Pastor calls Christian atheists to shed hypocrisy

Pastor Craig Groeschel is a recovering Christian atheist. He may have called himself a Christian all his life, but he didn’t always live as if God existed.

It’s a struggle he’s had both as a layman and as a pastor, of one of the fastest growing and largest churches in the country. And it’s a struggle he wants to help millions of so-called Christians to overcome.

Christian atheists are everywhere, Groeschel writes in his newly released book, The Christian Atheist.Continue reading “Pastor calls Christian atheists to shed hypocrisy”

Summers Were Wetter in the Middle Ages Than They Are Today

ScienceDaily (Mar. 25, 2010) — The severe epidemic of plague known as the “Black Death” caused the death of a third of the European population in the 14th century. It is probable that the climatic conditions of the time were a contributory factor towards the disaster. “The late Middle Ages were unique from the point of view of climate,” explains Dr Ulf Büntgen of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) in Birmensdorf, Switzerland. “Significantly, there were distinct phases in which summers were wetter than they are today.”Continue reading “Summers Were Wetter in the Middle Ages Than They Are Today”

C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters: how it all began

The first of the Screwtape letters was published in The Guardian on 2 May 1941. Thirty more letters followed, one each week. Lewis was paid 2 per letter – but he would not accept the money. Instead, he sent the editor of The Guardian a list of widows and orphans to whom the 62 was to be paid. He did the same with the fees the BBC paid for the Mere Christianity broadcasts, and those The Guardian paid for the weekly instalments of the Great Divorce in 1944-5.Continue reading “C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters: how it all began”

The English: a people without a history?

by openDemocracy

Author: Michael Collins

Of all Britain’s peoples, the English have traditionally been the centrepiece of ‘British history’. Nonetheless, argues UCL historian Michael Collins, it is they who have the most to worry about when it comes to their sense of the past.

According to A. J. P. Taylor, in 1934 Oxford University Press commissioned its History of England series on the basis that ‘England’ was still “an all-embracing word”. It meant “indiscriminately England and Wales; Great Britain; the United Kingdom; and even the British Empire” (A. J. P. Taylor, English History, 1914-1945, OUP 1965). Looking back from the 1960s, AJP still believed this to be the appropriate historiographical perspective to take, and in private correspondence he made this very clear. “I am obsessed with England”, he wrote to his editor G. N. Clark in 1961, “to hell with Scotland, Northern Ireland and still more the Empire!!” (A. J. P. Taylor to G. N. Clark: 20 May 1961, Clark Papers, Bodleian Library, Oxford, MSS Box 30.). One wonders if he thought Ireland even worth sending to hell.Continue reading “The English: a people without a history?”

The Staffordshire Hoard: an Anglo-Saxon treasure unearthed

The Staffordshire Hoard is an unparalleled treasure find dating from Anglo-Saxon times. Both the quality and quantity of this unique treasure are remarkable. The story of how it came to be left in the Staffordshire soil is likely to be more remarkable still.

The Hoard was first discovered in July 2009. The find is likely to spark decades of debate among archaeologists, historians and enthusiasts.Continue reading “The Staffordshire Hoard: an Anglo-Saxon treasure unearthed”

Historians Reassess Battle of Agincourt

Here is nn interesting article I found in the New York Times written by James Glanz and published on the 24th of October 2009.

MAISONCELLE, France — The heavy clay-laced mud behind the cattle pen on Antoine Renault’s farm looks as treacherous as it must have been nearly 600 years ago, when King Henry V rode from a spot near here to lead a sodden and exhausted English Army against a French force that was said to outnumber his by as much as five to one.

No one can ever take away the shocking victory by Henry and his “band of brothers,” as Shakespeare would famously call them, on St. Crispin’s Day, Oct. 25, 1415. They devastated a force of heavily armored French nobles who had gotten bogged down in the region’s sucking mud, riddled by thousands of arrows from English longbowmen and outmaneuvered by common soldiers with much lighter gear. It would become known as the Battle of Agincourt.

But Agincourt’s status as perhaps the greatest victory against overwhelming odds in military history — and a keystone of the English self-image — has been called into doubt by a group of historians in Britain and France who have painstakingly combed an array of military and tax records from that time and now take a skeptical view of the figures handed down by medieval chroniclers.Continue reading “Historians Reassess Battle of Agincourt”

The first Christmas card dates back to 1843

When London’s John Calcott Horsley invented the first Christmas card in 1843 as a favor to Henry Cole, neither man had any idea of the impact it would have in Britain and later in America. Even the early Christmas card manufacturers believed Christmas cards to be a vogue which would soon pass. They operated on a quick turn basis and did not bother to document the cards they produced. However, the Christmas card was destined to become an integral part of the holiday season. By 1880 their manufacture was big business, creating previously unknown opportunities for artists, writers, printers, and engravers.

Continue reading “The first Christmas card dates back to 1843”