July 27, 2017

So this is Christmas…

It’s Christmas. With several versions of John Lennon’s “So this is Christmas” playing on the airwaves and in retail establishments across America, it’s a bittersweet reminder that while we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, we have not as a nation, or as practicing Christians, yet learned his message and how to apply it.

Indeed, this has not been a peaceful year. Looking at the global state of things, conflicts, some decades in age, there are at least twelve ongoing conflicts that have resulted in deaths in 2012 (according to a Wikipedia page called “List of ongoing military conflicts”), including the war in Afghanistan that killed at least 03,000 in 2012, the Syrian civil war with 37,787 deaths, and one in Burma that started in 1948 and resulted in 10,000 fatalities (bet you missed that one on the nightly news round up). And, lest we forget, there are still American troops in Iraq, too, where over 8,000 people have died in the last two years.

Taken all together, it’s a depressing prospect. And when seen in light of the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut this month, it is perhaps more sobering and dispiriting, too.

Book Review: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

With Peter Jackson releasing the first of three movies covering J.R.R.Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” this coming December 15, I thought it was time to reread the book.

It’s hard to explain adequately how I feel about “The Hobbit.” Simply put, it’s one of my favorite books, I’ve read it more times than any other novel (though I’m not sure what that tells you about me).

Why I Read Fiction, and Why You Should, Too.

“If reading is the key to self-mastery, fiction is the master key. […] But fiction demands that you either identify with the characters’ decisions or distance yourself from them, and this has a powerful effect. In doing so you shape your own moral experience. Although it may seem to be far removed from the center of the culture right now, fiction remains the best form of reading — the single best way to achieve all of reading’s goods.”