Promote Your Writing Activities in Marketing for Writers Conference, September 9, 2018, Fairfax, Virginia

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Promote Your Writing Activities in Marketing for Writers Conference, September 9, 2018, Fairfax, Virginia

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Monday Monologues: Telling Stories, July 16, 2018 (podcast)

Stephen W. Hiemstra, www.StephenWHiemstra.net
Stephen W. Hiemstra, 2017

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

In today’s podcast, I pray about money and talk about telling stories.

To listen, click on the link below.

After listening, please click here to take a brief listener survey (10 questions).

Monday Monologues: Telling Stories, July 16, 2018 (podcast)

Also see:

Monday Monologue On March 26, 2018 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/Hebrew_Heart

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Prayer about Money and Possessions

Pencils by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Art by Stephen W. Hiemstra

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Most Generous Father,

We praise you for your abundant generosity that was obvious in the wedding of Cana, the feeding of the five thousand, and the provision of fish to the disciples.

We confess that we have not always emulated you in our own dealings with time, talents, money, or possessions.

We thank you for remembering us with health, family, and blessings too numerous to even list.

Forgive our tightfistedness, our numbness to the needs of others, and our willingness to fight for what we think is ours alone. In the power of your Holy Spirit, teach us to be godly stewards of our time, money, and talents, and to know when enough is enough. In Christ, may we reflect the generosity that you have shown us.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer about Money and Possessions

Also see:

Giving Thanks 

A Place for Authoritative Prayer 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/Hebrew_Heart

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The Surprising Role of Story Telling

Stephen W. Hiemstra, Simple FaithBy Stephen W. Hiemstra

Postmodernism is hard to define precisely because, unlike modernism, it engages in nonlinear arguments that are hard to track if you are trained exclusively in linear thinking.  Postmodernism resembles a collage, a hanging ornament with unique pieces that balance one another but may be completely different taken individually. Before explaining what I mean here, let me digress to borrow a form argument from William Placer for why the modern age has given way to the postmodern age.

Is the Modern Era Over? 

Placher starts his discussion of the Enlightenment with the father of the Enlightenment, René Descartes, writing:

“Descartes had set the goal of seeking a foundation for knowledge, but modern philosophy soon divided between empiricists who looked for that foundation in bare, uninterrupted sensations [things you see, hear, feel, taste…] and rationalists who sought it in logically unchallengeable first truths.” (Placher 1989, 26)

For empiricists, a problem quickly emerged because:

“We cannot build knowledge on a foundation of uninterpreted sense-data, because we cannot know particular sense-data in isolation from the conceptual schemes we use to organize them.” (Placher 1989, 29)

If this is not obvious, think about how one knows that a light is red and different from yellow or green. In order to recognize the difference, one needs to understand the definition of red and how it differs from yellow or green. Without knowing that definition, red is not a distinct color. We teach colors to children at a young age so they seem obvious to us as adults, but to untaught kids colors have yet to be learned. The definition of red is what is meant here as a conceptual scheme.

For logicians, Placher (1989, 33) observes:

“What we cannot do is find some point that is uniquely certain by definition, guaranteed to hold regardless of any empirical discoveries, independent of any other elements in the our system.”

Placher (1989, 32) notes the definition of a mammal, “a warm-blooded animal with hair which bears live young”, had to change with the discovery of the platypus, a mammal that lays eggs. While the problem posed by the platypus seems trivial, Placher notes after referencing Russell’s paradox that:

“If our definitions in mathematics or logic lead to problems, we may decide to change them, but we always have more than one choice [of definition].” (Placer 1989. 34)

In conclusion, Placher (1989, 34) cites Wittgenstein observing:

“when we find the foundations, it turns out they are being held up by the rest of the house. If theologians try to defend their claims by starting with basic, foundational truths that any rational person would have to believe or observations independent of theory and assumptions, they are trying to do something that our best philosophers tell us is impossible.”

In other words, the attempt by Enlightenment scholars to find a defensible basis for objective truth has failed and we are now in the postmodern era where it can be said: “how you stand on an issue depends on where you sit”.

A Picture of Postmodernism from Mathematical Modelling

Placer basically argues that the foundations of science, the idea of objective truth, cannot be validated as a logical framework. Let me offer a logical argument for what he is arguing from my modeling background in economics.

The typical argument in economic modeling is metaphorical—the economy can, for example, be characterized in terms of aggregate demand where demand is divided into different components, like consumption, investment, and government spending. To perform a mental experiment, we might change government spending while holding consumption and investment constant. The effect on aggregate demand is accordingly limited to the effect of the change in government spending. The size of the effect will be determined by statistical estimates of past aggregate demand. 

This type of modeling is referred to as a static equilibrium model because we make our forecasts based on only one changed variable at a time. This is a linear argument and quite familiar to economists trained in the modern period. What changed in the postmodern period was the idea of allowing all the variables to change simultaneously—the introduction of general equilibrium models. Mathematically, models could only be approximated, not statistically estimated in the prior sense. 

The reason for this intractability arises because the historical experience likely does not offer observations on changes that might be expected in the future. In the 1980s, for example, we saw interest rates rise to levels never previously seen; the Great Recession likewise saw housing prices fall further than ever previously observed or even contemplated. 

Postmodern Dilemma

This hypothetical modeling complexity is precisely the same problem faced by postmodern society—too many cultural norms have been altered too quickly. With the traditional sources of personal stability—family, work, church, education, technology, attitudes about gender, authority, freedom—in motion, we observe high levels of anxiety, depression, and suicide. 

In this context of instability, we hear professions in all callings imaginable telling stories about the more complex cultural system will evolve. The older process of imaging one change at a time simply does not work. The typical reactions that we observe are either to rely on our faith that God will guide us or to chase after the myriad of untested assumptions and stories that postmodern advertisers can offer (Sacks). The role of Christian apologetics is to make sense of the new environment and how the Christian message can lead us, our kids, and our neighbors back to God.

References

Placher, William C. 1989. Unapologetic Theology: A Christian Voice in a Pluralistic Conversation. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.

Sacks, Jonah. 2012. Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell—and Live—the Best Stories Will Rule the Future. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

The Surprising Role of Story Telling

Also see:

A Roadmap of Simple Faith

Christian Spirituality 

Looking Back 

A Place for Authoritative Prayer 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/Hebrew_Heart

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Brueggemann’s Bible Follows the Money

Review of Walter Brueggemann's Money and PossessionsWalter Brueggemann. 2016. Money and Possessions. Interpretation series. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.

Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra

In August 1991 as we prepared to close on our current house, my wife, Maryam, we had two tots in diapers that she never left in the care of anyone outside the family. I arranged for power of attorney, but the lender refused to allow its use. We appeared at closing with two squirming tots and I found myself reading loan documents with an impatient wife. As I read, I discovered that the documents neglected to include my down payment ($10k) and included an interest rate 50 basis points over what we had agreed to—heaven only knows how many of the fees charged exceeded market norms. I got my down payment listed but failed to secure the agreed interest rate. Under duress, I then held my nose and signed the agreement, knowing that I sat across the table from a bunch of cheats and should have simply walked away.

The Great Recession

We eventually paid off the loan through parsimonious living and committing more time and energy to my career than I ever felt prudent. In the years to follow I worked in financial regulation and observed banking interests lobbying to tighten up federal laws making it hard to declare bankruptcy while offering increasing amounts of credit to borrowers clearly not able to repay the loans. (The lobbyists also worked to prevent regulators from collecting the data necessary to observe how financially fragile banks had become). A subprime loan basically implies that the borrower can only repay the loan under favorable employment and economic assumptions.

For those with unstable income and/or an inability to live parsimoniously, these mortgages proved deadly during the Great Recession (2007-2008 plus the slow recovery until 2017) when millions of home buyers, particularly the poor, immigrants, and minorities lost their homes and life savings. In spite of massive, systemic fraud, no one in Washington or on Wall Street ever suffered indictment.

Introduction

In his book, Money and Possessions, Walter Brueggemann writes:

“The purpose of this book is to exhibit the rich, recurring, and diverse references to money and possessions that permeate the Bible…My task has been reportage about the texts. I have found, however, that the texts themselves pressed in the direction of advocacy…When that distinctive mantra [God and mammon] on the lips of Jesus is transposed into economic interpretation, the large sweep of the text suggests a critical exposé of an economy of extraction where by concentrated power serves to extract wealth from vulnerable people in order to transfer it to the more powerful. That extraction is accomplished by the predatory if legal means of tax arrangements, credit and loan stipulations, high interest rates, and cheap labor.”(xix-xx)

Brueggemann’s highlighting of the word, mammon, in Matthew 6:24 (KJV) is instructive. Mammon is a transliteration of the Aramaic word that Jesus uses in the Greek, transliterated also in the King James translation but more commonly translated as money (ESV, NIV) or wealth (NRSV). Normally, the New Testament uses Aramaic phrases only when the word is unique in usage and without an adequate translation in Greek, which suggests that Jesus actually coined the phrase himself. In English, mammon is best translated not as money but as the “god of money,” suggesting that money has an inherently idolatrous character. Mammon is therefore an edgy sort of indictment of money matters or, as Brueggemann suggests, an advocacy not always felt to be politically palatable in mixed company.

Overview

Brueggmann employs a systematic presentation of money and possessions throughout the biblical witness (Genesis to Revelation), which is a method sometimes referred to as biblical theology, that defies summary or synthesis. In his own synthesis, he offers six theses:

  1. Money and possessions (M&P) are gifts from God…
  2. M&P are received as reward for obedience…
  3. M&P belong to God and are held in trust by human persons in community…stewardship…
  4. M&P are sources of social injustice…
  5. M&P are to be shared in a neighborly way…
  6. M&P are seductions that lead to idolatry.(1-9)

The Contradictions

He then goes on to list six contradictions that follow immediately from the above list:

  1. To view M&P as gifts from God contradicts market ideology in which there are no gifts, no free lunches…
  2. To view M&P as reward for obedience is too readily transposed into the reward system of the market…
  3. To view M&P as a trust from God contradicts the pretension of market ideology that imagines…that ‘my money is my own; I earned it and can do with it what I want.’
  4. To view M&P as a source of injustice is to contradict the easy assumptions of the market that autonomous wealth is not connected to the community…
  5. To view M&P as resources to be shared in a neighborly way contradicts the market assumption that there are no neighbors; there are only rivals, competitors, and threats…
  6. To view M&P as seductions that lead to idolatry contradicts the market view that M&P are inert and innocent neutral objects. (9-10)

Clearly, the task of engaging these theses and contradictions is formidable. For his part, Brueggemann sees this study as offering not only substantial “data of biblical teaching,” but also a critique of common thinking on money and possessions (10-11).

Assessment

Walter Brueggemann’s Money and Possessionsis a groundbreaking recitation and first interpretation of the Bible’s teaching on economic relations where tension exists between the faith community—first in Israel and later in the church—in its relationship with the wider political economy. How much tension should exist is also frequently a source of tension within the faith community itself, leaving the biblical interpreter with a difficult hermeneutical and expository task. As such, Brueggemann’s primary audience is the interpretative community interested in the role of money and possessions in defining an authorial and canonical read, which renders a reader interpretation premature.

In my own view as an economist and a pastor, I found Brueggemann’s exposition fascinating even when I might argue about particular points. Because Israel and the church have seldom been masters of their own economic fate, a theme deserving more investigation is the role that the practice of faith has played in helping believers navigate their economic environment. If Brueggemann is correct, faith and economics are inseparably linked and fundamentally inform one another.

If the results of the Marshmallow test are to be believed, for example, just teaching patience to our young people could dramatically impact their lives. Four-year olds, given a choice between having one marshmallow now or two later, who choose to wait for two are much more likely to graduate from college than their peers, a stunning result (Mischel). In today’s economy in the United States, where downward mobility has replaced upward mobility for about eighty percent of the population, offering godly guidance on money and possessions is a very practical concern.

Reference

Mischel, Walter. 2014. The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control. New York: Little, Brown, and Company.

Brueggemann’s Bible Follows the Money

Also see:

Noll Tells the History of Protestants in America Briefly

Whelchel Sees Call in Work, not just Ministry 

Books, Films, and Ministry

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/Hebrew_Heart

 

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Monday Monologues: A Hebrew Heart, July 9, 2018 (podcast)

Stephen W. Hiemstra, www.StephenWHiemstra.net
Stephen W. Hiemstra, 2017

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

In today’s podcast, I pray for the local church and talk about a Hebrew Heart.

To listen, click on the link below.

After listening, please click here to take a brief listener survey (10 questions).

Monday Monologues: A Hebrew Heart, July 9, 2018 (podcast)

Also see:

Monday Monologue On March 26, 2018 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/Hebrew_Heart

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Prayer for the Local Church

Ceramic churchBy Stephen W. Hiemstra

Almighty and Loving Father,

We praise you for the pouring out of your Holy Spirit to establish the church on the day of Pentecost.

To you and you alone be the glory, now and always.

We confess that as your church, we are broken and sinful, yet in Christ we are also forgiven.

For your forgiveness, we are truly grateful. We are also thankful for the many blessings that you have poured out on us as a church. For in Christ, we are able to undertake ministry that would be impossible for us as individuals.

We ask now, Lord, for your strength to carry on with the mission that you have given us, even as many changes are taking place. As Jesus said: “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21 ESV)

In the power of your Holy Spirit, protect us from being diverted to other missions and especially from the spirit of the day who harries us relentlessly.

In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Prayer for the Local Church

Also see:

Giving Thanks 

A Place for Authoritative Prayer 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/Hebrew_Heart

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Hebrew Anthropology and Apologetics

Stephen W. Hiemstra, Simple FaithDelight yourself in the LORD, 

and he will give you the desires of your heart. 

(Ps 37:4 ESV)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

The wholly confusion that dominates the church today is rooted the Greek dualism that pervades western thought. While Greeks distinguished mind and body, Hebrews did not. The Hebrew mindset saw mind and body as different parts of a unified whole, whose center is the heart (cardia) and not simply emotions that come and go. Stroking emotions and teaching the head neglect the heart that responds principally to ritual.

Neglected hearts see no reason to become disciples or attend church because the center of your being is not adequately engaged. Emotions and thinking are more like appendages to the will, not its center. The church then finds itself full of confused thinkers and traumatized emoters who ridicule and neglect ritual leading to even more neglected hearts. Wholly confusion naturally leads then to holy confusion.

Hebrew Anthropology

Inherent in this statement is the Hebrew view of anthropology cited above—note the two references to heart. What Greek would talk about the thoughts and attitudes of the heart? Drawing attention to this anthropology, Smith (2016, 5) asks: “Do you ever experience a gap between what you know and what you do?” `If he had the rational mind in view, no such gap would exist but, of course, we all experience this gap.

This line of thought leads Smith (2016, 7) to observe: “What if you are defined not by what you know [the mind] but by what you desire?[the heart]” (7) If our desires are reflected more in our actions than in our words, then this Hebrew anthropology leads us immediately into an inconvenient discussion of ethics because our hearts are not lily-white clean as our words. It also forces us to discuss how we know what we know (the epistemology question) because our hearts are not so easily persuaded to follow even our own thoughts. Suddenly, much of the New Testament language sounds less churchy and more informed by an alternative world view, one decidedly not Greek and unfamiliar in American culture.

The Future is Always Present

Smith offers an interesting ethical insight—an instrument (or person) is good when it is used with its purpose in view. He asks how one would evaluate a flute used to roast marshmallows over a fire—we would never say that a flute used this way was a bad flute. Why? The measure of a flute is how it is used to play music, not roast marshmallows. Smith (2016, 89) observes:

“…virtue is bound up with a sense of excellence: a virtue is a disposition that inclines us to achieve the good for which we are made.”

Because of original sin, we are not inclined to love virtues and to practice them. Being created in the image of God implies that are on a mission in worship to develop the virtues through ritual and sacrament that match God’s intent for our lives (88).

This sense of worship explains why Revelation draws many illusions from the creation accounts in Genesis and paints many pictures of worship in heaven. Our collective objective as Christians is to live into our vision of heaven (our eschatology) where we reflect and commune with the God that we worship. Our end (ultimate story) is always in view and it informs how we should live and worship.

How are we to live into our collective future if we love the wrong things today?

Sacred and Secular Liturgies

Smith (2016, 46) spends a lot of time discussing liturgies. He writes:

“Liturgy, as I’m using the word, is a shorthand term for those rituals that are loaded with an ultimate Story about who we are and what we’re for.”

The Apostle’s Creed is, for example, both a ritual and a story that explains who Jesus is, who we are and what we are for. Repeating the creed until you can recite it in your sleep implies that it has become a ritual and a part of your identity.

Holy music goes a step further to bury it in your heart. Having work with Alzheimer’s patients, I can tell you that songs like the Doxology are the last thing you forget before getting lost in the mist—I have seen patients lost, unable to speak, brought back to themselves when you sing such songs with them. This is what Smith means by a sacred ritual.

The problem is that our society has its own liturgies. He spends a great deal of effort, for example, analyzing and dissecting the liturgies of the shopping mall. When you are upset, do you go to chapel and pray (think of the film, Home Alone)⁠1 or do you call a friend and go shopping? Why shop? The liturgy of the mall suggests that individual find empowerment in purchasing things that they probably don’t need. The problem with this secular liturgy is that inherent in purchasing things to make us feel good about ourselves is we are broken, need things to fulfill ourselves, and don’t measure up to others with more stuff. Worse, the feel-good benefit quickly wears off because it is a lie (Smith 2016, 47-53).

Hospitality as Apologetic

If the heart is the center of our identity, not just our emotions, we need to think about apologetics differently. An apologetic focused on heart needs to appeal both to the mind and the emotions. Let me offer three examples.

The first example concerns the first letter of Peter, where the most famously quoted verse is: “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet 3:15) The thing is that the rest of the book focuses on lifestyle evangelism, as it says.

“Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” (1 Pet 2:12)

Works like hospitality speak directly to the heart without words. 

The second example arose in the fourth century when we see that Saint Patrick was famous as the first successful evangelist in Ireland. His success was not anticipated because Patrick, as a teenager sixteen year old, was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold as a slave in Ireland. For the next six years he worked as a slave caring for his master’s cattle in the Irish wilderness. Later, he escaped and traveled abroad to study to become a priest. Much later, he returned to Ireland as the church’s first missionary bishop and evangelized the Irish out of love for them. His love of the Irish was obvious and his evangelism focused on offering hospitality. In the end, Patrick and his companions planted more than seven hundred churches in Ireland (Hunter 2000, 13-23).

The third example is more recent. In the city of Rio de Janeiro  there are many young people caught up in the gangs of the drug culture. In Brazil they call young people with mixed blood (blacks and Indians) as the “killable people.” Many of them die from the violence, but those that survive and are incarcerated by the police don’t have much hope. In the jails, the police do not feed them or offer medical care. For the most part, the gangs control daily life in the prisons. In this hellish world, there are few visitors, not even Christians, but those that come are mostly Pentecostals who provide food, medicine, and worship services. As a consequence, the gangs respect the Pentecostals, providing security for their services and allowing young people who really come to Christ to leave the gangs—the only option other than a body bag (Johnson).

As we have seen, hospitality can be more than just food. In these stories, it can be a faith journey that travels the path to the Hebrew heart.

References

Hunter, George G. III. 2000. The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West…Again. Nashville: Abingdon Press.

Johnson, Andrew. 2017. If I Give My Soul: Faith Behind Bars in Rio de Janeiro. New York: Oxford. (Review)

Smith, James K. A. . 2016. You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press.

Footnotes

1 ps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Alone. In the story, church is where eight-year old, Kevin McCallister meets Old Man Marley and finds out that he is not scary, but a nice man. The two become friends and help each other resolve their problems.

Hebrew Anthropology and Apologetics

Also see:

A Roadmap of Simple Faith

Christian Spirituality 

Looking Back 

A Place for Authoritative Prayer 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/Hebrew_Heart

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Gwynne: Comanche Moon Brings Fear

Gwynne, Empire of the Summer MoonS.C. Gwynne.[1]2011. Empire of the Summer Moon. Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History. New York: Scribner.

Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra

History fascinates me. As a kid, I must have read 20-30 books out of Fran Striker’s series, The Lone Ranger, not entirely aware that she wrote fiction rather than history.  But history, especially military history, is better because the individuals chronicled faced real challenges and preserved in the face of enormous odds.

Introduction

In his book, Empire of the Summer Moon, S.C. Gwynne focuses our attention on a tribe of plains Indian that many people, myself included, know relatively little about. Writing about the year 1871, he reports:

“The hostiles were all residents of the Great Plains; all were mounted, well-armed, and driven now by a mixture of vengeance and political desperation. They were Comanches, Kiowas, Arapahoes, Cheyennes, and Western Sioux. For [Colonel Ranald Slidell] Mackenzie on the southern plains, Comanches were the obvious target: No tribe in the history of the Spanish, French, Mexican, Texan, and American occupations of this land had ever caused so much havoc and death. None was even a close second.”(3)

Colonel Ranald Slidell Mackenzie

Who was this Colonel Mackenzie? He was hand-picked by Army Chief William Tecumseh Sherman to restore order on the frontier after many failed attempts to make peace with the Indians. Mackenzie had graduated first in his class at West Point in 1862 and rose to the rank of brigadier general during the Civil War. Having been grievously wounded in the hand in the war, the Indians called him No-finger Chief or Bad Hand. He had never fought Indians previously, but he proved to be a quick study (2).

What was Special About the Comanches?

According to Gwynne:

“The Comanches adapted to the horse earlier and more completely than any other plains tribe. They are considered without much debate, the prototype horse tribe in North America. No one could outride them or outshoot them from the back of a horse. (Only in the movies did the Apaches attack riding on horses.) No tribe other than the Comanches ever learned to breed horses—an intensely demanding, knowledge-based skill that helped create enormous wealth for the tribe. They were always careful in the castration of the herd, almost all riding horses were geldings.”(32)

Until the manufacture of the Colt revolver in 1839 and the adoption of Comanche fighting techniques by a particular Texas Ranger captain, John Coffee Hays (138-145) a few years later, Comanches almost never lost a fight. Gwynne writes:

“…a Comanche warrior could loose twenty arrows in the time it took a soldier to load and fire one round from his musket; each of those arrows could kill a man at thirty yards.”(33)

Between the introduction of the horse by the Spanish in 1598 (29) and the beginning of settlement of white settlers in Texas in the 1830s, the Comanches drove the Apaches and many other Indian tribes out of the southern plains and halted the expansion of the Spanish north in Texas. Comanche warriors raided over a distance of four hundred miles, something unbelievable to observers at the time, and traveled at night under a full moon taking their adversaries by surprise, which led to term, “Comanche moon”.

Cynthia Ann Parker

Gwynne writes:

“The logic of Comanche raids was straightforward: All of the men were killed, and any men captured alive were tortured to death as a matter of course, some more slowly than others; the captive women were gangraped. Some were killed, some tortured. But a portion of them, particularly if they were young, would be spared (though vengeance could always be a motive for slaying hostages). Babies were invariably killed, while preadolescents were often adopted by Comanches or other tribes.”(19)

In 1836, Comanches raided a farm outpost in Texas, killed most of the family, and took nine-year old Cynthia Ann Parker and her seven-year old brother hostage. She later married a Comanche war chief and one of her sons, Quanah, became a famous war chief in his own right.

More generally, the Parker family became famous in Texas politics and helped start the Texas Rangers. Cynthia Ann became infamous on the frontier for having refused to be ransomed by her family. After being captured by soldiers, she spoke almost no English (but was fluent in Spanish) and resisted assimilation back into her Texas family.

Assessment

 Gwynne, Empire of the Summer MoonIn his book, Empire of the Summer Moon, S.C. Gwynne writes the history of the Comanche tribe following the life and experiences of Cynthia Ann Parker and her son, Quanah Parker, one of the last Comanche chiefs to surrender to Mackenzie for resettlement on a reservation. In the course of the book, we learn the history of Spanish entry into North America, the settlement of Texas, the war with Mexico, the Texas Rangers, and much more. This book is a page turner that kept me up many nights. If you only read one book this summer, consider reading this one.

[1]www.SCGwynne.com.

Gwynne: Comanche Moon Brings Fear

Also see:

Noll Tells the History of Protestants in America Briefly

Films, and Ministry

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at: http://bit.ly/Hebrew_Heart

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