Thought Tools

Knowledge Before Action?

Yielding to the temptation to offer advice is fearsomely dangerous. When asked for advice, it is indeed tempting to respond magnanimously as the wiser and more experienced person. Condescendingly giving advice, as a rich man grants pennies to a beggar, certainly strokes the ego, but it is oh, so very dangerous. I know of what […]

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Out with the Old?

It is quite exciting to tell ourselves, “This year is a new chance.” “This year will reveal an improved version of ourselves. Just wait and see how our marriages, families, and businesses thrive. It’s an opportunity for a new beginning.” I’m all for looking ahead and upgrading our game. But let’s not be too quick

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Define This

The adolescent daughter of friends of ours has an annoying habit. To almost anything said to her, she aggressively retorts, “Define __”. For instance, when I saw her last week, I innocuously greeted her with “Hello Denise, how are things with you?” “Define things” she snapped back. There was, of course, no good answer. One

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What Is Ancient Jewish Wisdom Good For?

Back when I used to build boats, launch day was fraught with tension. I know what you’re thinking. The crane is lowering the new boat into the water, the customer stands there watching anxiously with his family. Will it sink right there in front of everyone? Wrong! The chances of a new boat that was

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A Force for Good

You have just arrived in a strange city and you’re hungry. Spotting a restaurant over the street, you enter and gratefully, sit down. The waitress soon comes because no other table in the restaurant is occupied; you have the place to yourself. Glancing at the menu you place your order, but the waitress irritably informs

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The Missing Morality Matrix

You’re in luck if you want a deal on a battery car. Even with government incentives that penalize Kansas farmers to underwrite the purchase of Teslas in Beverly Hills, e-cars aren’t selling. General Motors has abandoned its e-car production targets. Mercedes Benz is offering discounts of up to $5,000 to buyers of its electric vehicles.

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Destruction is Fun

I’ve often been asked what the world might look like if God had never provided His Manufacturer’s Manual. The answer is that without a Scriptural system of values and the blueprint of government that Scripture provides, we’d live in a world of unrestrained barbarism. Or as Thomas Hobbes put it in his 1651 book Leviathan,

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Mountain Climbing

When Susan and I visited Zion National Park in Utah, we enjoyed many of the park’s splendid hikes. We were tempted by several other paths, but we adhered to the adage about discretion being the better part of valor. However, one hike that didn’t tempt us, not even one little bit, was the climb up

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Seeing Is Believing

Seeing is believing! Is it? I’ll believe it when I see it. Really? Will you? The late great mathematician, Martin Gardner, columnist for Scientific American magazine for 25 years developed a famous card illusion. The magician shuffles a deck of cards and has the subject select and memorize a card. After a sequence of seemingly

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Three Times a Year

Back when I was fortunate enough to own a sedan whose engine boasted, not 6, not even 8, but 12 cylinders, I was often accosted by people approaching me in parking lots. “Why don’t you get a car that uses less gasoline?” complete strangers would ask. It was initially startling, but I got used to

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