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Mere Links 01.28.15
Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 10:00 AM

The Strange Notion of “Gay Celibacy”
Daniel Mattson, Crisis Magazine

Of late, much attention has been given in both the secular media and Christian media to those who call themselves “gay celibate Christians.” As a man attracted to men yet committed to traditional Catholic teaching on human sexuality, I find the notion both of being “gay” or “celibate” strange.

Church of England consecrates first female bishop
Danica Kirka, Associated Press

Male domination in the leadership of the Church of England ended Monday, as the 500-year-old institution consecrated its first female bishop.

Resist or Accommodate Evil: There is No “Third Way”
Jeffery J. Ventrella, Public Discourse

When conscience flirts with the idea of accommodating an unjust law, it must politely, yet firmly, reject the sirens of seduction

State high court’s vote affecting Scout affiliation stirs debate anew
Thomas Curwen, LA Times

High court voted to bar judges from belonging to nonprofit youth organizations that practice discrimination.



Mere Links 01.27.15
Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 10:00 AM

Angelic Dialogue According to the Church Fathers
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Preachers Institute

As we considered recently, the Church Fathers placed Psalm 23 (Hebrew 24) in the scene of the Lord’s Ascension. The dialogue in this psalm (“Who is this King of glory?), they believed, involved the angels who guarded the gates of heaven.

Southern Baptist leaders call for integrated churches
Travis Loller, Associated Press

Leaders in nation’s largest Protestant denomination are preaching that integrated churches can be a key driver of racial justice in society. But that could be a hard sell to those sitting in Southern Baptist Convention congregations.

Princeton professor and others offer to take 1,000 lashes for Saudi blogger Raif Badawi
FoxNews.com

A Princeton University professor and a prominent Muslim American figure, as well as five other religious freedom advocates, are offering to take 100 lashes each for imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced by Saudi Arabia to 1,000 lashes for insulting his country’s clerics.

3 Types Of Fundamentalists And Evangelicals After 1956
Justin Taylor, The Gospel Coalition

Fundamentalism is a fascinating subject of study, still under-explored when it comes to its relationship to evangelicalism. But hopefully the introductory analysis above helps us begin to avoid the reflex to assume we are only talking about one unitary thing when we employ these labels.



Mere Links 01.24.15
Monday, January 26, 2015, 10:00 AM

9 Things You Should Know About Vintage Christianity
Jeremy Bouma, OnFaith

“I am dedicated to unoriginality.” So said historical theologian Thomas Oden in his classic work, Classical Christianity. He goes on: “I plan to present nothing new or original in these pages . . . My aim is to present classical Christian teaching of God on its own terms, undiluted by modern posturing.”

How To Be A Gay Jesuit
Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

The following is from an internal document recently distributed by the US Jesuits to all members of the religious order. According to the prefatory comments, every year the Jesuits ask their members to consider a case study in how to handle a matter involving sex and sexuality.

A Fundamental Right To “personal Recreationism”?
Wesley J. Smith, First Things

Gender dysphoria (transgenderism)—formerly known as gender identity disorder—was once considered a mental illness. Today, the condition—and how individuals and society react to it—is a prominent civil rights issue, the “T” in LGBT.

No Worship Services in Public Schools, New York Mayor Tells Supreme Court
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, Christianity Today

Bill de Blasio campaigned on the promise of letting churches rent school space. Now he’s asking the Supreme Court to prohibit it.



Mere Links 01.23.15
Friday, January 23, 2015, 10:00 AM

Sex Education in America: How Yesterday’s Extremists Shaped Today’s Sex Ed
Valerie Huber, Public Discourse

In order to influence the future of sex education, we must have a nuanced understanding of its colorful past.

DR Congo unrest: Catholic church backs protests
BBC

The Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo has thrown its weight behind protests against President Joseph Kabila extending his rule.

The Latest Debate Over Catholic Social Thought
Gerald J. Russello, Crisis Magazine

Pope Francis’ statements about economics (and related questions, such as environmentalism and “fracking”) have caused much consternation among conservative Catholics in the United States. The Holy Father’s comments on the “greed” of capitalism and his seeming belief that capitalism causes income inequality rather than providing explosive growth and increased prosperity historically seem without nuance at best, and ignorant at worst.

To Some in California, Founder of Church Missions Is Far From Saint
Carol Pogash , New York Times

For generations, fourth graders in California’s schools, often with a parent’s touch, built models of church missions out of poster board or sugar cubes to celebrate the Rev. Junipero Serra and the religious communities he established along the West Coast in the late 1700s.



Mere Links 01.22.15
Thursday, January 22, 2015, 10:00 AM

Pentecost: The Whole Paschal Season
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Preachers Institute

In Luke’s theology the mission of the Holy Spirit is especially related to the event of Pentecost. Consequently, the forgiveness and remission of sins—the Holy Spirit’s first gift—forms a theme foundational to the imagery of Pentecost. This is the case, whether “Pentecost” refers to the whole Paschal season (its older meaning) or refers to the specific day of the Holy Spirit’s descent.

Has Roe Already Been Overturned? The Viability Of The Pain-Capable Act
Charles C. Camosy, The Federalist

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would ban abortions after 20 weeks gestation (except for rape or to save the mother’s life). And it’s probably consonant with Roe v. Wade.

What’s the Problem with IVF?
Matthew Hosier, Think Theology

One of the ethical questions I am most often asked is whether IVF is an appropriate course of action for Christian couples.

The Scale Of The Universe And The Religious View
Hugh Hunter, First Things

Who is the protagonist of Hamlet? It seems pretty obvious that it is the dark prince himself, but I am sure you can imagine a clever reader making a case that it is really Ophelia, or Claudius, or some other important character. What would you say to someone who said that the protagonist was actually Cornelius, the Danish envoy to Norway, whose one line is shared with someone else?



Mere Links 01.21.15
Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 10:00 AM

How Southern Baptists became pro-life
David Roach, Baptist Press

In 1979, Larry Lewis picked up a copy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and saw a full-page ad listing the Southern Baptist Convention among denominations that affirmed the right to abortion. “Right there beside the Unitarians and universalists was the Southern Baptist Convention,” Lewis, a St. Louis pastor who went on to become president of the Home Mission Board (now the North American Mission Board), told Baptist Press. “… That bothered me a lot.”

Here’s why your state may be expanding religious freedom protections this year
Mark A. Kellner, Deseret News

The rush to enforce same-sex marriage across the country may trigger state legislative efforts to enact local versions of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Supporters say cultural changes make this necessary; opponents fear boycotts.

Bible colleges sue for right to issue degrees
John O’Connor, Associated Press

Bible colleges in Illinois have filed a federal lawsuit against state education regulators, seeking the unencumbered right to award degrees to students who complete their programs.

Is Scholasticism Making a Comeback?
Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. , Crisis Magazine

In the September 1987 issue of Modern Age, Frederick Wilhelmsen wrote a famous essay titled: “Great Books: Enemies of Wisdom?” In it, he recounted his own experience as a student at the University of Detroit.



Mere Links 01.20.15
Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 10:00 AM

Niger protesters torched 45 churches – police
BBC

At least 10 people have been killed and 45 churches set on fire since protests erupted in Niger over the French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s depiction of the Prophet Muhammad, police say.

Proof The New York Times Only Censors Photos That Offend Violent Religious Sects
Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist

New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet has repeatedly claimed that the reason he’s not allowing any depictions of Muhammad to appear in the paper is because he’s highly attuned to religious sensibilities. It’s not because he’s terrified of Islamic radicals killing him or his staff. No really. That’s what he’s going with.

In Celebration Of Religious Liberty Day, ‘Je Suis American’
Kristina Arriaga, The Federalist

Religious liberty is often treated like the eccentric uncle of the human-rights family. It shouldn’t be. We need it now, perhaps, more than ever.

Illinois Abortion Clinics Inspected an Average of Once Every 9 Years
Evan Gahr, The Daily Signal

Forty percent of licensed clinics went between 14 and 17 years without inspections, according to the report. And only one of the federally funded Illinois Planned Parenthood clinics, which are not licensed, was ever inspected—in 1999.



Mere Links 01.16.15
Friday, January 16, 2015, 10:00 AM

9 Things You Should Know About Boko Haram
Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition

What you should know about the the militant group waging a campaign of terror and attempting to establish an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria.

Pope: Fundamentalist terrorism result of ‘deviant religion’
Nicole Winfield, AP

Pope Francis on Monday denounced the religious fundamentalism that inspired the Paris massacres and ongoing Mideast conflicts, saying the attackers were enslaved by “deviant forms of religion” that used God as a mere ideological pretext to perpetuate mass killings.

Sunday morning still segregated, study shows
Bob Smietana, Baptist Press

Sunday morning remains one of the most segregated hours in American life, with more than 8 in 10 congregations made up of one predominant racial group, a LifeWay Research study shows.

Charlie Hebdo, Intolerance, and the Problem of Double Standards
Kim R. Holmes, Public Discourse

The terrible massacre in Paris could be a “teachable” moment on the meaning of tolerance, but it will require soul searching by America’s cultural leftists.



Mere Links 01.15.15
Thursday, January 15, 2015, 10:00 AM

How the Supreme Court Reacted to This Town Allowing Politicians Bigger Signs Than Churches
Hans von Spakovsky, The Daily Signal

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, a challenge by a church to a town ordinance regulating signs.

In China, a church-state showdown of biblical proportions
Robert Marquand, Christian Science Monitor

Christianity is booming in China, propelling it toward becoming the world’s largest Christian nation. But as religion grows, it spurs a government crackdown.

A Little About Hebrews 12:2
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Preachers Institute

After his long panegyric on the heroes of faith, the author of the Epistle makes reference to Jesus as “the leader and perfecter of faith” (12:2). This expression requires closer inspection, in order to understand Jesus’ relationship to faith.

Why ‘Ordinary Time’ is Most Extraordinary for God’s Work
Jim Tonkowich, Juicy Ecumenism

Christmas is over and as a friend likes to say, “Ain’t nothin’ as over as Christmas.”



Mere Links 01.14.15
Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 10:00 AM

Should We Leave Our Children Inheritances?
Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspectives Ministries

“A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22). As a result, many Christians defend and justify leaving vast sums of wealth to their children and grandchildren. I think in order to understand the principle behind this verse, we need to compare what an inheritance meant in biblical times, versus what an inheritance means in this culture today.

Supreme Court hears religious speech case
The Becket Fund

Arizona town’s ordinance allows signs for big politicians, but not small churches.

Does Religion Really Have a “Smart-People Problem”?
Fr. Robert Barron, Catholic World Report

Philosophy, so marked today by nihilism and postmodern relativism, is passing through a particularly corrupt period.

Maybe China Can’t Reverse Its Child Limit
The American Interest

The Chinese government is finding it harder to reverse the lasting effects of the one-child policy than it thought. Faced with the prospect of an aging population supported by too few young people, China decided in 2013 that it would allow couples to apply to have a second child.


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