Essay / Education

Freshman Follies (How to Avoid Them)

As I look with resignation at my incomplete and overly optimistic list of “Things to Accomplish This Summer,” I am coming to grips with the summer being almost at the end, and that means I am about to become the mentor/advisor to a group of

Essay / Misc.

Vincent van Gogh: More Blue than Yellow

Today (July 29) is the day in 1890 when Vincent van Gogh died from a gunshot wound he had inflicted on himself two days earlier, leaving behind many questions. That van Gogh was mentally tormented throughout his life is widely known. It is an unavoidable

Essay / Misc.

The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus

Once upon a time, the cruel emperor Decius came to the city of Ephesus to build new temples at which all citizens, but especially the Christians, would be required to worship him by sacrifices, or else die. Now in this city lived seven Christian men

Essay / Misc.

Helpful New Series from InterVarsity Press

For those familiar with the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (ACCS), you’ll know how helpful of a tool it can be when studying a passage of Scripture. The good news is that the publisher of the ACCS, InterVarsity Press, has recently launched two new series:

Essay / Misc.


It seems appropriate on July 4th Weekend to take a look at the document that resulted in a holiday filled with fireworks, pool parties, and barbecues that citizens of the United States have come to know and love. When I was growing up, Independence Day

Essay / Misc.

How My Dad Built an Illegal Bridge, and It Was Good

This Father’s Day, I’m remembering something my dad did back in the summer of 1991. He illegally repaired a county bridge and became a local hero. For his neighbors in Missouri, it became the story of a determined small businessman beating city hall with a

Essay / Misc.

Julia Morgan’s Delta Zeta House in Berkeley

“We make our buildings, and then our buildings make us,” Winston Churchill once said, pointing out how important architecture is. Less grandiosely, we could say that buildings influence their inhabitants in many subtle ways. Most people notice architecture’s mind-altering powers only if they live in

Essay / Misc.

To the Johnson House Class of 2009, Thanks

Four years ago this fall the Torrey Honors Institute of Biola University implemented a curriculum of the great literary classics that was thematic in its approach as opposed to being a chronological reading of the texts. My job as professor in Torrey was the result

Essay / Misc.

Nothing Happened in April

Actually, lots of interesting anniversaries are coming up in the next couple of weeks: Brainerd was born, Moody was converted, Kant was born, William Miller’s predicted date for Christ’s return came and went, Augustine was baptized, Charles Fuller was born, Luther had his disputation at

Essay / Culture

Playmobil Creator Hans Beck Dies

The weekend news carried the report of the death of Hans Beck, the man behind the Playmobil toys. Born May 6, 1929, Beck died on January 30, 2009. Left to my own lights, I would be a lifelong Lego nerd. But my kids have very

Essay / Misc.

Today is Felix Mendelssohn’s Birthday

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) was a musical wunderkind, a prodigy who was performing by age 9, composing symphonies by age 12, and publishing works by age 13. He was largely responsible for the revival of interest in Bach after decades of neglect, because it was his