Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 10:00 AM
Orthodox patriarchs urge peace in Ukraine, plan first council in 1,200 years
Tom Heneghan, Reuters
Patriarchs of the world’s 250 million Orthodox Christians ended a rare summit in Istanbul on Sunday calling for a peaceful end to the crisis in Ukraine and denouncing violence driving Christians out of the Middle East.
Confusions About Totipotency: Stem Cells Are Not Embryos
Maureen L. Condic, Public Discourse
The ability to both produce all cell types and to organize them into a coherent body plan is the defining feature of a human organism. All stem cells lack essential elements supplied by the egg cell and cannot develop into a fetus.
On God as a MacGuffin
James Banks, Humane Pursuits
Religion, as many seminarians and clergy today probably think of it, is merely a catalyst to give moral weight to the cause for social justice. But the social justice party are not the only ones who sometimes make God into a MacGuffin. For a lot of new ministers, it might not be so much about changing the world as surviving in it.
‘Son Of God’ Veers Toward Gnostic Heresy
Joel Gehrke, The Federalist
The film gives oxygen to a claim early church leaders denounced as historically and theologically false.
Monday, March 10, 2014, 10:00 AM
John Wesley and Religious Freedom
Mark Tooley, First Things
Once universal assumptions about religious liberty in America are fraying. As Evangelical author Eric Metaxas recently told the National Religious Broadcasters, “Americans are so spoiled, we’ve had so much religious freedom, we don’t know what it is to miss it,” adding, “We take holy gifts for granted.”
Must Catholics Favor Socialized Medicine?
Samuel Gregg, Crisis Magazine
Among the many debates triggered throughout America by Obamacare, one concerns whether access to healthcare may be described as a “right.” Assuming such a right exists, a related issue is what this means for public policy.
Vatican spokesman clarifies pope on civil unions
Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter
Rev. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., the English language assistant to Holy See Press Office, sent out an email clarifying what the pope said about “civil unions” in his interview in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Some Historical Roots of African American Big God Theology
John Piper, Desiring God
Year after year our awareness of the historical evidence increases that “Big God Theology” is indigenous to African American leadership from the beginnings of the Christian conversion of Blacks on this continent.
Friday, March 7, 2014, 10:00 AM
What’s at Stake at the Bakery: How Property Rights Got Sexy
Adam J. MacLeod, Public Discourse
State lawmakers should make it clear that religious and moral reasons are rational and legitimate, and that property owners may act or refrain from action in obedience to conscience.
What Is Conscience?
Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition
Over the past few years, the term conscience has been increasingly referenced in debates occurring both in our churches (e.g., appeals to conscience on moral issues) and the public square (e.g., defending the right of conscience). We hear a lot about conscience, but what exactly does it mean?
Some Good News on Abortion Rates
Richard M. Doerflinger, Crisis Magazine
On an issue associated with tragedy and mourning, there was good news recently. A new study finds that in 2011, the US abortion rate—the number of abortions per 1000 women of reproductive age—reached its lowest point since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in 1973. Abortions dropped to just over a million a year, from a high of 1.6 million in 1990.
Francis Has Changed American Catholics’ Attitudes, but Not Their Behavior, a Poll Finds
Laurie Goodstein, New York Times
Nearly six in 10 American Catholics in the poll said they expected the church would definitely or probably lift its prohibition on birth control by the year 2050, while half said the church would allow priests to marry.
Thursday, March 6, 2014, 10:00 AM
Gay Weddings & Conscientious Objection
Keith Pavlischek, Juicy Ecumenism
Sadly, American evangelicals seem to have a new cohort of thought-leaders who believe that art doesn’t matter, or at least lacks a moral dimension.
Media Mendacity Over Proposed Arizona Bill
Rachel Lu, Crisis Magazine
We’ve been hearing a lot about Jim Crow lately, so perhaps it would be worthwhile to recall the history behind the Jim Crow legislation. This will enable us to more accurately decide whether Arizona’s recently proposed SB 1062 (which was vetoed last week by Republican governor Jan Brewer) is relevantly similar to the Jim Crow laws.
The Rich Get Married, the Poor Get Poorer
Peter Jon Mitchell and Andrea Mrozek, Public Discourse
The Canadian dialogue on marriage and economic prosperity lags behind the American conversation, but a new report aims to change that.
Syrian Jihadists Are Forcing Christians to Become Dhimmis Under Seventh-Century Rules
Nina Shea, National Review Online
The religious persecution in Syria deepened this week, as evidenced by a written ultimatum purportedly distributed by the rebel jihadist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) to Christians in the northern provincial capital of Raqqa.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 10:00 AM
Gender, Discrimination, and Marriage
Kelly Bartlett, Public Discourse
In the name of equality, same-sex marriage seeks to codify gender discrimination. But marriage welcomes everyone: husband and wife, father and mother, grandfather and grandmother.
The Airport Chaplain, Now Offering Earthly Aid
Mike Tierney, New York Times
“We are kind of an extreme customer service,” said the Rev. Chester R. Cook, senior chaplain at Hartsfield-Jackson, whose three full-time pastors are augmented by some 50 volunteers representing 10 faiths. The airport, the world’s busiest, serves over 225,000 passengers a day.
The forgotten Arab Christians
New York Post
If it weren’t for Israel, we often hear, the Middle East’s lions would all lie down with the lambs. The terrible fate of a Christian community in Syria is a fresh reminder of just how untrue this is.
What Is the Right to Religious Freedom?
Fr. Dylan Schrader, Homiletic & Pastoral Review
The most fundamental right in the area of religion is that which should be attributed to God, what we owe to God. God is absolutely sovereign.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 10:00 AM
Quality Education is Not Rocket Science
Anthony Esolen, Crisis Magazine
Every week it seems I receive three or four letters from people who are establishing new schools or reforming old ones. These letters are most encouraging, and all of the writers, without exception, are dedicated to restoring what is called a “classical” education.
The Terms of Our Surrender
Ross Douthat, New York Times
What makes this response particularly instructive is that such bills have been seen, in the past, as a way for religious conservatives to negotiate surrender — to accept same-sex marriage’s inevitability while carving out protections for dissent. But now, apparently, the official line is that you bigots don’t get to negotiate anymore.
Planned Parenthood President: When Life Begins Not ‘Really Relevant’ in Abortion Debate
Andrew Johnson, National Review Online
The president of the country’s largest abortion provider said she didn’t think the matter of when life begins is pertinent to the issue.
An Argument to Turn to Jesus Before the Bar
Mark Oppenheimer, New York Times
Americans like to sue. But many evangelicals believe that they should turn first to Jesus, not the bar. “If another member of the church sins against you,” Jesus says, according to the Gospel of Matthew, “go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone.”
Monday, March 3, 2014, 10:00 AM
Christianity: Foundation of Western Success
Samuel Gregg, Crisis Magazine
Beginning with the blunt warning, “This is a remarkably unfashionable book” (p. 1), Stark sets out to critique, and, in some instances, demolish several widespread mythologies about the West’s development.
Religious Liberty After Arizona
Ben Domenech, The Federalist
On the importance of trusting markets and people over government.
The Homeless Modern
Mark Mitchell, Intercollegiate Review
Modern Westerners—despite incredible affluence, comfort, entertainment, and security— all too often seem to suffer from a condition that the Desert Fathers called acedia: they are both bored and uneasy.
Why Dads Matter
Lois M. Collins and Marjorie Cortez, The Atlantic
A third of American children are growing up in homes without their biological fathers.
Friday, February 28, 2014, 10:00 AM
Love for Latin Liturgy More than a Fashion
Rachel Lu, Crisis Magazine
According to a recent second-hand report, Pope Francis thinks that liturgical traditionalism is now fashionable among the young.
What price a religious calling?
David Briggs, Association of Religion Data Archives
Record seminary debt shows need for financial as well as divine guidance.
The Limits of Life: Biology and the Philosophy of Nature
William Carroll, Public Discourse
Biology continues to offer us new and exciting insights into the world. These insights need to be integrated into a philosophical perspective that is richer than the reductive materialism that is often linked with the empirical sciences. In this endeavor, biology needs the philosophy of nature.
When Tolerance Turns to Coerced Celebration
Jennifer A. Marshall, The Gospel Coalition
The legal freedom to live and love according to one’s preferences does not imply that government should compel others to celebrate all relationships.
Thursday, February 27, 2014, 10:00 AM
Subsidiarity Calls Us to Live Like Catholics
James Kalb, Crisis Magazine
Subsidiarity is integral to a social doctrine based on natural law rather than technology. That ought to be a feature rather than a bug, but in today’s world it means no one can make sense of it or apply it coherently.
The Enduring Appeal of Marriage
R.R. Reno, First Things
The mystery of marriage conducts a powerful electrical current. It not only legitimates same-sex relationships; it also answers a basic human need for permanence, for union with another, for family, for a place to stand in the terrible flux of human life.
Opponents of Same-Sex Marriage Take Bad-for-Children Argument to Court
Erick Eckholm, New York Times
In the first trial of its kind in years, the social science research on family structure and child progress will be openly debated.
The Protection of the Church
William Saletan, Slate
Even in the midst of religious war, religious institutions provide the moral strength to contain the violence. Faith in transcendent values counters sectarian hatred.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 10:00 AM
Older Posts »
Ukraine Names Baptist Pastor as Acting President
Timothy C. Morgan, Christianity Today
After 88 die in protests, Ukrainian evangelicals call nation “to learn to love yesterday’s enemies.”
The Strange Saga of ‘Jesus Calling,’ The Evangelical Bestseller You’ve Never Heard Of
Ruth Graham, The Daily Beast
A ten-year-old devotional written in the voice of God suddenly became a commercial juggernaut. Now, its publisher is trying to reconcile its New Age origins with evangelical orthodoxy.
The Pope’s radical call
to the new evangelization
Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, L’Osservatore Romano
American Cardinal on the message of this Pontificate
Winning the Abortion Olympics
Chuck Donovan, First Things
Nearly sixty countries permit elective abortions but with some baby-protective limits.