Frederick Douglass: America’s Prophet | Book Review


Today is the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Douglass. Born a slave in 1818 on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Douglass escaped slavery in 1838, fleeing to New York but eventually settling in Massachusetts. Three years later, he began his lifelong work as an abolitionist and civil rights activist. There are many excellent biographies of Douglass, including three autobiographical works. D. H. Dilbeck’s Frederick Douglass is valuable because it is a “religious biography,” the goal of which is “to explain the substance of Douglass’s faith and show how it shaped his public career.” In Dilbeck’s judgment, Douglass was “the most significant … Continue reading Frederick Douglass: America’s Prophet | Book Review

Review of ‘This Hallowed Ground: A History of the Civil War’ by Bruce Catton


Bruce Catton, This Hallowed Ground: A History of the Civil War (New York: Vintage, 2012; repr. Doubleday, 1956). Paperback | Kindle My wife and I celebrated our tenth anniversary by touring Civil War battlefields in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Standing in the fields where soldiers fought and died gave me a tree-and-leaf view of the battles, but I felt lost in the details because I did not have a forest view of the war. Park rangers and tour guides recommended Bruce Catton’s books, so I went to Barnes & Noble and purchased This Hallowed Ground. Originally subtitled, “The Story of … Continue reading Review of ‘This Hallowed Ground: A History of the Civil War’ by Bruce Catton

Review of ‘The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation’ by Hennessy and McConnell


Jonathan Hennessy and Aaron McConnell, The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation (New York: William Morrow, 2013). $15.99, 224 pages. At the outset, I should confess that I am not a reader of graphic novels. Indeed, The Gettysburg Address by Jonathan Hennessy (writer) and Aaron McConnell (artist) is the first one I have ever read from cover to cover, let alone with any enjoyment. I am, however, a lover of all things Lincoln, so in the sesquicentennial of his address, I resolved to purchase and read this graphic novel. A graphic novel has to be reviewed in two parts: the substance … Continue reading Review of ‘The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation’ by Hennessy and McConnell

The World Wide (Religious) Web for Monday, May 9, 2011


This year is the 400th anniversary of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. Over at ChristianityToday.com, Mark A. Noll asks, “What would it have been like if the KJV had always been only one among several competing English-language versions of the Bible?”His answer: When the KJV became the cultural and literary standard for the entire English-speaking world, it was easier to focus on the literary excellence of the translation without stopping to face the divine imperatives and promises that are any Bible’s primary reason for existence. The pervasive cultural presence of this Bible also made it easy to … Continue reading The World Wide (Religious) Web for Monday, May 9, 2011

The World Wide (Religious) Web for Tuesday, May 3, 2011


“Welcome to hell, bin Laden.” So said Gov. Mike Huckabee in the opening statement of his Huckabee Report. It’s a common sentiment, but is it a Christian one? James Martin SJ, asks, “What is a Christian Response to Bin Laden’s Death?”  Jennifer Fulwiler writes about “The Shocking Truth That God Loves [loved?] Bin Laden Too.” Jim Wallis argues that “it is never a Christian response to celebrate the death of any human being, even one so given over to the face of evil.” Joe Carter reminds us that “our relief at his death must be tempered by a Christian view … Continue reading The World Wide (Religious) Web for Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The World Wide (Religious) Web for Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Here are ten religious posts that caught my eye today: Lee Strobel discusses how Easter killed his faith in atheism. If you’re interested in the topic, check out N. T. Wright’s exhaustive study, The Resurrection of the Son of God, which—at 740 pages is not merely exhaustive but exhausting…to hold, anyway. Or read Michael Licona’s The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, which is 22 pages shorter. President Obama hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House, and a reporter can’t help but note a political angle (in the penultimate paragraph). Personally, I cheer the president’s statement of … Continue reading The World Wide (Religious) Web for Wednesday, April 20, 2011