Human ecology

A useful concept and a clarifying name from Pope Francis:  People worry about the state of the natural environment, he observed.  But they also need to worry about the social environment.  Family breakdown, rampant immorality, and materialistic hedonism damage what he calls the “human ecology.”  [Read more...]

Not naming the holidays on the school calendar

The school board in Montgomery County, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D. C., has voted not to name the holidays associated with religions on the school calendar.

School will still be dismissed for Christmas, Easter, and the major Jewish holidays.  But when Muslims wanted time off for their holidays, the school board decided to think about holidays like this:  We aren’t observing the religious holidays; rather, we are dismissing classes when large numbers of students are likely to be absent.  So on the school calendar, instead of so much as mentioning “Christmas,” there is just a notice of “no class today.”

Is this silly, does it make sense, or should the schools dismiss classes for Islamic holidays too? [Read more...]

1,000 Bible translations on your phone

In church, when you seem people staring at their smart phones, they aren’t necessarily texting, surfing, or playing games.  They may well be using their Bible apps, allowing them to read the Scriptures and follow along with the text of a sermon on their mobile devices.  They can also switch translations so that they can use the one the pastor is using.  The one I use, YouVersion, gives me access to 41 Bible translations in English.  But YouVersion also allows you and people around the world to access the Bible in other languages–over a thousand of them.  The app, which is free, now offers the Bible in (at last count, a few minutes ago when I checked) 1,030 languages.

You can download the app here or at your phone’s app store.  See details about YouVersion’s achievement after the jump, including which languages are most popular and what percentage of the world’s languages this covers. Do any of you have other Bible or devotional apps that you would recommend? [Read more...]

Borderism

We have racism (1932), sexism (1936), classism (1971), speciesism (1975), heterosexism (1979), ableism (1981).  (See this discussion of “ism.”)  Now someone is proposing “borderism,” for discriminating against people based on what side of a border they were born in. [Read more...]

“Revangelical”

Brandon Robertson is one of the spokesmen for the “Revangelical” movement, the prefix meaning, in his words, the effort to “rethink, reform, and renew my evangelical faith.”

He has posted the results of an informal survey he conducted that goes against the grain of conventional “church growth” assumptions.  For example, 51% prefer a “liturgical/contemplative” service, with only 4% preferring a “contemporary/seeker” service; 80% prefer a small-medium size church (60-300), with 19% preferring a “large/mega” church (300-2000).

These findings, he says, support his Revangelical emphases, which I post after the jump (after the statistics).  We Confessional Lutherans might applaud some of these, though the thrust of the movement is “progressive.”  I offer them for your reflection and feedback.  One tenet in particular I would like to scrutinize tomorrow. [Read more...]

My take on “Huckleberry Finn”

Justin Taylor, the publisher at Crossway and a notable blogger, is running a series on “novels that every Christian should consider reading.”  He asked me to write about the great American novel that is Huckleberry Finn.  Mark Twain fan that I am, I was glad to do so. [Read more...]


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