Some of our entries this week are based on readings in Tabletalk or in Chronicles, two outstanding monthly periodicals centered in the Bible and Reformation theology (the former) and traditional Christian conservatism (the latter).
Veritas students are encouraged to read at least the daily Bible studies in Tabletalk for the summer months of June, July, and August.
The blog descriptions that occasionally appear based on articles in Chronicles represent the teacherʼs little efforts to let his students in on whatever he is reading and thinking about. Such things, a kind of enlightened sharing or give-and-take, are really the heartbeat of the teacher-student relationship, as Jesus made clear when He gave the reason why he called his disciples friends (Jn. 15:15).
We begin with a few Christian Almanac entries left over from our studies in May. The June Almanac articles, which students are encouraged to read, fall on the following Tuesdays & Thursdays: 5 & 7 — 12 & 14 — 19 & 21 — 26 & 28.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz — (Almanac, May 15)
Conceived for the delight of children, this Lyman Frank Baum story (1900) was part political parable, part morality tale based on the late 1800sAmerican scene?Scholars say the backdrop is Democrat William Jennings Bryanʼs populist campaign to add silver to the gold standard (16 to 1 oz. ratio) behind the nationʼs paper dollar. The moral, it would appear, is that everyday folks (“thereʼs no place like home”) can solve most of their problems without the “help” of policymakers in Washington, D.C.
G.K. Chesterton — (Almanac, May 29)
“Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.” Thus said this English journalist (1874–1936), best known for his Father Brown short story detective series, but also the author of many masterful disputations like Orthodoxy, The Everlasting Man, and Whatʼs Wrong with the World? A convert to Roman Catholicism, his wit and mastery of paradox made him a formidable apologist or defender of what C.S. Lewis later called “Mere Christianity.”
Edmund Randolph — (Almanac, May 29)
This Virginia governor (1753–1813) presented Madisonʼs plan for a new national government to the Constitutional Convention in May 1787? What the governor offered and “the great little Madison” conceived was radical indeed, given that the convention was called “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.” Modifications made to Madisonʼs Virginia Plan displeased the governor: he wouldnʼt sign the final document, though he later supported its ratification.
John Newton — (Burk Parsons; Tabletalk, May 2012)
“What will it profit a man if he gains his cause and silences his adversary, if. . .he loses that humble, tender frame of spirit in which the Lord delights?”Thus asked this Anglican minister and beloved hymn-writer (1725–1807), author of “Amazing Grace,” in his 1771 essay “On Controversy”? The former shipman and slave-trader turned fisher-of-men wrote on the whys and wherefores of godly debate with an eye, particularly, on Calvinists (like himself) andArminians locked in theological dispute.
catholic — (Tabletalk, May 28)
This adjective, when used in the ancient creeds to describe the church, is often mistaken to mean allegiance to the pope and Roman doctrine? What is really in view is the universal character of the church, Christ by His blood having “ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. . .” (Rev. 5:9). Thus the worldwide spread of Christianity fulfills what was spoken by the prophets: “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD. . .” (Ps. 22:27).
Sam Houston — (WayneAllensworth; Chronicles, May 2012)
Before the crucial battle of San Jacinto against the Mexicans (1836), this Texas founder (1793–1863) urged his forces “to be men, be free men, that your children may bless their fatherʼs name”? He also happens to hold the unenviable distinction of being the only American governor to be run out of office in two states: Tennessee & Texas. In the latter instance, his fall resulted from his pro-Union stance, though he declined Lincolnʼs offer of troops to beat back Texas secessionists.
Audie Murphy — (WayneAllensworth; Chronicles, May 2012)
This Texan (1924–1971), the son of poor sharecroppers and so short the Marines wouldnʼt take him, turned out to beAmericaʼs most decorated soldier in WWII? His book, To Hell and Back (he became an author, actor & songwriter) said less about himself and his heroics than about the GIs, mostly infantrymen, with whom he served. Despite traumas and tragedies in postwar life, he was, says one author, “a magnificent warrior, an uncommon common man, grown from the soil of rural Texas.”
Tuskegee Airmen — (Roger McGrath; Chronicles, April 2012)
These African-American fighter pilots, belonging to WWIIʼs 332nd fighter group, are among our countryʼs most celebrated veterans, despite some distortions of their legacy? Called into being largely for political purposes by FDR, the determined black airmen, according to sources dating back decades, never lost a bomber under their protection to the enemy over the skies of Europe. In truth, they lost many and ranked last among the four P51 fighter units with whom they served.