McWhorter on the death of languages

From First Thoughts

Give the familiar Spenglerian theme of demographic death and the end of languages, I thought his readers ought to know about a recent essay by linguist John McWhorter, “The Cosmopolitan Tongue: The Universality of English”.He poses the question:What makes the potential death of a . . . . Continue Reading »

Apocalypse by Overcompensation

From First Thoughts

The Telegraph claims that close scrutiny of a photo of Ahmadinejad’s identity card shows that his family were practicing Jews: his surname was originally “Sabourjian”.The Sabourjians traditionally hail from Aradan, Mr Ahmadinejad’s birthplace, and the name derives from . . . . Continue Reading »

Putting Secularism Out of its Misery

From First Thoughts

Every person who has experienced the power of faith and religious conviction bridles at  the continuing intellectual hegemony of secularism in our culture. Scholars, religious leaders, or cultural trendsetters who can articulate the case for the continuing vitality of religion are prized. A . . . . Continue Reading »

Is Jesus the Messiah?

From First Thoughts

It all depends what the meaning  of “is,” is.Is Jesus the Messiah now? Bloody unlikely. Whether your political rogue du jour is Obama or Palin, politicians lie, the elderly and sick die (panels or no panels), wars arise and end with predictable pace; how long does this ellipsis have . . . . Continue Reading »

Leviathan and the Jews

From First Thoughts

Sometimes it takes days, weeks, or even months for insight into the significance of an obscure text to gestate. And then sometimes it merely takes a serendipitous intersection of disparate sources. In The Star of Redemption, Franz Rosenzweig presented “Christianity” as a worldly . . . . Continue Reading »

Jesus the political pundit

From First Thoughts

I was trying to locate some of the 0ld warnings about mixing religion and politics. So I searched for “God not Republican”.  I was informed, however, that that “Campaign [is] Unavailable.” The “alert has expired.” Fuggedaboutit. Drop it. The crisis is . . . . Continue Reading »

“Salvation is of the Jews”

From First Thoughts

...the sad thing is that you cannot be a Christian and take the Jews seriously at the same time. Or, if you can, it is a very very difficult thing to do… (Not Even the Rain, on Spengler’s Forum)The spiritual man is able to endure a duplication in himself; by his understanding he is able . . . . Continue Reading »

What do converts want?

From First Thoughts

I have very slightly paraphrased—left out a “the”—an essay by Terry Mattingly on the sometimes tense relationship between ethnic Orthodox (Eastern Orthodox Christian) and converts (mostly from evangelical and mainstream Protestant churches). The tendrils of the story are long . . . . Continue Reading »