Yes, I realize we’ve had this debate before, with Bryan Morey ably defending the a-political and anti-political standpoint. Yet, here it is again. One of my favorite bands has released an album that is unapologetically political. It’s even… Read More

Leave the Politics Out: Editorial — Progarchy

In my edition of John William Corrington’s essays, I assembled Corrington’s unpublished notes and sections of his unpublished lectures from the early 1970s that he maintained in one document. Because of the subject matter, I titled this section… Read More

John William Corrington on Intuition and Intellect — The Literary Lawyer: A Forum for the Legal and Literary Communities

One of the most important aspects of early American history is just how devoid of actual Roman Catholics it is. Obviously, on the North American continent, Catholicism throve in the French and Spanish areas and, frequently, among American… Read More

Anti-Catholicism in Early America & the Burning of a Convent — The Imaginative Conservative

Ray Bradbury at TAC

october_country4I had the privilege of writing about one of my favorite authors, Ray Bradbury, over at TAC.  Please check it out, if you have the time and desire.

The crispness of the air, the cider, the corn mazes, the migration of birds, the smell of dust, the darkening of the days, the hay rides, the Feast of St. Francis, the change of colors, and the falling of leaves all signify the transition to the wonderful season of autumn. Cyclical, the seasons come and go. Yet somehow—whether we’ve experienced it 14 times or 51 times—the arrival of fall always seems to startle anew our longing for things otherworldly.

God Bless You, Frank Miller | The American Conservative

Frank Miller is to comics and film what Neil Peart is to rock and what Camille Paglia is to academia. He is nothing less than himself.  Always and everywhere, he is purely Frank Miller. It seems, he could be nothing other than Frank Miller. If he changes, he can only become even more Frank Miller. On September 11, 2001, however, Frank Miller became more fully Frank Miller.

— Read on

776633bc66c51a9bf5e3e79ed7ff95bfI had a wonderful time talking with one of the best up and coming scholars in American history, Daniel Gullotta of Stanford.

Please check out our in-depth conversation regarding the good and bad of Andrew Jackson.

And, make sure to subscribe to Daniel’s podcast, so that you’re always up on the best of the history of the early American republic.

Cicero (Full Lecture)


The greatest republican of the ancient world, Cicero.

lindesfarne gospel

Lindisfarne bible.

Ever wonder how the Bible was put together?  Of course, you have!  Here’s a handy timeline and guide.

Canonicity of the New Testament.  The English word “Gospel” was first coined in 950AD in Lindisfarne, by an Anglo-Saxon monk/priest.  It means “God’s spell” or “God’s story.”  It is a translation of the Greek word euangelion.


Dates of the various books of the New Testament:

Date                                         Writing                                    Author

51-52                                         1 and 2 Thess.                           Paul

50-55                                        Gospel             Matthew

50-60                                        James                                       James

54                                             Galatians                                  Paul

Spring 57                                  1 Corin                                     Paul

57-58                                        2 Corin                                     Paul

57-58                                        Romans                                    Paul

60                                            Gospel                                     Mark

62                                             Philippians                               Paul

62                                             Col., Philem., Eph                    Paul

62                                             Gospel                                     Luke

64                                             1 and 2 Peter                             Peter

65                                             1 Tim and Titus                         Paul

65                                             Hebrews                                   Unknown

66                                            2 Timothy                                 Paul

70                                             Jude                                         Jude

85-95                                        Rev.                                         John

95-100                                      1,2,3, John                                John

98-100                                      Gospel                                     John


A few considerations:

  • A New Testament writing was only considered canonical by the early church if it was written by an apostle—one who knew Jesus directly and personally before the crucifixion.  St. Paul and St. Luke are the obvious exceptions to this.  As Cyril C. Richardson of Union Theological Seminary has written: prior to 150AD, “Christian preaching was founded on the Old Testament and on the living tradition of Jesus, passed from mouth to mouth.  This feeling for personal witness was very strong in the Early Church.”
  • Each of the New Testament writings was originally written in Greek, except for St. Matthew’s Gospel, which was most likely written in Aramaic.
  • The reading of the New Testament (or some semblance of it) became a standard, orthodox part of the mass/service only around 150AD.  Prior to that date, most services only looked to the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) as orthodox.  A large part of accepting the New Testament came as a reaction to the developing heresies.  The most dangerous in the second century of Christianity was Marcionism, which accepted only “The Gospel and the Apostle,” meaning a part of the Gospel of Luke and parts of ten of Paul’s letters, with any reference to the Old Testament edited out.
  • There were numerous copies and variations of each letter/Gospel floating around the Christian world in the first several centuries of the Church.
  • There were considerable disputes between the western and the eastern churches over: Hebrews, because the author is unknown; and The Apocalypse/Revelation of St. John, because it was often considered simple poetry and mythopoeic art.
  • Other letters proved problematic as well: James, 2nd and 3rd John, and Jude.
  • There were hundreds of competitors for a place in the New Testament.  Some were nearly legitimate: The Proto-Gospel of James (which deals with Anne and Mary) and Clement’s First and Second letters (which were regarded as canonical in North Africa (Alexandria, Egypt, especially by Clement of Alexandria) and in Syria for almost two centuries.  Clement’s letters remained in the N.T. codices for the Syriac and Coptic Churches for several centuries.  The first letter of Clement was written in 96AD; the author was, most likely, the third bishop of Rome.  The other nearly canonical letter was the letter called The Didache (“The teaching of the Twelve Apostles”).  The Didache was re-discovered in 1873, and scholars concluded that it was either written at the end of the first century or the middle of the second century.  It was, like Clement’s letters, regarded highly in the Syriac and Egyptian churches.  Eusebius, for example, considered it canonical.  Most of the competing N.T. letters, though, were Gnostic and heretical.
  • No ecumenical council ever ratified the canon of scripture.  It is a matter—entirely—of tradition and acceptance up through the middle of the sixteenth century.  During the Counter-Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church ratified its canon at the Council of Trent (1545-1563).  The Roman Catholic Second Vatican Council (1962-65) re-affirmed this.
  • Several regional councils in the early fifth century attempted to ratify a canon for the New as well as the Old Testaments: at Hippo and Carthage in North Africa.  The eastern churches refused to join in the discussions (because of disputes over Hebrews and Revelations).
  • The West, though, through tradition, had mostly accepted the New Testament—as it is now—by the end of the third century and clearly accepted it by the end of the fourth century.  The East did not accept a New Testament canon until the end of the seventh century.
  • St. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate appeared in 405, after twenty-five years of translation.  At first he included what would be known as the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Scriptures, but he later rejected the books within it as non-canonical.
  • The Old Testament Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical texts includes: Tobit; Judith; additions to the book of Esther; The Book of Wisdom; Ecclesiasticus; Baruch; Letter of Jeremiah; additional chapter to the Book of Daniel; and 1 and 2 Maccabees.  The Orthodox consider even more letters to be canonical.


[Sources: The New International Version Study Bible (Zondervan); The Navarre Bible, Gospels And Acts (Scepter, 2002); Carroll, The Building of Christendom (Christendom, 1987); Cyril C. Richardson, ed., Early Christian Fathers (Touchstone, 1996); and The New Catholic Encyclopedia (1908-1914;  Compiled by Bradley J. Birzer].

Order the Freewrite Traveler

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for new ways to write more effectively.  Not am I only under three contracts for three different books (yes, a wonderful problem to have) and thinking about a fourth, but I also write weekly for The Imaginative Conservative and The American Conservative.


The First Astrohaus Product, the Freewrite.  A marvel. Now, a prelude to an even greater thing, the Traveler.

And, when time permits, I review my favorite rock music at Progarchy.  And, yes, like most folks, I have a novel in the works.  We’ll see where that goes!

While writing is my passion, it’s still a lot of writing, to be certain.

My problem–and, yes, I have a problem–is that I let the internet distract me too much.  I’ll be in the middle of writing something, and I immediately want to follow up on idea (any idea that strikes my fancy) through a google search, check my email, or tweet something important or absurd.  Each time I allow myself to move away from my writing, it takes me close to 30 minutes or more to get back into my train of thought.  And, then, of course, every temptation to look elsewhere returns with a vengeance.  It’s a never ending process.

At the moment, my best laptop tool of choice is a program called Freedom–which allows me to shut down the internet (completely) for as long as I want.  I can set it for an hour or more.  It’s a great program.

When I really need just to write, though, I always turn to my Freewrite by Astrohaus.  I’ve reviewed it elsewhere, but, suffice it to state here, it’s a progressively retro and perfectly crafted piece of technology.  A computerized typewriter, if you will, without the social media and other distractions.  When you type something, it is save directly to a Postbox account, available anytime and anywhere, ready for editing and submitting.

Yesterday, Astrohaus announced its followup product, the Freewrite Traveler.  It’s the Freewrite, but with a much better battery life and immense portability.  And, yes, I ordered one.  In fact, I was order #29, and I’m rather proud of that.  Granted, I won’t actually get the Traveler until its official release early next summer, but it will be worth the wait.

If you’re a writer–professionally or academically–this is, simply put, a must own. Just watch the video, and you’ll immediately see how much excellence these guys put into the product–from its design to its effectiveness.  The thing is a thing of beauty, a wonder.

To pre-order it, just use this link.  And, enjoy!

Alternatives to Indian Removal

a miami chiefRemoval was not the *only* option for American Indians. Several–if not enough–went the route of simply defining individual property rights. They still own their original homelands.
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