"In most times and places it has been very difficult for the 'small man' to get his case heard. The judge (and doubtless, one or two of his underlings) has to be bribed. If you can't afford to 'oil his palm,' your case will never reach court. Our judges do not receive bribes. (We probably take this blessing too much for granted; it will not remain with us automatically). We need not therefore be surprised if the Psalms, and the Prophets are full of the longing for judgment, and regard the announcement that "judgement" is coming as good news. Hundreds and thousands of people who have been stripped of all they possess and who have the right entirely on their side will at last be heard. They know their case is unanswerable- if only it could be heard. When God comes to judge, at last it will."
In Reflections on the Psalms, C.S. Lewis points out that westerners have been largely spared an age-old experience regarding our legal system.
In the dark about the Syrian refugee crisis? Here's a short video explaining how it started and what it means:
Islam has been forging its way into our thinking since September 11, 2001, but as we reach another anniversary of that terrible day, I'm not convinced we understand this religion any better than we did fourteen years ago. Before the terrorist attacks, our national concept of Islam came from Hollywood films like Lawrence of Arabia and Indiana Jones. Islam seemed far away, mysterious and exotic when people thought about it at all, and most didn't think about it. Today, our perception of Islam is filtered by a media more likely to report the body count after a bloody explosion than a joint declaration from Muslim leaders condemning violence.
If headlines and book titles are to be believed, Islam is Daesh, Al Quaeda, radical terrorism, and the end of civilization. To be a Muslim is to be a suspect, a potential threat, a person set on destroying the West either by force or by a less violent (but no less sinister) immigration strategy. But is this the real Islam, the one that exists outside the parameters drawn by a nostalgic Hollywood, a partisan media, and popular understanding? With 1.5 billion adherents (according to PEW Research), the Muslim religion is the second largest religion in the world (Christianity is the largest). If it is a religion of violence, as many claim, why is violence and war on a steady global decline?
Snowpiercer is out on Netflix, and I know what you're thinking: "The Day After Tomorrow meets Unstoppable, right?" Wrong. Snowpiercer looks like total camp, it might even start out that way. But if you can make it through the first five minutes you'll be rewarded with a surprisingly engaging sci-fi parable of global irresponsibility.
This film is set in a post-apocalyptic future, where a climate change experiment gone wrong has created a global ice age. The last remaining survivors live on a globe circling train that has developed a class system. Led by Curtis Everett (Chris Evans), the poor in the tail section slum start a rebellion to take the engine of the train. What follows is enough to keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
Several years ago I had a painting business. For a couple of summers after college, I spent my days on a shaky aluminum ladder, methodically moving a roller back and forth across freshly washed, scraped and caulked wooden siding. Painting a house is soothing, rhythmic and meditative. Over time, the repetitive motions become mindless and habitual and you start looking for something to occupy your thoughts. Most painters just smoke (I guess inhaling paint fumes isn't enough). But I was still a wet-behind-the-ears college grad and was eager to learn about the world, so I turned to radio.
Physicists are divided between two alternate theories that explain the universe. How we understand these theories can shape our politics, and even our thinking about religion. The theory of general relativity (think Albert Einstein) explains the universe on a cosmological scale, showing that time-space is a constant, and predictable. General relativity allows us to understand the force of gravity, and the bending effect gravity has on light.
Quantum field theory (think Max Planck), on the other hand, reveals a random, irrational, and unpredictable universe at the most submicroscopic levels. According to quantum physics, the tiniest elements of the universe are constantly changing and seemingly jump in and out of existence at random. Depending on the question a researcher asks, the same element may be a particle or a wave. This is best illustrated by Schrodinger’s cat:
Innovation is found at the intersection of ideas, concepts and cultures
-The Medici Effect