The Wisdom Chronicle is designed to bring nuggets of wisdom from the dozens of books I read every year. I endeavor to share the best of what I have gleaned. The determination of relevance lies with you. Blessings, J. Whiddon
- THE GOOD LIFE “Another modern trend is a change in what we mean by “the good life.” From Old Testament times and ancient Greece until this century, the good life was widely understood to mean a life of intellectual and moral virtue. The good life is the life of ideal human functioning according to the nature that God Himself gave to us. According to this view, prior to Creation God had in mind an ideal blueprint of human nature from which He created each and every human being. Happiness (Greek: eudaimonia) was understood as a life of virtue, and the successful person was one who knew how to live life well according to what we are by nature due to the creative design of God.
When the Declaration of Independence says we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them the right to pursue happiness, it is referring to virtue and character. So understood, happiness involves suffering, endurance, and patience because these are important means to becoming a good person who lives the good life.”
Excerpt From: Moreland, J.P. “Love Your God with All Your Mind.”
- STAR-SPANGLED IRONY “Americans today speak endlessly about sustainable growth, sustainable development, a sustainable future and the “conservation” or “ecology” of this, that and the other. And after the Minneapolis bridge collapse in 2007, they talk of the threat of the decaying infrastructure that supports America’s aging roads and bridges. But amazingly few pay serious attention to notions such as sustainable freedom, the ecology and conservation of liberty, the infrastructure of America’s foundations of freedom—or to the idea that freedom itself requires a living system of immunity if it is to stay healthy. This carelessness may prove lethal.”
Excerpt From: Guinness, Os. “A Free People’s Suicide.”
- NO COMMON COLDS “Exercisers report fewer upper respiratory tract infections, such as colds. Also, regular walkers experience about half as many days of upper respiratory tract infections as sedentary groups. Furthermore, near-daily physical activities reduce the number of work days lost to sickness.
In contrast, competitive athletes who engage in vigorous but irregular athletic events, such as marathons, tend to have an increased risk of those upper respiratory infections if they exercise to the point of chronic fatigue. The keys to maximizing your immune response with exercise, then, appears to be moderation and regularity.”
Excerpt From: Kenneth Cooper, M.D., MPH & Tyler Cooper, M.D., MPH. “Start Strong, Finish Strong.”
- NO CHANGE “He is immutable , which means that He has never changed and can never change in any smallest measure. To change He would need to go from better to worse or from worse to better. He cannot do either, for being perfect He cannot become more perfect, and if He were to become less perfect He would be less than God.”
Excerpt From: A. W. Tozer. “The Pursuit of God.”
- INCENTIVES “The difference between two otherwise comparable players, one hitting .299 and the other .300, can be as high as 2 percent of salary, or, given the average Major League salary, $130,000. (Note that though the average MLB salary is $3.4 million, it’s closer to $6.5 million for players batting in the .300 range.) All for .001 of a batter’s average, one extra hit in 1,000 at-bats.
Given the stakes, hitting .300 is, not surprisingly, a goal of paramount importance among players. How do we know this? Pope and Simonsohn looked at hitters batting .299 on the final day of each season from 1975 to 2009. One hit and the players could vault above the .300 mark. With a walk, however, they wouldn’t be credited with an at-bat or a hit, so their averages wouldn’t budge. What did these .299 hitters do? They swung away—wildly.”
Excerpt From: Tobias Moskowitz & L. Jon Wertheim. “Scorecasting.”
- SECULARISM “It never ceases to amaze me how modern western secularists are doing all in their power to purge Christianity from the public life. They’re sawing off the branch they’re sitting on.” — Chuck Colson
- WISDOM “Wisdom is a particular attitude toward reality, a worldview. That worldview assumes that the one God embedded truth within all reality.”
— James L. Crenshaw
- POVERTY AND CRIME RELATED? “The very same people who most argue that poverty causes crime usually believe that the affluent are particularly greedy and corrupt. [But] crime was extremely low during the Great Depression, when a far larger percentage of Americans were unemployed and experiencing great poverty.
Until “Poverty causes crime” is regarded as a foolish and dangerous belief, there is no hope for the regeneration of American society. As long as prominent politicians, intellectuals, and media leaders continue to believe that economics determines whether people act decently, society will continue to ignore what most determines whether people will hurt other people: values.
It will take a long time for this lie to be rejected because the human desire to reject the primacy of values is deep. The reason? As soon as we hold values responsible for human conduct, we must hold people, ourselves included, responsible for the bad that we do.”
Excerpt From: Prager, Dennis. “Think a Second Time.”
- MORAL TEACHING Commenting on a tragic school shooting in l998, Chuck Colson said:
“What’s happening to our children? The first thing we must understand is that only a biblical worldview of human nature can make sense of these murders. The Bible makes two things clear about humanity. First, we are created in the imago Dei, the image of God, and knowledge of right and wrong is implanted on the human heart. But we’re also warned that we live in a fallen world—and that the human heart is desperately wicked. These two facts require any civilized society to make the moral training of its young its number one priority. . . . The great criminologist James Q. Wilson says all of his studies have led to the same conclusion: Crime begins when children are not given adequate moral training, when they do not develop internal restraints on impulsive behavior.”
Excerpt From: Metaxas, Eric. “Seven Men.”
- JESUS LOVES US “Jesus loves us as we are, but He loves us too much to allow us to stay that way.” — C. Seidman