• Art,  Christianity,  Faith,  Paul Backholer

    Christianity and Art: The Royal Collection & the Faith of Queen Elizabeth II

    Before the printing press and education made the Bible available to all, believers used their eyes and imagination to attempt to understand God. There was a danger of idolatry, which the Reformation sought to address, yet some paintings read like the pages of a book. On the 13 September 1940, a German bombing raid hit the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace, London. From the charred remains, the Duke of Edinburgh decided to convert the Chapel into an art gallery and display elements of the Royal Collection. I have been privileged to view the Queen’s masterpieces in several exhibitions in the Queen’s Gallery, and at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and at…

  • Christmas,  Inspirational,  Mathew Backholer

    Father Christmas and Saint Nicholas: Discover the Gift Giver who Inspired the Legend of Santa Claus

    Before he was called a Saint, Nicholas was an orphan who inherited great wealth from his family. Born in modern-day Turkey in AD c.280, he was raised as a Christian during times of persecution and believed he could use his wealth to help the needy. Cautious of the Lord Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6 to give with a pure heart, he gained a reputation for secret giving. What precisely took place is unknown, but legend states he once heard of a poor man whose daughters could be sold into prostitution. To save them from destitution, he put money into a bag and threw it into their home at night and…