Israel invades Gaza

With Hamas refusing a ceasefire after its rocket attacks on Israel were met by air attacks, Israeli ground forces have launched an invasion of Gaza. [Read more...]

Senate fails to nullify Hobby Lobby ruling

As we blogged about, Democrats in the Senate, which they control, fast-tracked a bill that would nullify the Supreme Court’s ruling that Hobby Lobby and other privately-held companies could opt out of the Obamacare contraception mandate by citing their religious objections to abortifacients.  The bill would prevent the Religious Freedom Restoration Act from applying in such cases.  And since Republicans would probably oppose it, the bill would advance the Democrats’ narrative that Republicans are engaged in a “war against women.”  Well, the bill was defeated in the Senate, though House leadership says it may come up again. [Read more...]

Was Luther a Calvinist?

Short answer:  NO!  But Calvinists often claim him for their own.  Douglas Sweeney,Trinity Evangelical Seminary church historian, takes up this question at the Gospel Coalition site, showing where Luther and Lutherans stand vis a vis the Five Points of Calvinism.  It’s a good discussion.

Prof. Sweeney stresses that the controversy between Calvinism and Arminianism, according to which Calvinists evaluate all theologies, is very much a disagreement among Reformed Christians, and isn’t easily applicable to separate theological traditions, such as the Lutherans, Anglicans, and Anabaptists.   What sets apart Lutheranism from the Reformed, of course, whether Calvinist or Arminian, is the issue of the Sacraments, which aren’t discussed here.  Still, read the analysis.  Is there anything missing? [Read more...]

Targeted political ads

As you will have noticed, internet advertisers are bombarding you with ads tailored just for you, based on your browsing history and the volumes of data that the marketers have put together about you.  That technology is finding its way to television.  Watch for its use in political advertising.  In his last election, Chris Christie’s campaign bought ads on Friday Night Wrestling after they found that its viewers don’t vote much, but could probably be persuaded to vote for Christie.  And if you have satellite TV, you may be getting ads that your neighbor watching the same program isn’t getting. [Read more...]

Foiling spies by going back to the typewriter

Some German officials have become so paranoid over revelations of NSA surveillance and CIA spying, that they are considering dropping computers for communications and going back to typewriters.  They are also playing classical music during meetings to thwart American bugging devices. [Read more...]

When atheists give the invocation

When the Supreme Court recently ruled that prayers from a distinct religion could be offered in public meetings, it allowed for Christian prayers in Jesus’ Name.  But the ruling also said that prayers from other religions would also be allowed, including the equivalent from atheists.   So now atheists are being invited to preside over the ceremonial openings.   They are invoking not God, of course, but things like the spirit of goodwill, “self-government, the human condition, intellectual openness and minority viewpoints.” [Read more...]


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