Washington, D.C., turns into a sweltering swamp in the summer.  It has been said that our problems with a too-big government began with the invention of air conditioning.  Before that, Congress and government officials only stayed in town a few months and was anxious to leave.  Since air conditioning was invented, they stick around all year, passing laws and running things. I don’t know about that, but Monica Hesse, in an article about how air conditioning makes offices too cold,… Read more

The latest issue of Christianity Today has a brilliant cover story that accounts for much of what we see in American churches today.  A century and more ago, many Protestant churches adjusted their worship and their ministries to accord with something that at first was quite separate:  the revival meeting.  (My historical parallel.)   Now churches have adjusted their worship and ministries to accord with another separate activity:  youth group!  But, of course, there is more to it than that. … Read more

Another great artist has died, Ray Bradbury.  His genre was science fiction, and though his religious beliefs were somewhat inchoate, he had them, and his stories often have a Christian resonance. In a tribute by Kathy Schiffer, she addresses his religious beliefs: Bradbury described himself as a “delicatessen religionist.” He was raised Baptist—but his parents were infrequent church-goers. He and his wife of 50 years, Maggie, were married in the Church of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal. He has been called… Read more

Journalist Laura Sessions Stepp at CNN says that people who oppose contraception are anti-science.  They are among those conservatives who have no faith in science and oppose Darwin’s theory of evolution. via Anti-science and anti-contraception – CNN.com. First of all, how can science (which is concerned with “is”) determine a moral principle (which is concerned with “ought”)? Second, who are these people who oppose contraception?  The most defined group would be “Catholics,” not “conservatives” or even “the religious right” as… Read more

As I have confessed in this space, I have pretty much stopped watching basketball, due to the feeling that I always jinx the team I want to win.  Well, the Oklahoma City Thunder–from my home state–are so good that they even overcame me. When they were down two games to the San Antonio Spurs, a team that had won 20 in a row, I thought I might as well watch them, since they were going to lose anyway.  Well, they… Read more

More on our continuing series on Christianity & the Arts, how the Christianity part has to include not just law but gospel. . . Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales, went bankrupt in 2003, sold the franchise, and turned to other ventures.  In an interview with World Magazine, he says how he realized that the “Christian” message of those talking vegetables was not Christianity at all.  (This is from last Fall, but I appreciate Norm Fisher, via some other… Read more

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker scored a victory in the vote to recall him.  And pretty handily too, for all of the “too close to call” talk in the election night coverage:  54 percent to 45 percent, via Wisconsin recall: Scott Walker wins – Alexander Burns – POLITICO.com. Read more

We touched on this with the bill prohibiting sex-selection abortion, but here it is again, reported in a matter-of-fact way: Democrats will bring to the Senate floor on Tuesday the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that is supposed to help close the wage gap between men and women. The measure will fail, as intended, because at its core it is not so much a legislative vehicle as a political one intended to embarrass Republicans and help President Obama and congressional… Read more

One of those darn kids invented a monster.  It is called Shodan.  And it threatens everything connected to the internet, which is now pretty much everything: It began as a hobby for a ­teenage computer programmer named John Matherly, who wondered how much he could learn about devices linked to the Internet. After tinkering with code for nearly a decade, Matherly eventually developed a way to map and capture the specifications of everything from desktop computers to network printers to… Read more

Reformed writer Peter Leithhart argues against the closed communion practices of Catholics, Orthodox, and Lutherans on the basis of Galatians 2: The battle between Paul and the Judaizers focused on table fellowship. Initially, Peter didn’t require Gentiles to “judaize” but ate openly with uncircumcised Gentiles. Pressured by believers from the Jerusalem church, though, he withdrew and refused to share meals with Gentiles anymore. Whether these were common or sacred meals, the same logic would apply to both: If Peter wouldn’t… Read more

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