“Religious Children are Meaner than Their Secular Counterparts” proclaimed a headline in the Guardian. “Religious Kids are Jerks” raved the Daily Beast. Hundreds of other newspapers and blogs touted similar articles: the Economist, Forbes, Good Housekeeping, the LA Times, The Independent. All these articles were based on a 4 ½ page research note in Current Biology by University of Chicago professor Jean Decety and six other scholars.
Jay Reinke was the pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church, a Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) congregation in Williston, N.D., for 20 years, until he resigned after acting on what he calls his same-sex impulses. In accordance with the LCMS approach to sin, Reinke publicly confessed to his congregation, and the members of the congregation publicly absolved him. He remains married to his wife, Andrea Reinke, and is now a lay member of the denomination. He can no longer preach, and he attends a different LCMS church 35 miles away for, he said, the sake of the ongoing ministry of the church he led for so long.
I was raised in a small farming community in the Texas Panhandle during the 1950s. At the age of 17, I had seen Paris, Texas, and had read about Paris, France, but I had never heard of Friedrich Nietzsche.
Bart Campolo’s name, at least his last name, may be familiar to you. He’s the son of famous evangelical leader, Tony Campolo, and for many years, he followed in his father’s footsteps, writing books for evangelical publishers and speaking in evangelical churches and conferences. But Campolo began to have doubts about Christian beliefs, and those doubts eventually turned into open disbelief.
A year ago I received an invitation from the head of Counseling Services at a major university to join faculty and administrators for discussions about how to deal with the decline in resilience among students. At the first meeting, we learned that emergency calls to Counseling had more than doubled over the past five years. Students are increasingly seeking help for, and apparently having emotional crises over, problems of everyday life. Recent examples mentioned included a student who felt traumatized because her roommate had called her a “bitch” and two students who had sought counseling because they had seen a mouse in their off-campus apartment. The latter two also called the police, who kindly arrived and set a mousetrap for them.
In yet another story about Donald Trump’s lead in the polls, NBC Nightly News referred to his “emotional appeals to angry Republicans.” This comment was just about the most on-target thing said so far in the political race. Emotion is driving the polls.
Europe is facing an unprecedented surge of illegal immigration from the Middle East and Africa, a crisis of historic proportions that has dominated international media coverage. Amid all the critical banter and calls for action, this often-sensational media coverage has stirred up emotional responses and prompted politicians to focus only on short-term answers to the crisis. But what we need is a sober look at what is happening today, a consideration of its potential long-term consequences, and long-term solutions.
Rod Dreher has helped define the terms of the cultural conversation from his perch as senior editor of The American Conservative. His columns are widely read and quoted by those on both the left and the right. He’s perhaps best known, though, for a personal memoir called The Little Way of Ruthie Leming about the life and death of his sister. The book became a bestseller and spawned a sequel of sorts called How Dante Can Save Your Life.Read More
A Warning from Canada: Same-Sex Marriage Erodes Fundamental Rights by Dawn Stefanowicz Originally posted April 24, 2015 | Discussed on Friday, May 8, 2015
Americans need to understand that the endgame of the LGBT rights movement involves centralized state power—and the end of First Amendment freedoms.
Read the Full Article: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/04/14899/
Goodness and Power by David Brooks
Originally posted on April 28, 2015 | Discussed on Friday, May 1, 2015
There was an interesting poll result about Hillary Clinton last week. According to a Quinnipiac poll, 60 percent of independent voters believe that she has strong leadership qualities. But when these same voters were asked if she is honest and trustworthy, the evaluations flipped. Sixty-one percent said she is not honest and trustworthy. Apparently there are a lot of Americans who believe that Hillary Clinton is dishonest and untrustworthy but also a strong leader.
Let’s set aside her specific case for a second. These poll results raise a larger question: Can you be a bad person but a strong leader?
Read the Full Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/28/opinion/david-brooks-goodness-and-power.html
Os Guinness Calls for a New Christian Renaissance by Ginny Mooney
Originally posted on June 18, 2011 | Discussed on Friday, April 24, 2015
Regent University’s motto is “Christian Leadership to Change the World,” and Seattle Pacific University markets itself as "Where world change begins." Other Christian institutions and many Christian leaders make similar claims. But can Christians really change the world? And what does it really mean to change the world?
Read the Full Article: http://www.christianpost.com/news/os-guinness-calls-for-a-new-christian-renaissance-51309/
Fifty Shades of Shame — The Evolution of Pornography by Albert Mohler
Originally posted February 13, 2015 | Discussed on Friday, April 10
The release of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, timed for Valentine’s Day, is a more important and lamentable event than many Christians may realize. What the movie represents is nothing less than the evolution of pornography in an age increasingly distant from a biblical vision of sexuality and human dignity.
Read the Full Article: http://www.albertmohler.com/2015/02/13/fifty-shades-of-shame-the-evolution-of-pornography/
Where Reason Ends and Faith Begins by T. M. Luhrmann
Originally posted July 26, 2014 | Discussed on Friday, August 1, 2014
STANFORD, Calif. — Not long ago, I was at an event in which many people, most of them professors, were arguing for the existence of things that many of their colleagues did not believe in. Someone gave a talk in which he explained that he knew that U.F.O.s existed even though all the best evidence for them turned out to be false. Others spoke sympathetically about shamanic healing, reincarnation and near-death visions. But then a woman described her research on what it was like to be dead, which she had based on reports from mediums who claimed to have had the dead speak through them. She cited, as evidence of the benevolence in the afterlife, an Anglican priest, Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson, who wrote a book attacking spiritualism while alive but who, she said, recanted the book after his death in 1914. The group stared at her in disbelief. This, they felt, was flabby-minded.
Is Evangelical Morality Still Acceptable in America? by Alan Noble
Originally posted July 13, 2014 | Discussed on Friday, July 25, 2014
Is evangelical Christian morality still viable in American public life? This is the question lurking in recent debates over religious-liberty issues, from the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision to the Christian bakers who object to baking cakes for gay weddings. In discussions of these cases, objections to same-sex marriage and contraception are described as a retreat from “secular society.” And in some cases, evangelicals actually have retreated: Since the Boy Scouts of America decided to allow openly gay Scouts to participate, a “Christian” alternative has been created, giving Christian parents a "safe" space where they can send their kids. But these incidences of retreat have actually been rare. Ultimately, the idea that evangelical Christian morality is incompatible with modern life isn’t sustainable.
N.T. Wright on Gay Marriage: Nature and Narrative Point to Complementarity by Matthew Schmitz
Originally posted June 11, 2014 | Discussed on Friday, June 27, 2014
N.T. Wright—hailed by Time as “one of the most formidable figures in Christian thought”—first captured my imagination with the early volumes of his series Christian Origins and the Question of God. In them, he frames the Christian story precisely as a story, a grand narrative, the greatest epic, and all the greater for being true. As Wesley Hill noted in our most recent issue, there can be peril in such readings of Scripture, but also great promise. In a recent interview with J. John of the Philo Trust, Wright explains why he views the complementarity of the sexes as essential to that story, and to marriage itself.