

March 10th, 2015 No comments

There is no question about it: most newspapers in the United States are on the ropes.  They are not yet down and out, but they are close to that knockout blow.  I know this, as most of you readers do, from personal experience.  Newspapers are downsizing in size and quality of paper, merging with or selling out to other newspapers or newspaper chains, printing regional editions, laying off journalists and support staff, doing away with proofreaders and newsroom editors, or simply closing their doors, selling their property to real estate developers or declaring bankruptcy.  The picture is pretty bleak.  And international statistics indicate the same development in most countries that allow freedom of the press.


Although being on the ropes is close to being down and out, there have been many times in championship struggles that the entity on the ropes is able to surprise everyone and rebound for a victory.  I believe that this is possible for today’s newspapers.  Newspapers have played a very significant role in the history of the United States of America, and freedom of the press is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Certainly every effort needs to be exerted to save our newspapers “because,” as Robert G. Kaiser wrote in an essay for the Brookings Institution, “Journalism is the craft that provides the lifeblood of a free, democratic society.” Read more…

The Devil and Lent

March 2nd, 2015 No comments

In this current age of technology and science, it is difficult for us to realize that one of the most important incidents reported in the Bible for understanding the Christian faith is about an evil spirit referred to as “Satan” or “the devil.”  The particular incident I am referring to is Jesus being tempted in the wilderness by Satan for forty days, related to us in Matthew 4:1-2, Mark 1:12-13, and Luke 4:1-2.  (FYI: “Satan” is the Hebrew proper name of the supreme leader of evil spirits opposed to God; “the devil” is the Greek rendition of the original Hebrew proper noun; both mean the same.) Read more…

Something We all Can Give Up for Lent

February 22nd, 2015 No comments

For Western Christianity, February 18 was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.  For as long as I can remember, I have heard Roman Catholics and Protestants of many denominations talk about what they are giving up for Lent.  I was reared in a Congregational Church, known now as the United Church of Christ.  We knew what Lent was, and there was mention of Lent from the pulpit.  But, as I remember, there was no emphasis on giving up anything.  Certainly, my parents, who were very active in the Church, never talked about it with my brother and me.  As an ordained clergyman, I have pretty much adhered to my childhood rearing, and I never stressed the need for, or the importance of, giving up things during Lent. 


But this year I am changing that.  I know of something that we all can and should give up–Roman Catholics, Eastern Christians, and every Protestant regardless of his or her denomination.  But before I get to that, in order to have a better understanding of the Lenten season, let’s just review some basics. Read more…

How About Some Respect

January 5th, 2015 No comments

I wish many things for 2015, but one in particular is “Respect for others.”  The basic concept of respect covers a large spectrum of subjects; I am mentioning only a few in hopes that my comments will stimulate your thinking.  Perhaps together we can come up with a list of things we all need to do to help make respect for others more prevalent in 2015.


In my opinion respect for others starts in the home with young children.  Parents need to teach and practice respect for themselves and other members of the family.  I am appalled at how some parents talk to their children and allow their children to speak to them.  I witness some parents and children shouting at one another, and sometimes using foul language.  This is teaching disrespect that goes far beyond the family.  Parents need to teach children early on how to disagree with another person without shouting and yelling and name-calling. Read more…