Mere Links 02.26.14
Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 10:00 AM

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.

Mere Links 02.25.14
Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 10:00 AM

Jonathan Merritt, Christian Artistic Expression and the Preferential Option for Caesar
Keith Pavlischek, Juicy Ecumenism

I’m entirely perplexed at Mr. Merritt’s “preferential option for Caesar.” Not to put too fine a point on it, Mr. Merritt would prefer to see his brothers and sisters in Christ be fined, have their business and livelihood destroyed, and even serve prison time, than having the law recognize a broad right of freedom of speech, expression and religious liberty.

UN Commission Finds Severe Human Rights Abuses, Including Religious Persecution, In North Korea
Howard Friedman , Religion Clause

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights announced yesterday the release of the report of a commission of inquiry on human rights abuses in North Korea

Western Liberalism: The Water in Which We Swim
Dylan Pahman, Red River Orthodox

A brief introduction to the liberal tradition for Orthodox Christians living in the West.

Is Sexual Orientation Analogous to Race?
Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition

Such claims are often repeated but rarely examined. So let’s consider whether race and sexual orientation are similar and equally deserving of legal protections.

Mere Links 02.24.14
Monday, February 24, 2014, 10:00 AM

The War on Humans
Wesley Smith, First Things

[B]eginning in the late 1960s, a subversive misanthropy began to gestate within environmentalism. This view does not see the earth and the fullness thereof—in the Biblical turn of phrase—as ours to develop responsibly for human benefit, but instead castigates humans as a “disease” (or “parasites,” “maggots,” “cancer,” take your pick) afflicting the planet, best treated with the antibiotic of radical human depopulation and implacable opposition to economic growth.

Religious Freedom Bill Riles Gay Rights Supporters
Bob Christie, Associated Press

The Arizona Legislature gave final approval Thursday evening to legislation that allows business owners asserting their religious beliefs to refuse service to gays.

Reasonable Hope for Our Secular Age
An interview with Greg Forster, The Gospel Coalition

For Christians in the secularizing West, the days of privilege have ended. And that’s not entirely a bad thing.

Ukraine president exits Kiev; protesters take over
Maria Danilova and Yuras Karmanau, Associated Press

Protesters took control of Ukraine’s capital on Saturday, seizing the president’s office as parliament sought to oust him and form a new government.

Mere Links 02.21.14
Friday, February 21, 2014, 10:00 AM

Holding the Ropes
Andrew Walker and Daniel Darling, First Things

How religious liberty helps advance the gospel.

Study: 2 Million U.S. Scientists Identify As Evangelical
Christine Herman , Christianity Today

A new NAE-backed initiative wants to see if they can help scientists and evangelicals better understand each other.

Children’s Restrooms Are The Next Front Line In The Gender Wars
Owen Strachan, The Federalist

Gender upheaval, coming soon to a commode near you.

Where Does “Separation of Church and State” Come From and What Does It Really Mean?
Justin Taylor , The Gospel Coalition

It’s not uncommon for advocates of the “high and impregnable wall” misunderstanding of the metaphor to suggest that Jefferson’s own policies were incompatible with his own principles (e.g., endorsement of federal funds to build churches, support of Christian missionaries among the Native Americans, etc.).

Mere Links 02.20.14
Thursday, February 20, 2014, 10:00 AM

Bake Us a Cake, or Else!
Ryan T. Anderson & Leslie Ford, National Review

Marriage laws should not treat religious believers as bigots to be purged from the public square.

Going Global: House Hearing Documents Worldwide Persecution of Christians
Andrew E. Harrod , Juicy Ecumenism

Persecution of Christians is the “premier human rights issue of the early 21st century, as well as the most untold story about global Christianity in our time,” Boston Globe reporter John Allen stated in prepared remarks on February 11, 2014.

Recalling Euthanasia’s Legacy of Death
Rev. George W. Rutler, Crisis Magazine

On February 13, when the Belgian Chamber of Deputies approved by a vote of 86 to 44 an amendment to its 2002 euthanasia law, extending its provisions to include the killing of children, a man in the gallery cried out, “Murderers!” Again, no one mentioned the cry, but there was an awkward silence until the man himself was silenced for exhibiting bad taste.

Explainer: What’s Going on in Ukraine?
Joe Carter, Acton Institute

What you should know about what’s going on in Ukraine.

Mere Links 02.19.14
Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 10:00 AM

The Unbearable Cruelty of Banning Blankets for the Homeless
Joe Carter, Acton Institute

Does the city of Pensacola, Florida care more about the comfort of cats than the dignity and safety of human beings?

What’s Wrong with Belgium?
Tracey Rowland, Crisis Magazine

What went wrong? How can a nation that is even nominally Catholic do this? Can all this be pinned on the theology of Edward Schillebeeckx and his colleagues who wanted to correlate theology to the spirit of the times, to accommodate Catholicism to modernity?

N. Korea brutality detailed in U.N. report
Baptist Press

A report detailing brutal crimes against humanity in North Korea was released by a United Nations commission that urged the international community to take responsibility for protecting the people there.

Is Homosexual Orientation Sinful?
Denny Burk, Canon and Culture

Some Christian ethicists take this observation a step further and argue that we must make a moral distinction between orientation and behavior. On this view, homosexual behavior is a choice and thus morally blameworthy.

Mere Links 02.18.14
Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 10:00 AM

Is Contraception the Hill We Want to Die On?
Austin Ruse, Crisis Magazine

Are free pills paid by tax dollars the purer “Catholic” position than making women pay for it themselves?

Federal judge strikes down Va. ban on gay marriage
Robert Barnes, Washington Post

A federal judge in Norfolk struck down as unconstitutional Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage Thursday night, saying the country has “arrived upon another moment in history when We the People becomes more inclusive, and our freedom more perfect.”

Why Privatizing Marriage Can’t Work
rancis J. Beckwith, The Catholic Thing

An important discussion is occurring among young Evangelicals over whether the government should even be in the marriage business.

In rare public split, Catholic bishops differ sharply on anti-gay laws
David Gibson, Religion News Service

The Roman Catholic hierarchy has generally been viewed as a unified bloc in opposition to gay rights, but the emergence of especially punitive measures against gays in various countries has opened unusually stark and public fissures among bishops in different nations.

Mere Links 02.17.14
Monday, February 17, 2014, 10:00 AM

The Presidential Bible Class
Tevi Troy, Wall Street Journal

Abraham Lincoln’s diligent reading of the Good Book informed the Gettysburg Address.

Grace and Reason According to St. Paul and St. Thomas
Eric M. Johnston, Homiletic and Pastoral Review

The world we live in is overwhelmingly irrational. Our popular discourse doesn’t make any sense at all. As Catholics, we need to understand what our faith teaches about this irrationality. We need to look to Scripture and tradition.

Belgium’s parliament votes through child euthanasia

Parliament in Belgium has passed a bill allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children without any age limit, by 86 votes to 44, with 12 abstentions.

Politics, Art, and Love: A Lesson from Dante
Serena Sigillito, Public Discourse

Valentine’s Day is usually associated with romance, but love matters in politics, too. In working to change our culture, we must remember that our opponents, like our allies, are human beings whose individual conversions can only be wrought through a combination of love, truth, and free will.

Mere Links 02.14.14
Friday, February 14, 2014, 10:00 AM

National Marriage Week: Fight Poverty by Strengthening Marriage
Rachel Sheffield, The Foundry

What’s one of the best ways to ensure a child is protected from poverty? Marriage. As such, it also helps protect families from ending up on welfare.

How the West Won—but “Western Civ” Lost
Rodney Stark, Intercollegiate Review

It’s remarkably unfashionable to study—or even talk about—the West these days.

Labor exploitation threatens millions of African children
Charles Braddix, Baptist Press

Every day millions of children in Africa are at risk of being exploited, resulting in slave-like working conditions. Their childhood is forever lost.

Youth Rights: A Trojan Horse for the Left’s Sexual Agenda
Mary Hasson, The Federalist

Willing or not, today’s pediatrician is a field agent in the campaign for ‘youth rights,’ a global movement that insists children have the capacity—and the right—to make their own decisions about issues that concern them, particularly questions of sexual identity, sexual behavior, and reproductive health.

Mere Links 02.13.14
Thursday, February 13, 2014, 10:00 AM

Temptation Mysticism
Anthony Esolen, The Catholic Thing

Jesus never says, “Blessed are those who have plumbed the depths of sin, for they shall be as wise as serpents.” Jesus never recommends sin for spicing up the buffet. Jesus eats with sinners; he does not sin with sinners.

Evangelicals, Pop Culture, and Mass Culture
Dale M. Coulter, First Things

The issue of populism in the Evangelical ethos raises a concern for the need to differentiate between pop culture as folk culture and pop culture as mass culture.

Speech Near Abortion Mills at Stake in Court Case
Stephen Beale, Crisis Magazine

The free speech of pro-life Americans—particularly their ability to protest, offer counseling, or even hold silent prayer outside abortion clinics—is at stake in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court this term.

What is the Point of Religious Education?
Leroy Huizenga, Catholic World Report

The best education in the Faith is the practice of the Faith.

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