Mere Links 12.12.14
Friday, December 12, 2014, 10:00 AM

How Ultrasound-on-a-Chip Will Transform Abortion
Joe Carter, ERLC

Technological innovations often have broad effects that could have never been forseen. Take, for example, the invention of the printing press by German printer Johannes Gutenberg. A forward-thinking futurist living in 1450 might have predicted the way that the printed word would change culture. But could they have predicted that it would lead to eyeglasses?

Should Children Make Up Their Own Minds About Religion?
Jason Stubblefield, First Things

Teaching our children a particular form of religious expression may seem something like teaching them to eat only one kind of cheese on a smorgasbord of limitless options. With so many religious alternatives, how can we help our children choose?

Why Pastors Should Pay Attention to the Torture Report
Steven Dilla, OnFaith

Three ways forward for leaders of Christian communities.

Conflict may force church to split, Welby says
Oliver Moody and Michael Binyon, The Times

Parts of the Anglican Communion could break away over their entrenched conflicts with other churches, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.



PowerLinks 12.11.14
Thursday, December 11, 2014, 10:00 AM

The Case for Religious Freedom
Zenit

“Where any of these fights on religious freedom are going to go, will in great part depend upon whether people of faith will stand up and speak now, or will they sit in silence. The outcome is up to you”

Time to Challenge No-Fault Divorce
Thomas F. Farr and Hilary Towers, First Things

State laws on divorce began to be implemented in the late 1960s, but today have been absorbed into the legal and cultural mainstream nationwide.

Unholy row as nativity scene ban divides France
Anne Penketh, The Guardian

Court orders council in La Roche-sur-Yon to dismantle crib, after complaint from secular campaigners.

Seven Things Atheists Get Wrong
David Marcus, The Federalist

Atheists need to understand and embrace the role religion has played in creating the world we live in.



Mere Links 12.10.14
Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 10:00 AM

Most American Agree With Right-To-Die Movement
Dennis Thompson, Healthday

An overwhelming 74 percent of American adults now believe that terminally ill patients who are in great pain should have the right to end their lives, the poll found. Only 14 percent were opposed.

Abortion Is Out; Single Moms Are In
Nicole Russell, The Federalist

New data show fewer abortions and marriages, meaning many more single moms.Those who love life should start supporting good marriages and parenting.

College: Where Faith and Virtues Go to Die
Catherine Ruth Pakaluk, Aleteia

What kind of education are we giving our kids?

Not Just a Rape Culture: The University’s Rape System
Greg Forster, Public Discourse

Only political reform can fight the system that protects rapists on college campuses.



Mere Links 12.09.14
Tuesday, December 9, 2014, 10:00 AM

Church Giving Tops $50 Billion A Year In U.S.—And Its Future Is Not A Collection Plate
Ruth Graham, Fast Company

“Churches are no different than any other operation in that they need to be relevant and convenient,” said RaeAnn Slaybaugh, editor of Church Executive magazine, who has reported on new giving options. “The difficulty is in capitalizing on a moment of generosity.”

In Seven States, Atheists Push to End Largely Forgotten Ban
Laurie Goodstein, New York Times

Maryland and six other states still have articles in their constitutions saying people who do not believe in God are not eligible to hold public office. Maryland’s Constitution still says belief in God is a requirement even for jurors and witnesses.

9 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About the Persecution of Christians
Rick McDaniel, OnFaith

Is discrimination against Christians an acceptable form of prejudice?

Chimpanzees Are Not Entitled to Human Rights, New York Court Says
Elizabeth Barber, Time

The chimpanzee at issue is not entitled to a writ of habeas corpus allowing him freedom from his cage.



Mere Links 12.08.14
Monday, December 8, 2014, 10:00 AM

Talking About God in Public
Doug Sikkema, Comment

The former Archbishop of Canterbury offers an indispensable aid for anyone struggling to talk about God publicly.

A New Kind Of Death
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Preachers Institute

However we are to treat the “necessity” Christ ascribes to his Passion, we should not speak of it as a physical necessity. It was not an mere instance of second law of thermodynamics.

Why Christians Care About Sex
Andrew Walker, First Things

A new study out this week shows widening gaps in how different demographics in America approach sexuality and family. The Relationships in America study, produced by the Austin Institute, looks at “how social forces, demography, and religion continue to shape attitudes about family and intimate relationships.”

Pope Francis: Demotion of Burke not ‘punishment’
Crux

Pope Francis has denied that removing American Cardinal Raymond Burke as head of the Vatican’s highest court was a “punishment” for his outspokenly conservative views at a recent summit of bishops, saying instead he wanted a “smart American” to serve as patron of the Order of Malta.



Mere Links 12.05.14
Friday, December 5, 2014, 10:00 AM

What It Means to Listen: Free Speech from the Perspective of the Abrahamic Religions
Dominic Burbidge, Public Discourse

The Abrahamic religions provide a radical interpretation of the importance of speech: it is the primary way in which God reveals himself. Because persons of faith believe that God has spoken, they are called to develop and deepen their capacities for listening.

From Hell to Oprah: What Happened to Rob Bell?
Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Religion News Service

The former megachurch pastor exchanged his evangelical bona fides for the blessing of Oprah.

Should Christian Historians Appeal to Providence in Their Interpretations?
Justin Taylor , The Gospel Coalition

Although Christian historians may disagree among themselves regarding the precise nature or extent of God’s providence, all affirm its reality and importance as those who trust in the God who has decisively revealed himself through Christ in his authoritative Word and who is at work throughout history. And yet there is a debate about how providence should be used in the writing of history, especially before the academy.

Fury at the Cross(roads): The Gospel in the Violence of History
Will McDavid , Mockingbird

The most religious film many moviegoers will see this year will not be an inspirational story from a faith-based production company; it will be writer-director David Ayer’s WWII tank combat epic Fury. And in some ways Fury is also a more compelling narrative about redemption than many of the sermons preached from Church pulpits on any given Sunday.



Mere Links 12.03.14
Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 10:00 AM

What the Holy Spirit Preserves Only in the Church
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Preachers Institute

God’s gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church is not only original, unique, and exclusive, it is also permanent. This gift is as irrevocable as the Incarnation itself. Much as the event of the Word’s enfleshment irrevocably links the Second Person of the Holy Trinity to the human race, the event of Pentecost joins the Third Person of the Holy Trinity permanently to the Church. Both conjunctions are irreversible.

More Pastors Embrace Talk of Mental Ills
Jan Hoffman, New York Times

Evangelical leaders are increasingly opening up about family suicides, their own clinical depression and the relief they have received from psychiatric medication.

Church of England could select first woman bishop
BBC

The first woman bishop in the Church of England could be selected this week. Candidates for bishop of Southwell and Nottingham are being interviewed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

1 in 3 Americans want a divorce between clergy and civil marriages
Cathy Lynn Grossman, Religion News Service

Should clergy divorce themselves from civil marriage? Such a church-state split — already endorsed by some Catholic and evangelical leaders — is showing surprising popularity in two new surveys released Tuesday by LifeWay Research.



Mere Links 12.02.14
Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 10:00 AM

The Farce of Feeling Forgiveness
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Preachers Institute

It may be the case that we have heard the plainest words of Holy Scripture so often that we no longer really hear them.

Francis rolls out ‘social gospel’ case for Catholic/Orthodox unity
John L. Allen Jr., Crux

Sometimes what a pope doesn’t say can be just as important as what he does, and such was the case in Turkey on Sunday as Pope Francis laid out his vision for unity between Catholics and Orthodox Christianity.

Prayer in the Facebook Age
Mark Bauerlein, First Things

We are in danger of losing these replenishing, corrective moments of solitary faith. Silence and seclusion are harder to find, and fewer people seek them out.

Ecumenism After 50 Years
Timothy George, First Things

In retrospect it is clear that the Second Vatican Council was the most momentous religious event of the twentieth century—and not only for Catholics.



Mere Links 12.01.14
Monday, December 1, 2014, 10:00 AM

Connecting Religious and Economic Liberty
Dylan Pahman, Public Discourse

New data suggest that countries that value and protect religious liberty offer fertile soil for economic liberty to flourish.

The Origins of Aggressive Atheism
Emma Green, The Atlantic

Non-believers are often marginalized in the U.S., which had led to a lot of resentment among their ranks. But don’t be deceived: For most Americans, lack of religion usually comes with a shrug, not a shout.

Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?
Dennis Bonnette, Crisis Magazine

Pure myth! That is today’s typical view of a literal Adam and Eve. Yet, contrary to current skepticism, a real Adam and Eve remain credible—both in terms of Catholic doctrine and sound natural science.

Study: Half of Americans, Majority of White Evangelicals Believe Natural Disasters Are Rising Due to ‘End Times’ Not Climate Change
Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post

Nearly half of Americans now believe that the recent surge in natural disasters is the result of biblical “End Times” than climate change, and more than two-thirds of white evangelical Protestants hold this belief, according to a new study.



Mere Links 11.26.14
Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 10:00 AM

Galloping Toward Gomorrah
Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

What’s significant is not that this deranged behavior happens. It has no doubt always been with us. What’s significant is that this interview appears in a mainstream magazine.

Evangelism is central to being the people of God, says Archbishop Justin
Archbishop of Canterbury

Don’t wait to share Jesus with others, the Archbishop of Canterbury tells Church Army annual meeting.

How the Sensitivity Movement Desensitized Catholics to Evil
William Kilpatrick, Crisis Magazine

Remember bell-bottoms, beads, and tie-dyed shirts? Remember encounter groups, Esalen, and trust falls? Remember “self-esteem,” “risk-taking,” “self-awareness” and the other clichés that were born with the human potential movement?

Supper Is Served: Reflections on the Temple as a Liturgical Paradigm
William Simpson, The Imaginative Conservative

In this divine economy, the role of the temple with its sacrifices was of central significance. Perhaps a rough analogy for moderns might be one that I heard in Jerusalem using the vehicle of a ‘WiFi network’: Without a correctly functioning router (temple) with a strong radio signal (God’s presence in the community) there could be no viable connection (faith and ritual) for the devices (worshipers) to hook up to the internet (God’s life and power) and communicate with each other (religious fellowship).


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