1662: The most modern liturgy

Book of Common Prayer 1662

The title page of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, as printed by John Baskerville in 1762

Critics occasionally argue that there is something un-American about the 1662 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To be sure, the American Church adopted a new, heavily revised Prayer . . . → Read More: 1662: The most modern liturgy

The 1662 Prayer Book and the reason we use it

Book of Common Prayer 1662

The title page of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, as printed by John Baskerville in 1762

Television, it must be conceded, has conferred benefits on society, but along with the good has come an abundance of bad. And one of its most serious bits of mischief seems to have gone largely unnoticed: It . . . → Read More: The 1662 Prayer Book and the reason we use it

Discourtesy is to blame for bitter partisanship

In recent years we have been treated to much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the media about the bitterly partisan atmosphere in Washington, where the political denizens have elevated it to the level of an art form—albeit a notably ugly and intellectually dishonest one.

Actually, it’s hard to believe the media hasn’t noticed that . . . → Read More: Discourtesy is to blame for bitter partisanship

Dealing with the basic human impulse to discount miracles

Have you ever wondered why Jesus chose to inaugurate his ministry here on earth by turning water into wine to bail out a pair of embarrassed newly–weds? It used to puzzle me a lot. If I were the Son of God, I would have done something a lot more spectacular.

I would have raised somebody . . . → Read More: Dealing with the basic human impulse to discount miracles

A case of Animal rights versus Animal Crackers

Our recent Harvest Festival was a sorely needed affair: Americans are increasingly losing touch with “the land”—a synonym for agriculture and the source of their “daily bread.” Indeed, few of us these days seem to appreciate the role God’s grace plays in putting food on our tables. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . . . → Read More: A case of Animal rights versus Animal Crackers

Self-deception is the cause of grotesque delusions

Experience teaches us that human beings have an infinite capacity for self-deception. This leads us to put our trust in the most untrustworthy ideas, both great and small.

I first came to this realization when I was quite a small boy—not, I hasten to add, that I was then, or am now, entirely immune to . . . → Read More: Self-deception is the cause of grotesque delusions

A vital lesson Ancient Rome offers America

Moving house is a bittersweet experience—especially if you’ve lived in the place for 30 years or more. Downsizing is painful. It means necessarily parting with things that have been part of your life for 40 or 50 years—some of which you can cheerfully bid adieu; others that evoke sentimental memories.

My mother had no problem . . . → Read More: A vital lesson Ancient Rome offers America

Shades of 1930s Weimar in Charlottesville and Berkeley

As a student of German history, the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, evoked disquieting images of the vicious street battles between the Communists and the Nazis during the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Back then, however, both Communists and National Socialists were well versed in the ideologies for which they were fighting. In Charlottesville and . . . → Read More: Shades of 1930s Weimar in Charlottesville and Berkeley

Sin that masquerades as virtue

The funny thing about sin is it has an odd way masquerading as virtue. In other words, frequently the personal qualities we regard as particularly virtuous turn out, in practice, to be seriously sinful.

For instance, a clergyman of my acquaintance was fond of declaring that he made a point of “speaking his mind.” And . . . → Read More: Sin that masquerades as virtue

A cure for teenage boredom

B-o-r-r-r-r-r-i-n-g! It’s amazing the frequency with which kids utter the word “boring” these days. When I was a child, my mother took such complaints as an invitation to have me mow the lawn, weed her yard, or—horrors!—tidy my room.

“If you’re bored, Guy Hawtin,” she would say, “I’ve got just the cure for you.” There . . . → Read More: A cure for teenage boredom