Garrison Keillor and the test of a good religion

Garrison Keillor has stepped away from Prairie Home Companion.  Ethan McCarthy discusses his depiction of the Midwest and its values, which Keillor loves, though he often finds them annoying.  But you’ve got to read what McCarthy says about Keillor’s depiction of the church and Christianity (excerpted and linked after the jump), which, I suspect, many of you will relate to.

McCarthy closes with a quotation from G. K. Chesterton:  “It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.” [Read more…]

Sexual progress

I blogged about the book by my former student Matthew Rueger, Sexual Morality in a Christless World.  In it, he shows the sexual ethos of the ancient Greeks and Romans, which was dehumanizing, exploitive, and oppressive.  (He writes, for example, about the sexual use of male and female slaves.)  The advent of Christianity brought with it a new sexual ethos based on love, chastity, and fidelity.  Christianity brought progress in the way people treated each other sexually, but today we are reverting back to the bad old days of sexual paganism.

I’m glad to see that this book, published by CPH, is breaking out of just the Lutheran marketplace to get wider attention.  Right now it is Amazon’s #1 bestseller among religious books on gender & sexuality.  And it has attracted the attention of Eric Metaxas on the late Chuck Colson’s radio program Breakpoint.  He gives an excellent review of the book, excerpted after the jump. [Read more…]

The invention of grape juice to avoid communion wine

Grape juice didn’t exist, as a product, until 1869.  It was invented by a Methodist minister named Thomas Bramwell Welch who sought a non-alcoholic alternative to communion wine.  This is where we get Welch’s grape juice to this day.

Christianity Today tells how this happened, excerpted and linked after the jump.

[Read more…]

Finnish Lutherans say “no” to gay weddings

The state church of Finland will not perform same-sex weddings, even though gay marriage will be legalized beginning next year.  The bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland say that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that will not change.  They say that gay couples will, however, be welcome to participate in all church activities. [Read more…]

Religion’s economic impact

A study of the economic impact of religious institutions has found that congregations, charities, religious hospitals, and other faith-based organizations contribute some $378 billion directly to the economy.  That/s more than Apple, Google, and Facebook.  Combined.  The indirect impact, as that money works its way through the economy is over $1 trillion.

Read a report on the study and watch a video about it after the jump. [Read more…]

Pope plans to canonize priest killed by terrorists

Pope Francis says that he wants to make Father Jacques Hamel, the French priest killed by Islamic terrorists as he was celebrating mass, a saint.  The usual miracles are not necessary, it turns out, because Father Hamel was martyred for his faith.  The pope also said that the persecution of Christians is satanic. [Read more…]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X