“Unbroken”: Unspeakable Suffering, Unrelenting Savagery

On September 18, 2014, in America, Books, Courage, Faith, Forgiveness, Freedom, Heroes, History, Soldiers, Suffering, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

Laura Hillenbrand has only written two books but she ranks as one of America’s most gifted narrative historians. Along with David McCullough and Nathaniel Philbrick, Hillenbrand’s histories are novel-like. But her histories aren’t make believe. Like McCullough and Philbrick, Hillenbrand’s storytelling talent is backed by meticulous historical research and rigor. In her first book, Seabiscuit: […]

Comfort Amid Chaos and Carnage

On April 16, 2013, in America, Courage, Culture, Death, Evil, Heroes, September 11, Suffering, Terrorism, by Derrick G. Jeter

With a sudden shock—an explosive concussion—we were reminded, once again, that evil is in our midst. The two bombs that killed three and injured 150 more at the Boston Marathon bespeaks of the fact that free societies cannot eliminate all evil acts and maintain freedom. But the bombings also bespeak of another truth—a truth more […]

“The Little Way of Ruthie Leming”: A Review

On April 15, 2013, in Books, Christian, Christianity, Courage, Death, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, God, Grace, Love, Purpose in Life, Suffering, by Derrick G. Jeter

Books that demand undivided attention don’t come along every day. Fewer still those that demand not just a reading, but a thinking—half swallowed and chewed again, as we might say in Texas. Rod Dreher’s memoir about his sister, Ruthie is just such a book. The Little Way of Ruthie Leming is not only beautifully written, […]

Lincoln’s 9/11

On this, the eleventh anniversary of the terrorists attack on America, it’s appropriate that we reflect and remember, pause and pray. It’s appropriate that we read the names of those who lost their lives in New York City, Washington D.C., and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It’s appropriate that we give and listen to speeches. It’s appropriate […]

Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln and the Art of Rhetoric

On January 18, 2011, in Abraham Lincoln, America, Politics, President, Rhetoric, Suffering, by Derrick G. Jeter

Much ballyhoo followed in the wake of President Obama’s Tucson speech of January 12, 2011, memorializing the dead and injured from the shooting there a few days before. Those on the political right characterized Obama’s words as, “A wonderful speech!” (David Brooks, The New York Times), “A magnificent performance” (Rich Lowry the National Review), “very […]

Shaken Faith

On February 18, 2010, in Belief, Death, Evil, Faith, God, Gospel, Grace, Jesus Christ, Suffering, by Derrick G. Jeter

The numbers of the displaced, injured, and dead coming out of Port-au-Prince, Haiti are mind-numbing. The dead alone have reached to near 200,000. And that gruesome statistic will probably increase as days pass and rubble is picked through. In human terms these figures are incalculable—whole families lost, permanent physical, mental, and spiritual disabilities, and dreams […]

On Suffering and Happiness

On February 3, 2010, in Belief, Bible, Character, Christian, Faith, God, Jesus Christ, Love, Suffering, Virtue, by Derrick G. Jeter

We live during trying times, amidst economic difficulties, political drift, international dangers, moral deviancy, and natural disasters. The recent earthquake in Haiti has raised questions that haven’t been thought about or discussed since the Christmas tsunami in 2004 and the terrorist attacks on 9/11 in 2001. Questions like: “Does God what us to suffer?” and, […]

On Greek Tragedy

On October 6, 2009, in Books, Culture, Death, Evil, History, Suffering, by Derrick G. Jeter

Sixteen months after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, his brother, Robert traveled to the Caribbean island of Antigua. Grief-worn, Robert was becoming a shell of a man. The former first lady, Jackie, and others, accompanied him on the trip. Jackie took a book, which she gave to Robert that became a catalyst of courage, […]

A Spiritual Black Hole: What Is Evil?

On September 24, 2009, in Culture, Evil, Philosophy, Suffering, by Derrick G. Jeter

In 1964, Supreme Court Associate Justice Potter Stewart was struggling to define obscenity in his concurrent opinion that “obscenity”—with the expect of “hard-core pornography”—was protected by the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment. He wrote, “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that […]

The Problem of Judging God

On August 8, 2009, in Bible, Books, Christianity, Evil, Faith, God, Suffering, by Derrick G. Jeter

Since the advent of Jesus Christ there have been obstacles to faith in Him. The first arose almost as soon as He appeared on the public scene—confusion about His identity and the nature of his mission. John, Jesus’s cousin, called Him “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29, […]