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Articles by Calvin Miller

Found 58 Articles by Calvin Miller

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"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come ..."

Pentecost is a day on the church calendar evangelicals rarely acknowledge. I've always wondered why. Each year as it rolls around a scene from the second chapter of Acts always swims in my reverie, calling to mind a rustic Oklahoma tent revival, where I first met the Holy Spirit. I was nine years old in the year when World War II ended. Hiroshima and Nagasaki each sounded a little like Native American tribes, and each had the same number of syllables as Oklahoma. I couldn't imagine exactly where they were, but the whole world had come to focus on their desperation. The adults in my world talked of little else. Pictures of these places, under headline letters thick as my young fingers, covered the newspapers black with smudgeable ink. My four older brothers-in-law would soon come home, those headlines said. Indeed, we thanked God that the possibility of their dying had passed.

In that very year of ...

In 1963, workmen, while laying the foundation for the new YMCA in Jerusalem, discovered the skeleton of a man whom they said had a very high forehead and was about 2,000 years old. There are lots of old skeletons about but this particular one came with the implication it might have belonged to Jesus. Unfortunately for the 1963 skeleton, other construction workers were digging again in Jerusalem near the site of Joseph of Arimathea's tomb in 1970. Once more they came up with a skeleton. This one actually had nails driven through his hands. Again, the doubters implied that this might have been Jesus' skeleton. These skeletons proved only what we already knew, a lot of people died at the beginning of the first century.

The number of old skeletons that have been found — and those yet to be discovered — are many but too many reports of this kind only confirm the truth of Christianity's great miracle. We must come out at the same place as Martin Luther did. John Os...

Piercing is the order of the day. Piercing is cool. Anything that sticks out (and I mean anything) may be pierced. If it doesn't stick out but can be scrunched up and wrinkled, that too may be pierced. Abs, pecs, lobes, tongues, glutes, and nostrils — anything you can get an alcoholed ice-pick on one side and bloody cork on the other may be pierced. Although the custom seems to be slightly more popular in California and New York, I have found a bit of it in Des Moines and Peoria.

I recently ordered a French Dip sandwich from a girl with steel through her tongue, ears, and eyebrows. She seemed in no pain, but just looking at her hurt me all over. I felt the same pity I used to feel reading the National Geographic and seeing pictures of women with their lips stretched over round plates. They, too, seemed to be in no pain, but I felt it for them.

Piercing must have something aesthetic about it that I'm unable to see. When you have rings ascending your n...

(An Open Letter To Kids That Aren't Getting Anything For Christmas)

I wanted to write an apology to you kids that aren't getting anything this Christmas. I know some of you have been waiting for several Christmases for me to stop by and you must be disappointed that I haven't been showing up.

The truth is it has nothing to do with whether you have a chimney or not. Oh, to be sure I do prefer nice wide chimneys, but I can work around the hazards presented by tighter entrances. Furnace flues and vent pipes, back doors, and transoms all serve very well.

It also has nothing to do with whether or not you live in mobile homes. My reindeer can land very lightly on tin roofs and never cave one in. In fact, I can land the old sleigh just about anywhere.

It really has nothing to do with whether you've been naughty or nice. A lot of you have been very good indeed and still have not gotten a present in years.

It's mostly a matter of reality and expectation.

It hurts me to say this, but there are some rich ...

Thinking About All Saints Day

We are a society that has well defined what it would kill for. A tee shirt reads, "Just hand over the chocolate and nobody gets hurt," another "I'd kill to stop gun control." One of my favorite tee shirts reads, "The Nobel Peace Prize — I'd kill for that." But I remain unimpressed as to what people would kill for. I am more interested in what they would die for.

Consider Paul's words to the church in Philippi:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 3:12-14 and 1:21 NIV).

Paul states here what, ...

Home schoolers and public schoolers ... off with the gloves. Let's shake hands. There are millions of mothers who looked at the slovenly morality and weak A.B.C.s of America's schools and said, "Frankly, I can do it better."

And better they did!

Their home-schooled children have gone off to college and have done very well.

Their children won the national spelling bees while even the brightest of America's public schools stood back fumbling over syllables and "i before e" rules. Lately, spelling — and a lot of other disciplines — hasn't gotten the attention it deserves in many, if not most, public schools.

While public schools were encouraging third grade boys to explore their true sexual preferences, home-school children were working at math and the alphabet.

Public-school Johnny was good at video games but not at science.

He could play Space Invaders and trade Pokemon cards but, alas,...

When You're Rich, They Think You Really Know

Reb Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof provides a sound examination of Ted Turner's theology. Tevye confesses that if he were a rich man he could sit with the Rabbi all day long and talk theology. He admits that he wouldn't really know any more than he knew when he was poor, but he boasts, "when you're rich they think you really know."

On Tuesday, August 29, 2000, Ted Turner spoke to the Millennium World Peace Summit to a thousand delegates from around the world. Turner had helped to make the summit possible by donating $300,000 to the effort through his "Better World Fund." Thus, the religious heads of the world gathered — different garbs, colors, and doctrines — to listen to "theologian" Ted Turner solve the mass complexities of world diversity with Sesame Street brainpower. Among those items Ted used to enlighten this vast ecumenical host were these:

On Religion
"When I was...

The annual time has come to recognize fathers — but it's typically a non-event. Father's Day stands opposite of Christmas and the two days are only separated by six months — but they are miles apart. Every other holiday gets more emphasis ... Valentines Day, Halloween, and National Pickle Day.

Does anyone really celebrate Dad anymore?

For a while stadiums were filled with men who called themselves Promise Keepers — men who openly celebrated their Christian manhood. But alas, it seems their masculine roar has been muffled.

In its place once again we hear the roar of the radical feminists calling men to get out of the way for the advancing host of "designing women" who are once again calling men names and insisting that they need to duck their heads and slink back into the shame of their gender. In light of recent advances in cloning, some radical feminists even suggest men are no longer needed to propagate the race!


Mother's Day is not a point of celebration for all motherhood. Mother Nature for instance, can sometimes be a wretched mother. Some species eat their young — a horror that few mothers could ever understand. Black widow spiders become widows by eating their male consorts soon after they've fertilized their next generation of spiderlets. It's a dysfunctional family practice, but then you expect arachnids to be dysfunctional.

But what about homo-sapiens? Not all Mother's Day honorees are worthy role models. Still, I want to tip my hat to all the bad mamas of history. Why? Because even these femme fatales have their place. Bad mamas provide a much needed contrast in motherhood that helps the world recognize the good mamas. So moms-of-the-world-unite: Mother's Day is your day. If you sometimes feel that your motherhood is not as exemplary as you want it to be, hold up and think it over. And if you really want to feel like a great mother compare y...

A Children's Easter

"Iris," said God, "It's time to wake up!"
And he rapped on her little brown bulb ...

"Oh, hi there! How are you, God?
Is it springtime? It must be!
The ground is so wonderf'ly warm!
I'd hoped to get up by the middle of March —
I'm quite sorry, God, if I've overslept."

Then God called aloud to the newly born flower,
"Never mind, Iris, get up and get going,
I won't have you napping till May."

"I'm quite wide awake, and I'm tingly with spring,"
Said Iris to God, and she shouted, "Ker-boing!
Yoo-hoo, I'm here, God! Heigh-ho! And Sproing! Sproing!
I'm Iris! I'm up! I've shattered the ground,
I'm bursting with life, I've come back to town.
I'm one of the good blooms the ground can't hold down.
Can you see me here, God? I've...