Posts Tagged With: World News

HEADS OF MICE, OR TAILS OF A LION?

The Puzzle of Europe

The Puzzle of Europe

2016-05-27 @ 08:30 CDT

This blog is a stub – one meant to keep as a “ready reference” an interesting (if short) article on EurActiv.com. The article is entitled, “Conflict analyst: EU would have ‘second most powerful military on Earth'”. I can well believe it. So why not have it? I mean in Europe’s long-term, if totally carnal self-interest.

 Jesús Núñez (EFE) - c/o EurActiv.com

Jesús Núñez (EFE) – c/o EurActiv.com

The original article is in Spanish. Here is a quote from the English version:

The EU would have “the second most powerful military” in the world if its members pooled its resources, insisted the co-director of the Institute of Studies on Conflict and Humanitarian Action in an interview with EurActiv Spain.

“If we added the capabilities we have in the EU together, we would automatically become the second most powerful military force on Earth and the reason we aren’t is because there is no political will. This is because each national government would rather be the head of a mouse rather than the tail of a lion,” said Jesús Núñez, a conflict analyst.

According to Núñez, the EU has reached a point where it has to decide whether “to remain the eternal adolescent, going cap in hand to its parents, the US within the framework of NATO, at the weekend because it doesn’t want to fly the nest and be responsible for its actions” or finally become “master of its own destiny and focus on European defence”.

That is certainly the problem – no surprise really, given European history: “Each national government would rather be the head of a mouse rather than the tail of a lion.” But be careful what you wish for, Mr. Núñez – you might get it! Actually, “might” is too mild a word, because the need for a European military gets stronger every year, if not ever day. But history and biblical prophecy alike teach us a vital lesson: each time that lion arises, it’s trouble not just for Europe, but for everybody else within reach.

The biblical book of Revelation speaks of a time when, yet once more, the mice will get together to form a lion:

(Rev 17:12 RSV) And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast.
(Rev 17:13 RSV) These are of one mind and give over their power and authority to the beast…
(Rev 17:17 RSV) for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and giving over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

The Living Church of God publishes two booklets on the topic and related topics: Revelation: The Mystery Unveiled!, and The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor, or Soon-Coming Reality? – in addition to many broadcasts found on the Tomorrow’s World Web site. – (יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Bible, Church of God, Internet, World News | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

ELEVEN AMERICAN NATIONS?

The Eleven American Nations (c/o Tufts Magazine)

The Eleven American Nations (c/o Tufts Magazine)

2016-02-22 @ 12:30 CST

Given my schedule, often I have to put something on this blog for further study, without making too many comments of my own. Here is one such item, which I spotted – somewhere – on Facebook today.

The Washington Post (November 8, 2013) cites this telling analysis by Colin Woodard (Tufts Magazine, Fall 2013) about how North America is sorting itself out into eleven distinct “nations” with very different makeups and outlooks on life. If Woodard is right – and his analysis makes a lot of sense to me – the implications not just for this election year, but our national future, are powerful.

As Woodard writes in Tufts Magazine, “Our continent’s famed mobility has been reinforcing, not dissolving, regional differences, as people increasingly sort themselves into like-minded communities.” This has great implications for dealing with violence-related issues such as gun control and the death penalty, again as Woodard notes. It seems unlikely that these eleven distinct “nations” can come to a consensus on these or any other major issues – at least any which will satisfy everybody. – (יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Culture, World News | Tags: , | 1 Comment

GRAVITY WAVES

Simulation of Two Black Holes Merging (c/o NPR)

Simulation of Two Black Holes Merging (c/o NPR)

2016-02-21 @ 12:15 CST

Undoubtedly there are many great articles out there regarding the recent discovery of “gravity waves”, but this page on the National Public Radio (NPR) site (another article is found on this page) has the virtue of being simple to understand, yet thorough enough to be helpful. It also features the graphic shown above and a very helpful video. This is an important confirmation of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity (an NPR commentary on this confirmation is here).

But a comment in that last article (by Linda Wertheimer) seems to me to be an overstatement at best. “Albert Einstein… developed his theory of general relativity in the early 20th century, and in 1915, he announced his theory that space and time are woven together and that events in the universe can cause space and time to move, to bob and jiggle, to stretch and ripple. Einstein’s ideas overturned previous ideas of an orderly universe where planets and solar systems revolved in a calm and eternal magnificence.”

It is the alleged overturn of the idea of “orderliness” which I’d like to challenge. We know more about just how orderly the Universe is than when Einstein was alive – let alone his predecessors in cosmology, Newton, Kepler, Copernicus, and Ptolemy, going back in time. Without the order inherent in natural law on the one hand and the human mind on the other, Einstein could not have made his theories and their predictions to begin with.

Even chaos is governed by natural law. One example of this is the random walk in mathematics. What Einstein and others have done – for this is how science progresses – is overturned a number of oversimplified ideas about how the Universe is ordered. The possibilities which exist within that order are mind-boggling – and that, to me, is the point. They bear witness, as even Einstein the deist confessed in his own way, to a Supreme Intelligence whose thoughts and workings should leave us all in utter awe.

(Proverbs 25:2 RSV) It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. (יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Science, World News | Tags: , | 1 Comment

“WE HAVE FORGOTTEN GOD”

2015-11-26 @ 12:30 PM CST

(This was written on 2015-11-17 and sent as a proposed LCG Commentary to my supervisors. As it has not been accepted there for publication, I will put forward the text here as my personal thoughts about Thanksgiving. The hymn-melody given above is not what I’m used to in connection with the lyrics – but it certainly is inspirational!)

Almost immediately after Halloween was over, the local grocery store—part of a major chain in the United States—took down its Halloween decorations and put up decorations for Christmas. Where pumpkins, witches and skeletons once stood, Santa Claus now towers over grocery shoppers. One sees the same in local shopping malls and on private property outdoors: Christmas decorations are already up—and it’s not even Thanksgiving Day yet.

The motive is obvious: to encourage shopping for the Christmas holiday season. “Black Friday”—the start of the Christmas retail drive—used to be the day after Thanksgiving Thursday. Now, it’s essentially whatever day in November on which a retailer can post a “pre-Black Friday sale”. And Thanksgiving Day? For many, it seems to have become “Turkey Day”—if not even less: “Football Day”.

What has happened to Thanksgiving Day in the American consciousness?

Our American Thanksgiving Day has deep roots, but we need go back no farther than the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation of Thanksgiving, made on October 3, 1863, called upon the American people to give thanks for God’s manifest blessings, given even in the midst of such a terrible conflict. Lincoln set the last Thursday of the following November for a national day of thanksgiving, and in time this day was made a national holiday.

But how many today remember an earlier proclamation by President Lincoln? His Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day, made on March 30, 1863, called on the nation to fast and pray, seeking repentance before God and God’s deliverance in response. Who now in high political office would dare say the following words to the American people, even in the name of what Thomas Jefferson called “Nature’s God”—let alone of the God of the Bible?

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!”

God heard the sincere prayers of the American people. President Lincoln acknowledged this when he proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving, six months later. The American people were grateful for God’s deliverance and blessings. Are we?

What was true for ancient Israel and Judah was true for the United States in Lincoln’s day, and is just as true for the United States and all the descendants of Israel and Judah now. It is just as true for any other nation which seeks to serve God in truth (Proverbs 14:34). As God said to King Solomon: “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14).

Our free booklets, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy, Who Controls the Weather?, and Twelve Keys to Answered Prayer, are just three we could recommend on this topic. Wherever you are in the world, be thankful at all times for God’s blessings and deliverance as you obey Him! – (יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Bible, Church of God, World News | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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