The Bible: A great profit comes throughout the land

Publishing house publicity departments never tire of trumpeting the fact that The Bible is world’s best selling book. But, truth to tell, it has been on the bestseller list ever since it first came out.

Next time you visit a bookshop, stroll over to the Religious Section and take look at the different editions of . . . → Read More: The Bible: A great profit comes throughout the land

The decline and fall of the American neighborhood

When our children were young, they would routinely lament that we were much stingier and far less permissive than the parents of all their friends—not merely the parents of their closest friends but of their most casual acquaintances.

To hear our kids tell it, their friends’ moms and dads not only would never have dreamed . . . → Read More: The decline and fall of the American neighborhood

Nicknames as terms of divine affection

We get so much spam in our e-mail it is hard to give the worthwhile stuff the attention it deserves. In any event, I was skimming the Fortnightly Newsletter of the Diocese of the Holy Cross recently and was much taken with a meditation on nicknames by The Rt. Rev. Paul Hewett SSC, the diocese’s . . . → Read More: Nicknames as terms of divine affection

Who benefits in the fight against national obesity?

Who benefits in the fight against national obesity?

Maybe it’s because Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat, I recently called to mind a conversation I overheard many years ago between three elderly, distinguished, and decidedly rotund bishops. They were discussing the nature of sin. Ultimately they decided that gluttony was their favorite.

. . . → Read More: Who benefits in the fight against national obesity?

Whose Christmas is it?

Twenty years or so ago a stalwart of our weekly Communion at the Glen Meadows Retirement Community was a retired radio broadcaster called Miss Alice Thomas.

Unlike today when folks with all manner of ugly and irritating voices populate the airways, Alice had a golden voice. You could sit and listen to her for hours.

. . . → Read More: Whose Christmas is it?

Figuring out a sure–fire way to get to heaven

We are now in Advent—the church season in which we look forward not to Christmas, the time of Jesus’ First Coming but to his Second Coming, when he will arrive “in power and great majesty to judge both the quick and the dead.”

It’s a frightening prospect, which explains our fascination with figuring out a . . . → Read More: Figuring out a sure–fire way to get to heaven

Blaming all our social ills on sex strains credulity

It is tempting to join in the chorus of dennunciations prompted by the avalanche of sexual harrassment allegations embarrassing Washinton’s political elite. Denouncing sins committed by others is such glorious fun that we all-too-often overlook the dangers inherent in doing so.

As our Lord pointed out in the Sermon on the Mount, the trouble with . . . → Read More: Blaming all our social ills on sex strains credulity

There are perils in hiding from unfashionable realities

Geography has not been taught as a subject in public schools, here or on the other side of the Atlantic, for decades. The same is true of history, geography’s companion discipline. The two subjects are now loosely lumped together under the heading “Social Studies.” If Social Studies were simply a harmonization and rationalization of two . . . → Read More: There are perils in hiding from unfashionable realities

The Seven Deadly Sins need to go

Forget about the Collect for the Twenty First Sunday After Trinity. It is entirely out of step with the spirit of the age. The traditional sins—especially the seven deadly ones, namely pride, envy, gluttony, sloth, et al.—are as outmoded as last summer’s beach wear. They have been replaced with two new and all-embracing sins against . . . → Read More: The Seven Deadly Sins need to go

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