A Lesson on Malthusianism from Saxo Grammaticus

Today, I want to share a passage that piqued my attention when I read it last year. It comes from book 8 of Gesta Danorum, a history of the Danish nation written by Saxo Grammaticus (1160-1220). After introducing Snio, King of the Danes, Saxo Grammaticus gives us a passage about a difficult period for the Danish people. I think this story displays well the deeds of a valorous woman, Gambaruk (see bolded section). It also gives an example of what happens when a country buys into Malthusian economics. Malthusianism holds that, because human populations reproduce at an exponential rate, eventually … Continue reading “A Lesson on Malthusianism from Saxo Grammaticus”

Old Law

I had a bit of difficulty deciding what to write this week. In my own personal life, I’ve listened to two different discussions on retirement in light of Christianity. Externally, all metaphorical hell seems to be breaking loose, what with the coronavirus, the oil trade wars, the stock market plunge, and the coordinated backstabbing within the Democratic Party. I don’t believe that I have enough information to comment on those things for the moment. I’ll wait a month, then, and focus on something I’ve been considering for a while. The Hebrews of ancient times were given a set of laws. … Continue reading “Old Law”

Out of the Frying Pan and the Fire

One of the most characteristic aspects of World War I as an experience was the constant rain of artillery shells: these shells, as opposed to rifle fire, were the greatest source of casualties. Nothing could save one from these shells. Although ducking down or hiding in a dugout could add to one’s chances of survival, ultimately none of these measures of self-defense could make one safe beyond doubt. In the memoirs of this era, we read of countless stories of individuals surviving a shell that would have destroyed them had they not decided to leave a certain dugout. We hear … Continue reading “Out of the Frying Pan and the Fire”

Christianity of the Third Millennium: A Response

I very much enjoyed reading Benjamin Bjorkman’s “Christianity of the Third Millennium.” Based on the PC games Ben and I enjoy, one can surmise that we both find it fun to look into the future with an eye toward strategy. At the same time, I do wish to voice a few criticisms of his article, and add a suggestion. Firstly, the article focuses on Christianity within developed countries. In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with this; however, one cannot read it as a comprehensive view of Christianity in the Third Millennium. As a matter of fact, huge populations … Continue reading “Christianity of the Third Millennium: A Response”

Of Concupiscence and Temptation

When I was younger, I remember confessing my temptations to a priest. He swiftly admonished my ignorance on the situation. “Being tempted to sin is not a sin,” he told me, “but rather succumbing to the temptation by acting upon it. Think about it: Jesus would have been guilty of committing a sin when He was tempted in the desert (Luke 4: 1-13). And we know that He was like us in all things but sin (Hebrews 4:15). This infers that Jesus was also absent of Adam’s original sin, the result of which was defective concupiscence, or the disposition towards … Continue reading “Of Concupiscence and Temptation”

Mass Production

It’s something I’ve felt, and undoubtedly something other people have felt. Things seem… cheaper. With regards to price, perhaps, but certainly with regards to quality. I can point out a myriad of examples, but I’d like to highlight just a few. Reasonable quality fabric used to be extremely durable and well-designed. People had one, maybe two outfits centuries ago because that was largely all they needed. It is very easy, on the other hand, to dismantle even our fanciest garments, be it toying with the threading, ripping the fabric, popping buttons, or staining it with… well, anything. Outside of clothing, … Continue reading “Mass Production”

On Reading Scripture “Literally”

When I was studying theology at Loyola, my Old Testament professor told our class that we should seek to read the Bible literally, but not always verbatim. Coming from a theology department that was lacking in Protestant fundamentalists, this comment impressed me. My professor went on to say that when approaching scripture, we should take it on its own terms. If a section of Genesis is written as history, we should read it as history! If a psalm is written to be allegorical, we should treat it as such. The key to much of Biblical hermeneutics is the art of … Continue reading “On Reading Scripture “Literally””

A Subhuman Creature

“The subhuman is a biological creature, crafted by nature, which has hands, legs, eyes and mouth, even the semblance of a brain. Nevertheless, this terrible creature is only a partial human being. Although it has features similar to a human, the subhuman is lower on the spiritual and psychological scale than any animal.” [1] Such is the state of the human fetus. It has human features like a face and eyes and even a forming brain, but it is just a clump of tissue, with no rights or value to call its own. It can be discarded through medication or … Continue reading “A Subhuman Creature”

A Message to Incels

You have my sympathies. The traditional role as butt of the joke in every situation is small comfort. As a Christian on the internet, I would know a little about that. However, rather than hold a collective pity party, I would prefer to share a Christian perspective which I believe is relevant and which I hope provides some comfort. Jesus was once questioned whether divorce was acceptable, in any situation. His response was a very emphatic negative. The nature of a couple was originally intended to be inseparability. Love-based relationships surpass family bonds; they are circles of trust shared by … Continue reading “A Message to Incels”

Why and How to Keep Up with World News

When Americans look around the world, we often see more of ourselves. America boasts massive influence in the international community. From America come many of the world’s top academic institutions, the greatest inventions of the past century, and the power behind general global peace and economic prosperity. In spite of the millennia-old musical traditions of the Old World, people look to Carnegie Hall, the Met, and Julliard as the hosts of the world’s greatest musicians. People from all over the world make up America’s diverse population. It’s easy to look at the US and assume that we know everything we … Continue reading “Why and How to Keep Up with World News”