Showing posts from November, 2019

The Pilgrims' Cautionary Tale

Kate Zernike, writing for the New York Times,  finds fault  with what she calls “one common telling” of the story of the Pilgrims.   That telling – she also calls it an “interpretation” of their experience – has it that they conducted a brief experiment in socialism.   The problem for Zernike is that it’s not simply an interpretation or one common telling; it’s what no less an authority than William Bradford documents in Of Plymouth Plantation .   Bradford, of course, was governor of Plymouth Colony for 30 years.    It was not the Pilgrims who wanted a communal plantation; it was required by the terms of their agreement with the London Company that financed the colony.  (He who pays the piper calls the tunes, as they say.)  It did not go well.  Here is Bradford in his own words: “They began to consider how to raise more corn, and obtain a better crop than they had done, so that they might not continue to endure the misery of want.   At length after much debate, the Governor

Count Your Blessings

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, we would do well to consider just how vital giving thanks is to the worship of God.  We get a sense of its importance when we read this devastating indictment in Paul's letter to the Romans: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.  For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.  So they are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him , but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened (Rom. 1:18-21). Here we find the root of all sin – a failure to honor God as God (i.e., as the Lord of all) and, consequently, a failure to give h