Only the Godless Die Young

With apologies to Billy Joel, new research from Harvard shows that, irrespective of the state of their general health, only the godless die young.Over the last 20 years, research has gradually accumulated suggesting that religious service attendance is associated with better physical and mental health. For example, research articles have indicated that regular religious service attendance is associated with a 30 per cent reduction in depression, a five-fold reduction in the likelihood … [Read more...]

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New Study Finds, “More Church = Less Porn”

From PsychCentral.A new study finds that attendance of religious services by young people is associated with a reduction in viewing pornography over time.The study findings appear in the Journal of Adolescence.“We were able to determine that there is a barrier effect at play wherein religious social control encourages adolescents to view less pornography over time,” said Kyler Rasmussen, lead author of the study and a Ph.D. student in the University of Calgary’s Department of Psycholo … [Read more...]

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Challenging the Atheist Narrative: Study Says Religious Faith Prevents Violence

For the study, 555 Palestinian adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 were presented with a classic “trolley dilemma” that involved a Palestinian man being killed to save the lives of five children who were either Jewish-Israeli or Muslim-Palestinian. The participants responded from their own perspective and then again from Allah’s perspective.  The results showed that although Muslim-Palestinian participants valued their own group’s lives over Jewish-Israeli lives, they believed that Allah p … [Read more...]

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The Divine Human: New Age Blasphemy or Christian Destiny?

(The following is excerpted from my forthcoming book, Broken Gods: Hope, Healing, and the Seven Longings of the Human Heart (available in stores June 2, 2015).  Pre-Order your copy TODAY!)There is an ancient, yet still surprising and little known Christian doctrine that asserts God's intention to make each of us a god; perfect, immortal, and partaking in his very own divinity for all of eternity.  This teaching, known by theologians as the doctrine of theosis or divinization is the ultimate d … [Read more...]

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Time Magazine, “The Hell You Say?”

Time Magazine recently reprinted an article from Patheos Progressive Christian Channel blogger, John Shore, titled What Christianity without Hell Looks Like.Here's the money quote from the article, "A Christianity without Hell would have nothing to recommend it but the constant and unending love of God."   I don't know what the author of the quote thinks Hell is, but unwittingly, in that one line,  Shore actually describes the classic Christian vision of Hell.St Augustine was once ask … [Read more...]

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What Stage is Your Faith?

We have a tendency to think that faith is faith.  But we all recognize that faith grows and changes with time.  What if faith evolved over specifically definable stages? What stage of faith would you be in?  What stage of faith are you called to be moving toward?Universal Stages of FaithIn his classic book, Stages of Faith:  The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning, Dr. James Fowler looks at how faith evolves over time. He identifies 6 Stages of Faith Development.   I … [Read more...]

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Faith, Spirituality, Belief, Religion…What’s the Difference?

Conventionally, we tend to use words like, "faith", "spirituality", "belief" and "religion" interchangeably and, generally speaking, there isn't anything wrong with that. But it may interest you to know that for those who study the psychology of religion, these words do have different meanings.  More than just an academic distinction, these differences can actually be quite enlightening and helpful for you in making clearer sense out of the different aspects of your own faith journey.  Let's l … [Read more...]

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Religion & Spirituality Affect Health in Different Ways

Are people who say they are "spiritual but not religious people" not as healthy as people who are both spiritual and religious?  That could well be the case.Religion and spirituality have distinct but complementary influences on health, new research from Oregon State University indicates.  "Religion helps regulate behavior and health habits, while spirituality regulates your emotions, how you feel," said Carolyn Aldwin, a gerontology professor in the College of Public Health and Human S … [Read more...]

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