- I liked Al Mohler’s Wednesday edition of The Briefing, especially part II: ” The View of World History through the Eyes of Vladimir Putin: The Legacy of the Autocrat, the Drive for a Greater Russia, and the Reclamation of Russian Glory.”
2. I liked George Herbert’s (1593–1633) poem “Sunday.” In part, it reads:
The Sunday’s of man’s life,
Threaded together on time’s string,
Make bracelets to adorn the wife
Of the eternal glorious King.
On Sunday’s heaven’s gate stands ope;
Blessings are plentiful and rife,
More plentiful than hope.
This day my Savior rose,
And did enclose this light for his:
That, as each beast his manger knows,
Man might not of his fodder miss.
Christ hath took in this piece of ground,
And made a garden there for those
Who want herbs for their wound. . . .
Thou art a day of mirth:
And where the weekdays trail on ground,
Thy flight is higher, as thy birth.
O let me take thee at the bound,
Leaping with thee from seven to seven,
Till that we both, being tossed from earth,
Fly hand in hand to heaven!
3. I liked Julie Hartman’s Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Harvard Students Are Covid Sheep.” (Hartman is a senior at the prestigious university.) FYI, by “liked,” I mean found interesting. Her words below intrigue (and sadden) me:
The administration has managed to implement all these measures without serious objection because of this hard truth: For most Harvard undergrads, our lives during Covid aren’t that different from the way they have always been. . . . To get into this university, we chose to detach ourselves from normal human experiences, neglecting our interests, hobbies, robust social lives—anything that couldn’t appear on a college application or be touted in an interview. Almost everything in life was subordinate to whatever was necessary to get into college. Once we arrived on campus, we certainly had more fun than we did in high school, but our tendency to conform hasn’t gone away, especially as we pursue our next goal, whether at Goldman Sachs or in graduate school. There is little difference between mask compliance and the grueling sports practices and marathon study sessions we did in high school. Covid restrictions are simply requirements we tolerate to attain the next credential. . . . Our life’s mission has been to please those who can grant or withhold approval: parents, teachers, coaches, admissions officers and job interviewers. As a result, many of us don’t know what we believe or what matters to us. . . . My peers and I are often told that we are the future leaders of America. We may be the future decision makers, but most of us aren’t leaders. Our principal concern is becoming members of the American elite, with whatever compromises, concessions and conformity that requires. The inability of Harvard students to question or oppose these irrational bureaucratic excesses bodes ill for our ability to meet future challenges.
Comment for #1
This is infinitely less than a spec of dust in God’s plan for eternity. I pray someday Putin will realize how insignificant he is.
This is a manifestation of a demonic agenda that was born in the belly of hell. This is a battle for the soul of an entire continent. Pray for the people of Ukraine and Russia. The average Russian citizen wants nothing to do with this. People are protesting in Russia and being arrested. We need to pray for a revival and awakening in the continent of Europe. We need to pray that the leaders will have divine encounters. Pray the leadership will be untethered from demonic agendas. Pray that evil alliances will be exposed and broken.
I liked some of Al Mohler’s Wednesday Briefing, but I could not agree with his conclusions.
Part I. Deals with the Christian Worldview. I would maintain and I think that Fiona Hill and Clifford G. Gaddy’s book “Mr. Putin / Operative in the Kremlin” also does that Vladimir Putin while referencing Orthodox Christianity (p. 111) has nevertheless in his behavior exemplified a worldview that is certainly non-Christian. Everybody has a worldview, but I am not sure that is relevant to Mohler’s circles of influence.
The Russian Spring of 2014 was a synthesis of fascism, Stalinism, Russian nationalism and Russian Orthodoxy or what Laruelle describes as the red, white, and brown components of the NovoRossiya project. “Putin’s War Against Ukraine: Revolution, Nationalism, and Crime” by Taras Kuzio. p. 251 [from M. Laruelle, ‘The three colors of Novorossiya.”] In order to understand VP you must go back to Dresden, St. Petersburg (I lived in an apartment with a Russian family in Lomonosov outside of St. Petersburg), Moscow, and of course his exploits in the 2014’s and beyond in Ukraine.
Part II. “Autocrats simply lie.” We have seen that with those in our time – Trump, Kim Jung Un, Xi Jinping, and of course Putin, but only Putin has followed up his lies with military force backed by nuclear weapons. Would he use one (or more)? What safeguards are built into the Soviet system? I am a student of Russian history as well as that in Cambodia and Korea. Russia gives me the greatest pause – in spite of those courageous souls who are speaking out against this atrocity.
Part III. We can’t station ourselves inside Putin’s head although TF would like us to. What then? I have volunteered to go to Ukraine, but I can see now that WWIII would soon follow. Mohler has no idea how international relations and politics work with sanctions being added as NATO and other countries are going along. Germany has taken significant steps in stopping the Nordstream Pipeline in addition to increasing their military budget. Great Britain and Boris Johnson have been exemplary in acting and speaking out.
A situation yet to be resolved, but which we all need to pray for God’s Grace and Mercy.
Yours in Christ,