PowerLinks 04.18.14
Friday, April 18, 2014, 10:00 AM

The Joy of Orthodox Pascha
Wesley J. Smith, First Things

One spring, a few years before I converted to Eastern Orthodoxy, my wife and I vacationed in Greece. On the plane we became friendly with a happy elderly Greek-American gentleman who told us excitedly that he was on a pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain (the monastic polity of Mount Athos) for Pascha.

Easter and ethics: How the resurrection reshapes the Christian life
Phillip Bethancourt, ERLC

What is the relationship between Easter and ethics? How does the crucifixion shape the Christian life? How does the resurrection reorient our moral intuitions?

In-Churching Russia
John P. Burgess, First Things

Journeying through the efforts of Orthodoxy to return Russia to faith.

Same-Sex Marriage and the Future
Russell D. Moore, Moore to the Point

Some people want a court of prophets who will take a surgeon’s scalpel to the Word of God. They want those who will say in light of what the Bible clearly calls immorality, “Has God really said?”

Mere Links 04.17.14
Thursday, April 17, 2014, 10:00 AM

Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
Andreas J. Köstenberger and Justin Taylor, Christianity Today

If you want to help people see Holy Week with fresh eyes, start by dropping these familiar fallacies.

Are Christians in America Persecuted?
Kevin DeYoung, The Gospel Coalition

The short answer is “Yes, all the time.” The not as short answer is: “Yes, Christians in America are persecuted, but not as frequently, consistently, or with nearly the intensity that Christians are persecuted in many other parts of the world.”

Down the Slippery Slope: A Timeline of Social Revolution
R. Jared Staudt, Crisis Magazine

It is certainly not breaking news to assert that America is in cultural decline. Many aspects of this decline have been widely documented: the breakdown of the family, threats to life, and ever increasing secularization.

Why We Need Monks
J. David Nolan , Fare Forward

Religious communities serve as icons of the Christian life. Today more than ever, we need their witness of poverty, chastity, and obedience to counteract our contemporary excesses.

Mere Links 04.16.14
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 10:00 AM

Millennials ‘Talk To God,’ But Fewer Rely On Religion, Survey Finds
Scott Neuman, NPR

Barely half of millennials say they look to religion for guidance, but a higher percentage “talk to God,” suggesting that the 18-to-34 demographic is more spiritual than sectarian, according to a new survey by the Integrated Innovation Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

The Dictatorship of Diversity
William Kilpatrick, Crisis Magazine

If diversity is such a good thing, we might expect to find much praise for it in the Bible. But the opposite seems to be the case. For example, the diversity of language visited on the people of Babel is presented in Genesis as a curse, not a blessing.

Confessions of a Christian film critic
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

If it’s a challenge to write about Christian films as a Christian, it can be just as problematic to review nonreligious films, especially the bad ones: The humility and loving kindness I try so hard to cultivate in my daily life doesn’t hew to the snark and downright cruelty that can be the occupational hazard of the reviewer’s job.

Christians Must Reject Putin’s Christianity
Ryan Mauro, Juicy Ecumenism

Russian President Vladimir Putin was a KGB officer when the service was promoting an anti-Western, Marxist version of Christianity. He is now, with some success, pitching himself as the man who can save Christianity from the moral vices of the West and Islamic oppression.

Mere Links 04.15.14
Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 10:00 AM

Forgiving the unforgivable in Rwanda
Tim Townsend, CNN

At first, the prisoners thought he had been sent by the government – a spy in a clerical collar – to investigate their crimes. Even when they were satisfied that Gahigi wasn’t a spy, they were skeptical of his motives. Why would this man come to their prison to preach when he knew what they had done?

Catholic Schools Pressed to Give Up Morality
Anne Hendershott, Crisis Magazine

After decades of well-documented dissent on many Catholic college campuses over Church teachings on abortion, contraception, and same sex marriage, a new front in the Catholic culture wars has opened on Catholic K-12 campuses as increasing numbers of gay and lesbian teachers and administrators at these schools are lobbying for the right to marry their same sex partners—and keep their jobs.

Hollywood tries to win Christians’ faith
Chris Lee, Los Angeles Times

With the box-office success of ‘Son of God,’ ‘God’s Not Dead’ and the controversial ‘Noah,’ more faith-based movies are in the works. But experts warn not to treat Christians as a monolithic audience.

Rugged Individuals: Revival Of American Calvinism
Stéphane Bussard, Worldcrunch

Calvin is discovering a new popularity in America. No, not the character from the Bill Watterson comic Calvin and Hobbes, but John Calvin, the 16th-century French Protestant Reformer.

Mere Links 04.14.14
Monday, April 14, 2014, 10:00 AM

The New Testament Jeremiah
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Preachers Institute

Like Jeremiah, who foresaw the coming destruction of the Temple, Paul sensed that he was living in apocalyptic times. Like Jeremiah’s, Paul’s soul was formed by his internal identification with the tragic history of his people.

Bait And Switch: How Same Sex Marriage Ends Family Autonomy
Stella Morabito, The Federalist

Abolishing all civil marriage is the primary goal of the elites who have been pushing same sex marriage. The scheme called “marriage equality” is not an end in itself, and never really has been.

Ethnic Parishes, Catholic Schools and the Vocations Crisis
Bruce Frohnen, Crisis Magazine

The emphasis on speaking to modern man using modern language has meant far less emphasis on speaking Catholic language to Catholics.

Diversity and Dishonesty
Ross Douthat, New York Times

This refusal, this self-deception, means that we have far too many powerful communities (corporate, academic, journalistic) that are simultaneously dogmatic and dishonest about it.

Mere Links 04.11.14
Friday, April 11, 2014, 10:00 AM

Love Is Our King: De-Institutionalizing Enmity
Greg Forster, Canon & Culture

Nothing else we do in the public square will work if we don’t do everything from a position of love that challenges the deeply embedded assumption that we hate our culture.

Christ in an Age of Technique
James Kalb, Catholic World Report

To say that the Catholic, Universal Church is multicultural is to say something not merely obvious, but redundant. And cultural differences necessarily create distance and the potential for misunderstanding.

Christian Magnanimity
Bryan Wandel, Humane Pursuits

Christian magnanimity is an overflow of grace to bear with the immaturities and shortcomings of people around us – for their benefit.

9 Things You Should Know About The Rwandan Genocide
Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition

This week marks the twentieth anniversary of the beginning of the campaign of genocide in Rwanda. Here are nine things you should know about one of the most horrific seasons of slaughter in modern times.

Mere Links 04.10.14
Thursday, April 10, 2014, 10:00 AM

10 Key Events: Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism in 20th Century America
Justin Taylor, The Gospel Coalition

In 19th century North America, evangelicalism basically referred to a loosely associated, intradenominational coalition of Protestants who held to the basic reformational doctrines of sola fide [faith alone] and sola scriptura [Scripture alone], mediated through the revival experiences of the Great Awakenings.

Everybody to Pope Paul: Drop Dead
Anthony Esolen, The Catholic Thing

The pope knew that he was delivering a message that would dash some false hopes. He also knew that, in the newly seething sensualism of his times, it would be hard to move people even to understand what he was saying.

Making the Case for Makeup: In Which Calvin Defends Lip-Gloss
Derek Rishmawy, Christ & Pop Culture

Calvin and the Reformed tradition that followed after him clearly rejected the Platonic error that totally divorced body from soul. Indeed, he says that the glory of the Image also suffuses the body (Institutes, 1.15.3).

The Book of Common Prayer Is Still a Big Deal
Interview by Jordan Hylden, Christianity Today

Alan Jacobs explains why the nearly 500-year-old Anglican prayer book retains its influence, and why it should appeal even to (non-Anglican) evangelicals.

Mere Links 04.09.14
Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 9:02 AM

Where Is the Virtue?
Anthony Esolen, Public Discourse

Our culture has become soft. We suppose that sex is too trivial to require virtue, yet we also believe it is so significant that to suggest any restraint upon its consensual exercise is an affront to the most important fount of human dignity.

In Defense of the Innocent
Christopher O. Tollefsen, Public Discourse

Although Nigel Biggar’s new book on just war has many strengths, the author gets himself into a moral muddle over the question whether the deaths of innocent non-combatants can be deliberately chosen in war.

Marriage, Reason, and Religious Liberty: Much Ado About Sex, Nothing to Do with Race
Ryan T. Anderson, Heritage Foundation

Believing that marriage is the union of man and woman is a reasonable position held by many. Bans on interracial marriage, by contrast, were grossly unreasonable. Protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience does not restrict anyone’s freedom to enter into whatever romantic partnerships he or she wishes.

Things You Should Know About The Chronicles of Narnia
Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition

The end of March marked the sixty-fifth anniversary of C.S. Lewis completing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. Here are nine things you should know about the Lewis’ beloved novels.

Mere Links 04.08.14
Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 10:00 AM

The Most Influential Essay You’ve Never Heard Of
Joe Carter, Canon & Culture

The people who are demonizing Christians for not supporting homosexual behavior—many of whom are Christians themselves—are doing so largely because of the plan that Kirk and Madsen put in place.

St. John Fisher, Marriage, and Moral Absolutes
Samuel Gregg, Crisis Magazine

In his October 2013 article on the question of communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, Cardinal Gerhard Müller underscored that the Catholic Church had risked much to uphold Christ’s teaching regarding true marriage’s indissolubility.

Abortifacients, Emergency Contraception, and Terminating Pregnancy
Mathew Lu, Public Discourse

If there is any plausible reason to believe that emergency contraceptives cause—even occasionally—the death of embryo, then they are morally equivalent to abortifacients.

Mysticism, Monasticism, and the New Evangelization
Benjamin Mann and Abbot Nicholas Zachariadis, Catholic World Report

The New Evangelization requires a rediscovery of Christian mysticism, and a revival of the monastic setting which is its natural home.

Mere Links 04.07.14
Monday, April 7, 2014, 10:00 AM

The Great Book of Kings
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Preachers Institute

The division between the two Books of Kings comes from the Greek translation known as the Septuagint.

What Mozilla Means
Robert P. George, First Things

Now that the bullies have Eich’s head as a trophy on their wall, they will put the heat on every other corporation and major employer. They will pressure them to refuse employment to those who decline to conform their views to the new orthodoxy.

Conscience and the Moral Status of the Fetus
Christopher Spewock, Public Discourse

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists claims that mothers and doctors have a moral obligation to take care of fetuses—unless they want to terminate them.

Here’s the “Missing” Evidence for S.D.’s Sex-Selective Abortion Ban
Jonathan Coppage, The American Conservative

South Dakota recently became the 8th state to make it illegal to abort a fetus because of its sex, and set penalties including jail time and fines for doctors who knowingly provided such abortions.

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