Education and religion

graduation-1177256_640Does having more education mean being less religious?  That has been the conventional wisdom in academic circles.  But a new Pew Research study has found that the relationship between education and religion is much more complicated than that.

In general, according to the report, highly educated people are less religious.  But this effect does not hold true for Christians.

Highly educated Christians are actually more likely to go to church regularly than less educated Christians.

Read the findings after the jump.  How do you account for them?

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Plantinga wins Templeton Prize

512px-AlvinPlantingaChristian philosopher Alvin Plantinga has won the Templeton Prize for contributions to religion.

Plantinga has shown, in a sophisticated way that is convincing even to most non-believing philosophers, that it is not irrational to believe in God, that the “problem of evil” does not disprove God’s existence, and that Christianity can make important contributions to philosophical questions.

Plantinga, a Calvinist who has been a professor at Notre Dame, has sparked a renaissance in Christian philosophy and has shown Christian academics how they can contribute to secular academia without compromising their faith.

Photo of Alvin Plantinga by Jonathunder (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Confessional Lutheranism in Finland

Martin_Rautanen_i_Olukonda_1899Imagine that the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod suddenly went liberal.  Pastors of every gender and sexual identity, seminaries that ignored the Bible, the gospel replaced by leftwing politics–the whole way.  Also imagine that there were no other church bodies that you could go to instead–no Wisconsin Synod, no Evangelical Lutheran Synod, and, even though this might not be an option for you, hardly any Catholics, Orthodox, Reformed, or Baptists.

There were still some faithful pastors and congregations, carrying on with great courage despite an often hostile church bureaucracy.  But there aren’t any of these near where you live.

The Synod’s Recognized Service Organizations (RSOs), however, are still faithful and confessional.  These RSOs have been officially authorized by the church body to carry out specialized ministries.  They have the right to call pastors.

So these RSOs start holding worship services.  The pastors preside at the Divine Service and offer the Sacraments.  Though you keep your membership in your old congregation with its feminist pastor, you stop attending there on Sunday mornings and instead drive thirty miles each Sunday afternoon to worship with your fellow area conservatives at the offices of the Lutheran Heritage Foundation.

This is basically the situation of confessional Lutherans in Finland.  [Read more…]

A blow-by-blow account of the Trinity Lutheran arguments

512px-USSupremeCourtWestFacadeThe London Economist, of all sources, has published a description of the arguments in the Supreme Court in the case of Trinity Lutheran Church vs. Pauley (and the State of Missouri).

The report said that the argument seemed to go in the church’s favor, with even liberal justices expressing skepticism about the state of Missouri’s reasoning in refusing to allow the church to participate in a grant for shredded tires to use for  playground padding for its preschool.

The justices asked the state’s attorney if providing a church police and fire protection would also violate its church-state separation law.  The attorney reportedly couldn’t come up with a good answer.

The new guy on the court, Justice Gorsuch, also seemed sympathetic to the LCMS institution.

Read the description of the arguments after the jump.

Photo of Supreme Court building by UpstateNYer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Dispatch from Finland

640px-Luther_Church,_Helsinki,_insideWe are in Finland, safe and sound.  We are having a good and fascinating time.  The church situation here is complicated, but don’t believe what you hear about the utter secularism of Scandinavia.  We are meeting some very vibrant and very solid Lutheran Christians who are true inspirations.  And, yes, they are reaping lots of Muslim converts to Christianity.  But I’ll tell you more when I get back.

Thanks for sticking with the blog while I’m gone.  I may be able to post more than I thought I could.

 

Photo of Luther Church, a confessional congregation attended by over 200 people each Sunday by Abc10 – Oma teos, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49178504

Hank Hanegraff, the Bible Answer Man, joins the Orthodox Church

640px-Hank_HanegraaffHank Hanegraff, who hosts the Bible Answer Man radio show and who operates the Christian Research Institute, has converted to Eastern Orthodoxy.

An apologists for evangelicalism, Hanegraff and his ministry has spoken against Baptismal regeneration and the presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper.  This has put him against Lutheranism.

But now he is embracing the sacraments and other beliefs of Eastern Orthodoxy, including the doctrine of theosis.

He is foreswearing Protestantism, but he is continuing his work with the CRI and the Bible Answer Man.

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