Online baptism

The Church of Scotland wants to increase membership by letting worshippers attend online.   The Presbyterian state church is also considering allowing “access to the sacraments” for people are not “physically present in the congregation.”

It isn’t clear what this would look like.  I believe this has been done for communion in other “virtual churches” by streaming the words of institution to consecrate elements in front of your computer.  I would think baptism would be harder.  Baptism wouldn’t have to be part of a church service anyway, so people could be baptized at home by a pastor or even a layperson, but my impression is that members of a virtual congregation would not like even that much human contact.  So can you baptize yourself?

You pastors, if someone were to transfer into your congregation from the Church of Scotland who had an online baptism, would you consider that a valid sacrament?

Even if you draw away from virtual sacraments, do you see any possibilities for online worship, as described here?  For shut-ins?  For other members?  For visitors?  Or does online church fall short of the Biblical exhortation to “meet together” (Hebrews 10:25 )? [Read more…]

The brain is NOT a computer

Brain researcher Robert Epstein explains that, contrary to what we keep hearing, the brain is NOT a computer.  We don’t process information, we don’t retrieve memories, and we won’t be able someday to download our minds into the internet. [Read more…]

Sanders voters for Trump?

Many supporters of Bernie Sanders do not like Hillary Clinton and are vowing that they will never vote for her.  The more affluent of his supporters could always vote with the Green Party, though most will settle for Clinton after all.  But what about the white working class voters who are victims of the current economy and who have been giving Sanders his big wins in industrial rust belt states?

They may well have common cause with Donald Trump, who also does well with this demographic and who advocates some of Sanders’ policies.  Might some of those disaffected blue collar Democrats vote for Trump?  And might that turn some Blue states Red and give Trump the victory?  Charles Krauthammer thinks it’s a possibility. [Read more…]

Vocation and Commencement Addresses

Mollie Hemingway has a great piece in the Federalist about vocation as a theme in commencement addresses.  So many of them miss the point of what vocation actually is.  But she corrects that, discussing three high-profile commencement speeches in light of the doctrine of vocation.  She even quotes yours truly. [Read more…]

So what about the Constitution Party?

There is already a conservative third party:  The Constitution Party.  According to their website, they are on the ballot in 18 states, and are at various stages of approval for more.  They have a presidential ticket:  Darrell Castle and Scott Bradley.  I’m not familiar with either of these gentlemen, but they might be better than the offerings of the major parties.

I have heard the party, which used to be called the Taxpayers’ Party,  described as Christian Dominionist, but that could hardly be the case, since Mr. Bradley appears to be a Mormon.  It seems to be paleoconservative, distrusting foreign wars and big corporations and holding to a protectionist use of tariffs.  It is strongly pro-life, with no exceptions. [Read more…]


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