Church competition

More from Methodist minister Morgan Guyton’s post entitled “Six Ways that Capitalism Fails the Church.”  He discusses competition between churches, the way churches “with bling” take members away from churches “without bling.” [Read more…]

Sarah Palin’s blasphemy

Sarah Palin, in a speech to the NRA, said that “waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”  Lutheran journalist Mollie Hemingway calls that blasphemy.  Her article in the Federalist includes a shoutout to the Cranach Institute, a quote from my daughter, and a critique of civil religion. [Read more…]

Adolescent Arguments

In the context of an article criticizing President Obama, George Will says that the president continually uses “the four basic teenage tropes” that characterize the way adolescents argue.   I give them after the jump, with my emphases in bold.  I don’t really want to discuss what Will says about the president.  And I don’t want to cast aspersions on Adolescent Americans.  But just consider these as logical fallacies. [Read more…]

It’s still Easter!

G.C. McLoughlin
G.C. McLoughlin
G.C. McLoughlinG.

It’s still Easter, and it will be for 40 days, corresponding to the 40 days that the risen Jesus was with his disciples until His Assumption into Heaven.  So we should still revel in this season, and I’m going to be putting up more Easter posts.

G. C. McLoughlin shows why St. John Chrysostom was called “Chrysostom”–that is, “golden-mouthed”–by quoting from his exuberant, joyful homily that is read at Easter matins in the Orthodox church. [Read more…]

Smoking to the Glory of God?

Have you heard about this book?  The Christian Gentleman’s Smoking Companion: A Celebration of Smoking to the Glory of God.  Jonathan Binnie, who told me about it, says that his brother attends a church that has a “men’s cigar outreach ministry.”  It’s called “El Lector,” after the practice in Cuba of having somebody reading a book out loud to the cigar-rollers as they work.  They have readings, as everybody smokes their stogies, or a speaker, as here.  See a description of the book after the jump.

What do you think of this?  Is it an exercise of Christian freedom or promoting an extremely unhealthy habit?  Is it a good way of reaching men or an example of churchifying what is properly secular?

Actually, this sounds kind of like the Men’s Club of our congregation back in Wisconsin, with its very traditional ethnic customs, which consisted largely of sitting around drinking beer, eating cannibal sandwiches, and playing Sheepshead. [Read more…]

The world’s most Christian nation. . .

. . .is soon to be China, according to scholars who project that in ten years the still-Communist country will have 160 million Protestants (the USA has 159 million) and in 15 years 247 million Christians in all, more than any other nation. [Read more…]