“Religion Is More Like Sex Than School”

Research is showing that religion is not just a learned behavior or intellectual assent to certain propositions. Read more

Conservatives on Hugh Hefner, pro and con

The New York Times token conservative Ross Douthat gives what I consider to be the definitive summary judgment about Hugh Hefner (the earthly judgment, that is).  And yet, another conservative, Ben Domenich, while he expresses disapproval, goes on to praise Hefner for his entrepreneurial spirit, for appreciating the “finer things” (such as jazz, fine dining, gentlemanly manners, etc.), and for championing heterosexual masculinity, something now under attack. I agree with Douthat that this conservative defense of Hefner is “a lot of garbage.” … Read more

Worst Mass Shooting in U.S. History!

Fifty people were killed and more than 400 were wounded in Las Vegas in what is being described as the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Stephen Paddock, 64 years old, shot down from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Hotel into the crowd attending a country music festival. Paddock was not a known member of any terrorist or militant group. I’ll try to update this post when we know more.  In the meantime, here is a… Read more

Was the Gospel Preached to Make the Roman Empire Great Again?

Christians are citizens in the kingdoms–or republics–of this world. Christians are also citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. What is the relationship between these kingdoms? Read more

Where Every Day Is Russell Westbrook Day

The success of the Oklahoma City Thunder is only one facet of a city that had died but that has been brought back to life. First the Oklahoma City Thunder surprised the basketball world by pulling off a trade for superstar Paul George.  Then the Thunder surprised the basketball world again by pulling off a trade for superstar Carmelo Anthony.  Now the team’s own superstar, this year’s MVP Russell Westbrook has made a long-term commitment to the team by signing a… Read more

Hugh Hefner’s Actual Legacy

Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy Magazine, has died at age 91.  Along with the birth control pill and the hippie movement, Hefner was a catalyst for the sexual revolution.  But his actual legacy was less about sexual relationships than sex as a solitary act provoked by a picture. Certainly, Hefner and his magazine played an important role in promoting and eventually normalizing extramarital sex.  His magazine projected an image of sophistication and masculinity that had nothing to do with marriage and fatherhood…. Read more

The Cross in Fashion

Christianity is reportedly in decline in the West, especially among trendy millennials.  And yet, the Cross has become a fashion accessory, appearing on t-shirts, jewelry, tattoos, and as a high-fashion design element. British youth minister Martin Saunders, discusses the phenomenon in The Cross in fashion: Appropriation or opportunity? | Christian News on Christian Today. Some Christians decry the custom, thinking that the fashionistas are draining the Cross of its meaning, trivializing the instrument of sacrifice by turning it into just another aesthetic… Read more

Here Is the Republican Tax Reform Plan

After failing to replace Obamacare, again, Republicans are marshaling their energy to pass tax reform, again. Here is the nine-page framework–with many details to be determined later–of the Republican tax plan:  Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code. Here are some highlights, from Business Insider.  Go to the link for details and explanations about each bullet point: Business tax changes: A 20% corporate tax rate. A 25% rate for pass-through businesses. Elimination of some business deductions, industry-specific incentives, and more…. Read more

Going to Hell

The threat of eternal punishment–going to Hell–used to be a staple of Christian teaching.  But we don’t hear much about Hell anymore, even in conservative churches.  A new book says that without Hell, the Bible’s teachings about both sin and redemption lose their meaning. The assumption today seems to be that contemporary people cannot conceive of any kind of eternal punishment, to the point that they will never take it seriously, unless, perhaps they become Christians first and then can be taught… Read more

Judge Roy Moore wins & so does Obamacare

Senate Republicans again failed in their latest effort to kill and replace Obamacare.  And President Trump’s candidate for the Republican nomination for senator from Alabama lost to his former advisor Steve Bannon’s candidate. The latest plan, the Graham-Cassidy Bill, would have punted health care to the states.  But Senators Rand Paul, Susan Collins, and John McCain (who previously said he might be open to this version) said that they would oppose the bill.  That means the Republicans did not have the… Read more

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