Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863
This historic proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln. It sets aside the last Thursday of November as "a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father Who dwelleth in the heavens.."
Abraham Lincoln: Leader for all Ages
Edwin Meese
The former U.S. Attorney General considers the leadership of our 16th president.
Bonhoeffer and the Sovereign State
First Things, August/September 1996
Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was one of the conspirators who planned an assasination attempt against Hitler in 1945. He was soon put to death by the Nazis. Bonhoeffer had a well developed political understanding which was strongly rooted in Luthe
The Christian Scholar in the 21st Century
The Real Issue, January/February 2000
Dr. Alister McGrath of Oxford explains the history of evangelicalism in the university and in academic scholarship. He outlines why evangelicalism abandoned the academy in the past and how it can regain a foothold in the university once again.
Christianity and Culture
Jerry Solomon
The Christian is encouraged to become a transformer of culture as he seeks to glorify God in all of life.
A Christmas Quiz
Dale Taliaferro
A quiz about various aspects of the biblical cause for Christmas: Christ's birth.
The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order
First Things, May 1997
Samuel P. Huntington in his book "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order" argues that culture wars have replaced the Cold War as the decisive struggle in contemporary life. Reviewed by A. J. Bacevich.
Clio's Makeshift Laboratory
First Things, March 2001
Explores the task of the historian, particularly in the current postmodern and academic environment. Wilfred M. McClay holds the SunTrust Chair of Excellence in Humanities at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and is the author most recently of "The Student's Guide to U.S. History" (ISI Books), from which this essay is adapted.
The Coming Age of Cathedrals
First Things, January 1997
Like the medieval citizens who anticipated the year 1000, we come to face a new millenium with apocalyptic expectations. Will society evolve into another "cathedral age" or will it decline into an era of increasing technological barbarism?
Consecrating the President
First Things, January 1997
The historic means by which a President-elect is inaugurated with religious trappings may be traced to the European traditions of divinely ordained monarchs.
Declaration of Independence
The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America
This is the text of the Declaration of Independence. Many assume that its famous phrases on equality and rights actually come from the Constitution. This is an opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with this seminal document of American liberty.
The Decline of a Nation
Kerby Anderson
Discusses various historical perspectives on the rise and fall of nations. Concludes with a biblical perspective.
Defending the Faith
Christian Apologetics in a Non-Christian World
A report on the 1995 Evangelical Theological Society Annual Meeting compiled by Probe Staff. Included are "Defending the Faith Philosophically" by Dr. J. P. Moreland, Talbot Seminary; "Defending the Faith Historically" by Dr. Gary Habermas, Liberty University; "Defending the Faith Scientifically" by Dr. Charles Thaxton Charles University, Prague, The Czech Republic; "Defending the Faith Theologically" by Dr. Thomas C. Oden, Drew University Theological School; and summary by Dr. Ray Bohlin.
An Easter Quiz
Dale Taliaferro
A quiz about the passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord.
Education Beyond the Classroom
Jerry Solomon
A significant portion of a child?s education takes place beyond a formal classroom. Parents are encouraged to give attention to what their children hear, read, and see. The "curriculum" often includes naturalism, hedonism, syncretism, pragmatism, existentialism, and postmodernism. Sensitive parents will encourage their children to recognize these ideas and respond by thinking God?s thoughts after Him.
Faith & Freedom: The Christian Roots of American Liberty
Benjamin Hart
"Faith & Freedom" examines the birth of the nation of the United States of America, exporing the rise of freedom and democracy in America.
Farewell Address
George Washington
In this most famous address, Washington states, among other things, that religion is necessary for political prosperity.
The Founders' View of Character and the Presidency
Scott R. Stripling
America's Founders thought of the presidency in terms of human nature itself. In doing so they provide a lesson regarding the fragility of self-rule.
George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789
This historic proclamation was issued by George Washington during his first year as President. It sets aside Thursday, November 26 as "A Day of Publick Thanksgiving and Prayer."
The Gettysburg Address
Abraham Lincoln
This most famous of Lincoln's speeches considers the principles in the Declaration of Independence in light the American Civil War. His fellow speaker on the occasion, classical scholar Edward Everett, remarked that he hoped to have said as much in two hours as the President had in two minutes.
God's Chinese Son
First Things, June/July 1996
Christian missionaries had made great advances in China by the 1840's. Then an ambitious Chinese youth, Hong Xiuquan, read the missionaries' tracts and decided that he was also God's son, the younger brother of Jesus. He sought to begin a new dynasty for
Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis [Book Review]
First Things, March 2001
Book review of "Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis" by Ian Kershaw. Norton. Reviewed by Walter Sundberg.
The Holocaust: Ideas and Their Consequences
Ray Cotton
An examination of two conflicting world views prevalent in Nazi Germany: the Christian Church and atheistic naturalism, and their impact upon the Jewish holocaust of the Nazi regime.
In Defense of Constantine
First Things, April 2001
Robert Louis Wilken examines Constantinianism through two books: "Constantine and the Bishops: The Politics of Intolerance" by H. A. Drake and "The Making of a Christian Empire: Lactantius and Rome" by Elizabeth DePalma Digeser.
Islam Partially Perceived
First Things, January 1996
Bernard Lewis reviews "The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World" (4 vols.) which is edited by Joseph Esposito.
Letter to Mrs. Bixby
Abraham Lincoln
President Lincoln's famous letter to Mrs. Bixby, who was believed to have lost 5 sons in the Civil War.
The Life of Calvin Coolidge
Dr. Michael Platt
Calvin Coolidge, often scourged by modern historians, may have been one of the most decent and wisest men ever to occupy the White House.
Living in the New Dark Ages
Lou Whitworth
A review of Charles Colson's important book, "Against the Night: Living in the New Dark Ages." Colson argues that "new barbarians" are destroying our culture with individualism, relativism, and the new tolerance.
Measure of Rulers
Leadership University Special Feature
February is the month that we traditionally recognize our past presidents.
The Morality of the West: From Bad to Worse
Ray Cotton
A critique of the ethics being taught in our schools and how it has changed from bibically based values to the morality of political rationalism. The reasoning of moral relativism is destroying our society and corrupting the minds of our youth.
More Than Eggs
Leadership University Special Focus
Seeing stores filled with chocolate bunnies, toy chicks and colored eggs reminds us that it is Easter time again. But is there more to this holiday than the pretty bonnets and baskets on a nice spring day? See our special focus on the subject of Easter.
A New Birth of Freedom: Abraham Lincoln and the Coming of the Civil War [Book Review]
First Things, March 2001
Book review of "A New Birth of Freedom: Abraham Lincoln and the Coming of the Civil War" by Harry V. Jaffa. Reviewed by George McKenna.
Opinion: Berlin Again and Again; Hard to Remember; Swearing to Life
First Things, January 1996
The author reflects on his three visits to Berlin, each in a different decade. Its history may stir deep emotions as one recalls the terrible consequences of radical ideology merged with political power.
Opinion: The 1934 Million Man March; Form Over Matter; The Uses of Clerical Scandal
First Things, February 1996
This report, written by an American journalist at the time, describes the 1934 Nazi rally at Nuremberg. This vivid essay recounts this event as depicted in the famous film "Triumph of the Will." When one considers the course of events that shortly follo
People of the Book: Christian Identity and Literary Culture
First Things, October 1997
Book review of "People of the Book: Christian Identity and Literary Culture," by David Lyle Jefferey. He traces the Bible in the development of many cultures. The Bible is shown to remake culture. Reviewed by Alan Jacobs.
Politically Correct Education
Don Closson
This essay considers the impact that affirmative action, multiculturalism and speech codes have had on education. It also argues that the heart of the issue is the rejection of both the Judeo-Christian worldview and Western civilization.
The Politics of Baptism
First Things, December 1996
Bringing baptism to the gentiles was a seminal event in ancient history. The wide spread of Christian thought and practice throughout the Roman Empire ultimately destroyed the division between the patricians and plebians. This class struggle had long sus
Population and the Wealth of Nations
First Things, December 1996
In the 1950's and 1960's there was a trend in academia to write and speak out against the dangers of overpopulation. The power of this argument was rooted in the alleged scarcity of resources, particularly in the Third World. There are, however, events
Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture
First Things, December 1994
Book review of Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture.
Remembering the Riots
First Things, October 1997
The racial riots of the 1960's were said to have been caused by white racism. Did these riots lead to greater understanding between the races? Or did they cause further racial divisiveness? The author answers these questions in this essay.
Review Essay: Daniel Goldhagen's Holocaust
First Things, August/September 1996
Richard John Neuhaus reviews Daniel Goldhagen's book, "Hitler's Willing Executioner: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust." In this book, Goldhagen presents his thesis that the German people were anti-Semitic since the early 19th century: they wanted the
Robert Graham, S.J.
First Things, June/July 1997
Father Robert Graham, S.J. was a tireless defender of Pope Pius XII against accusations of indifference toward the fate of Jews in World War II. Several years after his death, the Pope became the target of vehement criticism in this regard.
The Sacred Fire of Liberty
First Things, April 1996
After his many accomplishments at the federal level in the 1780's, did James Madison turn into an ardent states rights advocate in the following decade? Traditionally, scholars have argued that this is the case. In his book "The Sacred Fire of Liberty:
The Significant Other
Leadership University Special Focus
March is recognized as Women's History Month. Many popular media outlets commemorate this month by tracing, perhaps even celebrating, key moments in the feminist movement. But is the development of feminism the primary story in the history of women? Indeed, should contemporary feminism even be considered the movement that best defines the needs and interests of today's women? We have put together a special focus on this issue.
Slavery, Constitution and War (Letter to A. G. Hodges)
Abraham Lincoln
In this brief letter, President Lincoln relates the question of slavery with that of protecting the Union. It is instructive in revealing the factors and principles that go into making fundamental choices, something all great leaders must do.
Stars and Stripes: Forever?
Leadership University Special Focus
The Fourth of July is properly recognized as the anniversary of American freedom. However, the way in which many Americans choose to exercise their freedom, through both public and private expressions, has been called into question lately. Has liberty simply turned into license? Please see our Special Focus on
Sympathetic Attractions
First Things, May 1997
Patricia Fara studies the historical development of science in a society in her book "Sympathetic Attractions: Magnetic Practices, Beliefs, and Symbolism in Eighteenth Century England." Reviewed by Hugh Ormsby-Lennon.
Thanks, I Guess
Leadership University Special Feature
It is Thanksgiving time again. Time for turkeys, reunions and football. Do we also need to take time to consider what we have to be thankful for? Or is that simply too old-fashioned for our society today?
Thanksgiving Quiz
Kerby Anderson
Quiz on history of Thanksgiving: Pilgrims, William Bradford, colonists, etc.
Theology of Christmas Carols
Dr. Bob Pyne
Examines the theology behind 5 beloved Christmas carols: Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, O Little Town of Bethlehem, O Holy Night, and Joy to the World.
To Be Citizens Again
First Things, August/September 1996
Alexis de Tocqueville witnessed American ingenuity in solving social problems with voluntary associations. That was over 150 years ago. The America of today is quite different. Citizens no longer seek to solve society's problems with their own actions
The Untold Story
Jamie Cowen
The author discusses the role of Christian Zionists in the establishment of modern-day Israel.
Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class, and Justice in the Origins of America
Thomas G. West
The conventional wisdom of our time accuses America's Founders of racism, sexism, and elitism. It condemns them as hypocrites who failed to live up to their own professed belief in human equality. West demonstrates that the Founders were indeed sincere in their belief in universal human rights and in their commitment to democracy and opposition to slavery.
Washington's Original Thanksgiving Proclamation
An actual copy of The Massachusetts Centinel, Wednesday, October 14, 1789 containing the proclamation issued by George Washington setting aside Thursday, November 26 as "A Day of Publick Thanksgiving and Prayer."
What is Wrong with Society Today?
John H. Stoll
Quite frequently the question is raised as to what has gone wrong with our society today, what has caused the problems, and what can be done to correct them? This article examines the basic cause and the historical changes that have led American society to today's problems.
Whittaker Chambers: A Biography
First Things, June/July 1997
William F. Buckley, Jr. reviews the book "Whittaker Chambers: A Biography" by Sam Tanenhaus. This is the story of a former Bolshevik turned renowned anti-Communist.
Who is 'Israel' and What is Her Future?
Jonathan Went
The author discusses the issue of what, biblically, is meant by the term 'Israel,' and what God has planned for the future of the Jewish nation.
Why Care About History?
Jerry Solomon
Jerry Solomon discusses the importance of history to the Christian world view, encouraging believers to enjoy the blessings of God's work in space and time.
Why the Main Character of Braveheart Is Not William Wallace
A Movie Review by John Gay
Mel Gibson's "Braveheart" won five academy awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Most people would assume that Gibson's character, William Wallace, about whom the movie was named, was the movie's central character. Was he? If not, who was? And how does this character's life speak to our own lives?
The Woman on the Bus: The Faith of Rosa Parks
Breakpoint Commentary
Author, speaker and one-time Presidential assistant Colson comments on the Christian faith of Rosa Parks, the woman made famous in 1955 for refusing to vacate her bus seat for a white man. Her defiance became a rallying point for the civil rights movement, but her decorum itself was distinctly civil, which gave her example power.
Women and the Common Life
First Things, February 1997
This essay is a review of "Women and the Common Life: Love, Marriage and Feminism" by Christopher Lasch, edited by Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn. Reviewed by Mary Ann Glendon, this collection of essays recounts the role of women in American society over the la
The World of the Apostle Paul
Rick Wade
This essay examines different aspects of life in the day of the Apostle Paul: religion, philosophy, the family unity, social morality, and Christians? conflict with the culture.