Poetical License and Truth

george hancockstefanOur Monmouth County neighbor Mr. Brian Williams from NBC was suspended for telling a story about his time in Iraq that was not completely accurate.  No sooner had he been relived from his anchoring duties then Mr. Bill O’Reilly from Fox News faced similar questions about his reports from Argentina.  The director of Selma, Ms. Ava DuVernay, was criticized for inaccurately portraying the position of President Johnson during the Civil Rights Movement and she replied that she is not a historian.

There are many facets to telling a story accurately and truthfully.  One starts with that sacred moment when we are witnesses in the court of law.  We are asked to take an oath that we will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  Some people are asked to take a story and personalize it; otherwise the story is perceived as dry and dull. In various churches I have been in, when testimony time came, I felt that the louder the “Amens” became, the juicier (more sinful) the testimony became.  Robert Cook used to say that in one church he heard two kids singing, “Years I spent in vanity and pride, without knowing that Jesus was crucified.” He felt the kids were singing something they did not understand, yet the congregation applauded them.

To the poets we give poetical license.  We allow them to stretch the rules of grammar and composition because we know that their truth is made-up truth.  Their conversations with the moon and their description of beauty compared with interplanetary entities are beyond compare.  One of my favorite lines of Romanian poetry is when a father is praising his daughter and he says, “She is so majestic in her beauty that you could look to the radiance of the sun, but you cannot look to her face!”

During Enlightenment, philosophers created a distinction between scientific truth and theological truth. Very soon, the theological truth became marginalized, and in this way, many of the biblical truths were rejected such as the miracles of the Bible and divine revelation. This bifurcation of truth has been one of the most devastating decisions for the universal church.

As a church historian, I have always defended the veracity of the Bible. When the writers were unsure, they wrote accordingly, such as Jesus was about 30 years when he started his ministry. The description of about 30 has flexibility – it could be as young as 25, or as old as 35 (Luke 3:23).

I had a problem with the director of the movie Selma. The movie Selma is a historic event. The main protagonist Dr. King is a historic figure. In these two points, the director wants me to follow her and trust her historical accuracy; however, when she comes to dealing with President Johnson she evades the historical accuracy.

Writing history is pretty demanding task.  Reporting news as accurately as possible is hard work. Controlling one’s biases and emotions in a story is exceedingly difficult. However, it can be done.  During a major denominational battle, I was in Des Moines, Iowa.  The local newspaper reported everyday on the convention proceedings, and the reporter was the brother of one of my friends. I went to him at the end of the Convention and I told him that I could not figure out what was his position on the issue. He smiled and said, “Thanks for the greatest compliment a journalist can receive – reporting the whole story accurately and without bias.”

When talking about his preaching, Apostle Paul says that what was required of him was to speak the truth in love and to be found faithful in the things that God has entrusted him to do. Mr. Williams, Mr. O’Reilly, Ms. Ava DuVernay, myself, and all of us who preach and teach and present the truth in any public forum have to remember that.

Poetical License and Truth

george hancockstefanOur Monmouth County neighbor Mr. Brian Williams from NBC was suspended for telling a story about his time in Iraq that was not completely accurate.  No sooner had he been relived from his anchoring duties then Mr. Bill O’Reilly from Fox News faced similar questions about his reports from Argentina.  The director of Selma, Ms. Ava DuVernay, was criticized for inaccurately portraying the position of President Johnson during the Civil Rights Movement and she replied that she is not a historian.

There are many facets to telling a story accurately and truthfully.  One starts with that sacred moment when we are witnesses in the court of law.  We are asked to take an oath that we will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  Some people are asked to take a story and personalize it; otherwise the story is perceived as dry and dull. In various churches I have been in, when testimony time came, I felt that the louder the “Amens” became, the juicier (more sinful) the testimony became.  Robert Cook used to say that in one church he heard two kids singing, “Years I spent in vanity and pride, without knowing that Jesus was crucified.” He felt the kids were singing something they did not understand, yet the congregation applauded them.

To the poets we give poetical license.  We allow them to stretch the rules of grammar and composition because we know that their truth is made-up truth.  Their conversations with the moon and their description of beauty compared with interplanetary entities are beyond compare.  One of my favorite lines of Romanian poetry is when a father is praising his daughter and he says, “She is so majestic in her beauty that you could look to the radiance of the sun, but you cannot look to her face!”

During Enlightenment, philosophers created a distinction between scientific truth and theological truth. Very soon, the theological truth became marginalized, and in this way, many of the biblical truths were rejected such as the miracles of the Bible and divine revelation. This bifurcation of truth has been one of the most devastating decisions for the universal church.

As a church historian, I have always defended the veracity of the Bible. When the writers were unsure, they wrote accordingly, such as Jesus was about 30 years when he started his ministry. The description of about 30 has flexibility – it could be as young as 25, or as old as 35 (Luke 3:23).

I had a problem with the director of the movie Selma. The movie Selma is a historic event. The main protagonist Dr. King is a historic figure. In these two points, the director wants me to follow her and trust her historical accuracy; however, when she comes to dealing with President Johnson she evades the historical accuracy.

Writing history is pretty demanding task.  Reporting news as accurately as possible is hard work. Controlling one’s biases and emotions in a story is exceedingly difficult. However, it can be done.  During a major denominational battle, I was in Des Moines, Iowa.  The local newspaper reported everyday on the convention proceedings, and the reporter was the brother of one of my friends. I went to him at the end of the Convention and I told him that I could not figure out what was his position on the issue. He smiled and said, “Thanks for the greatest compliment a journalist can receive – reporting the whole story accurately and without bias.”

When talking about his preaching, Apostle Paul says that what was required of him was to speak the truth in love and to be found faithful in the things that God has entrusted him to do. Mr. Williams, Mr. O’Reilly, Ms. Ava DuVernay, myself, and all of us who preach and teach and present the truth in any public forum have to remember that.

Skewed View – February 27, 2015

tom brennan 120Are you on you phone reading this eating a free sample at Whole Foods now?Then you may run into one of these people: http://bit.ly/1aiquX5

First Colorado & Washington make weed legal.  Now Jamaica?  What is the world coming to: http://ti.me/1ANfpFW

Looks like the Maraschino Cherry company was a front for drugs.  Now that’s the pits: http://nydn.us/1wrbBM4

That solar power project in Nevada is doing just great except that it’s burning birds: http://bit.ly/1BF4ZLx

There’s one born every minute.  And today they are buying snow from Boston: http://bit.ly/1BSuV6A

Dude, if you’re going to order fake IDs try not to send them to the college dean: http://bit.ly/1AmrMd7

If you were going to mix up showing two movies at the theater last week it shouldn’t have been Spongebob & 50 Shades: http://usat.ly/1FiznJe

An Idaho lawmaker asks if  a woman can swallow a camera for her gynecological exam before an abortion:http://strib.mn/1A2SySV

“How were the roads honey?”.  “Like s**t”: http://bit.ly/1A2SNxf

Rob Ford is selling “memorabilia” on eBay including the NFL tie he wore when he admitted doing coke: http://bit.ly/1wu2ASr

Swedish man claims he cannot work because of this addiction…to heavy metal: http://bit.ly/1BFSpfC

How badly does Apple want an electric car?  Elon Musk says they’re offering a $250k signing bonus for engineers: http://bit.ly/1DiT18h

Ugh…selfies are so passé What you need is this pinhole selfie contraption: http://bit.ly/1DTbx8p

Here’s 10 years of viral videos on YouTube: http://bit.ly/1DtbwHh

We have truly reached the end of this digital society.  There is now a Tinder for pets: http://engt.co/1GyQSGs

Aannndd this week we should drink more coffee: http://wapo.st/18fHi03

I don’t know what’s worse: KFC coffee or the edible white chocolate cup they are going to serve it in: http://bit.ly/1ByWthA

Seems like one way to prevent peanut allergies in kids is to give them peanuts: http://bit.ly/1FnqJJK

Let me introduce to you the world’s hottest burger.  And yes, it is lit on fire: http://bit.ly/1wceCdC

Here’s a really long article on why Kelloggs is doing poorly.  If anything, click on it for the graphics: http://bloom.bg/17CXM1i

Skewed View – February 27, 2015

tom brennan 120Are you on you phone reading this eating a free sample at Whole Foods now?Then you may run into one of these people: http://bit.ly/1aiquX5

First Colorado & Washington make weed legal.  Now Jamaica?  What is the world coming to: http://ti.me/1ANfpFW

Looks like the Maraschino Cherry company was a front for drugs.  Now that’s the pits: http://nydn.us/1wrbBM4

That solar power project in Nevada is doing just great except that it’s burning birds: http://bit.ly/1BF4ZLx

There’s one born every minute.  And today they are buying snow from Boston: http://bit.ly/1BSuV6A

Dude, if you’re going to order fake IDs try not to send them to the college dean: http://bit.ly/1AmrMd7

If you were going to mix up showing two movies at the theater last week it shouldn’t have been Spongebob & 50 Shades: http://usat.ly/1FiznJe

An Idaho lawmaker asks if  a woman can swallow a camera for her gynecological exam before an abortion:http://strib.mn/1A2SySV

“How were the roads honey?”.  “Like s**t”: http://bit.ly/1A2SNxf

Rob Ford is selling “memorabilia” on eBay including the NFL tie he wore when he admitted doing coke: http://bit.ly/1wu2ASr

Swedish man claims he cannot work because of this addiction…to heavy metal: http://bit.ly/1BFSpfC

How badly does Apple want an electric car?  Elon Musk says they’re offering a $250k signing bonus for engineers: http://bit.ly/1DiT18h

Ugh…selfies are so passé What you need is this pinhole selfie contraption: http://bit.ly/1DTbx8p

Here’s 10 years of viral videos on YouTube: http://bit.ly/1DtbwHh

We have truly reached the end of this digital society.  There is now a Tinder for pets: http://engt.co/1GyQSGs

Aannndd this week we should drink more coffee: http://wapo.st/18fHi03

I don’t know what’s worse: KFC coffee or the edible white chocolate cup they are going to serve it in: http://bit.ly/1ByWthA

Seems like one way to prevent peanut allergies in kids is to give them peanuts: http://bit.ly/1FnqJJK

Let me introduce to you the world’s hottest burger.  And yes, it is lit on fire: http://bit.ly/1wceCdC

Here’s a really long article on why Kelloggs is doing poorly.  If anything, click on it for the graphics: http://bloom.bg/17CXM1i

Red Bank Regional Celebrates Black History Month with Message for the Future

rbr black history rbms vp julius clarkPHOTO: Red Bank Middle School Vice Principal Julius Clark gave the keynote address – invaluable advice to students that their success is of their own making and not to let society’s stereotypes define them or be an excuse for failure.

Little Silver, NJ – Red Bank Regional’s (RBR) diversity and talents were on full display at its annual celebratory assembly for Black History Month. Students from various groups within the school contributed their time and skills to enlighten their peers on the importance of celebrating Black History. Continue reading Red Bank Regional Celebrates Black History Month with Message for the Future

Red Bank Regional Celebrates Black History Month with Message for the Future

rbr black history rbms vp julius clarkPHOTO: Red Bank Middle School Vice Principal Julius Clark gave the keynote address – invaluable advice to students that their success is of their own making and not to let society’s stereotypes define them or be an excuse for failure.

Little Silver, NJ – Red Bank Regional’s (RBR) diversity and talents were on full display at its annual celebratory assembly for Black History Month. Students from various groups within the school contributed their time and skills to enlighten their peers on the importance of celebrating Black History. Continue reading Red Bank Regional Celebrates Black History Month with Message for the Future

Bill Mack and Gary M. Welton Exhibition in Red Bank

red dawn gary weltonRED BANK, NJ – A never-before-seen collection by famed artists, Bill Mack and Gary Welton, will be on exhibition and available for acquisition in a dual artist presentation at Gotham Fine Art Gallery in Red Bank, New Jersey. 

Mack and Welton will make two very special appearances at the gallery, and all appearances are complimentary and open to the public with RSVP’s requested.  Meet the Artist appearances are scheduled on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28 from 12:00-3:00 pm in the afternoon, as well as the evening event 6:00-10:00pm on both days. 

Continue reading Bill Mack and Gary M. Welton Exhibition in Red Bank

Bill Mack and Gary M. Welton Exhibition in Red Bank

red dawn gary weltonRED BANK, NJ – A never-before-seen collection by famed artists, Bill Mack and Gary Welton, will be on exhibition and available for acquisition in a dual artist presentation at Gotham Fine Art Gallery in Red Bank, New Jersey. 

Mack and Welton will make two very special appearances at the gallery, and all appearances are complimentary and open to the public with RSVP’s requested.  Meet the Artist appearances are scheduled on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28 from 12:00-3:00 pm in the afternoon, as well as the evening event 6:00-10:00pm on both days. 

Continue reading Bill Mack and Gary M. Welton Exhibition in Red Bank

Pallone Announces Start of Congressional Art Competition for Local High Schools

LONG BRANCH, NJ – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) announced that the 6th Congressional District Annual High School Art Competition is officially underway.  The competition is open to all high school students in the New Jersey’s 6th District.  Students should participate through their high schools, and interested schools must indicate to Congressman Pallone’s office their intent to participate by March 13, 2015.

“The Congressional Art Competition celebrates our young artists and recognizes artistic talents across the country, and I encourage all interested students in New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District to participate,” said Congressman Pallone.  “I am proud to have the winning piece of art from our district displayed in the Capitol each year, and I look forward to seeing and enjoying all of this year’s submissions.”

Continue reading Pallone Announces Start of Congressional Art Competition for Local High Schools

Pallone Announces Start of Congressional Art Competition for Local High Schools

LONG BRANCH, NJ – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) announced that the 6th Congressional District Annual High School Art Competition is officially underway.  The competition is open to all high school students in the New Jersey’s 6th District.  Students should participate through their high schools, and interested schools must indicate to Congressman Pallone’s office their intent to participate by March 13, 2015.

“The Congressional Art Competition celebrates our young artists and recognizes artistic talents across the country, and I encourage all interested students in New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District to participate,” said Congressman Pallone.  “I am proud to have the winning piece of art from our district displayed in the Capitol each year, and I look forward to seeing and enjoying all of this year’s submissions.”

Continue reading Pallone Announces Start of Congressional Art Competition for Local High Schools